Super fun S-SSW mix through the weekend, keeping an eye on windswell early next week

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Austin Gendron
(Thursday) 9.29.16

Short Range Surf Forecast Overview

SURF TRIP GIVEAWAY…..details in surf forecast! Tropical swell (170-180) lingers today as a new mix of overlapping SSW (190-200) picks up.  We should see the swell peak Friday/Saturday and then ease through early next week.  The weather models are showing cooler and probably breezy weather this weekend, with a dose of windswell in tow.  Read more for details.

Get the live buoy forecast graph here – http://solspot.com/buoy/oceanside-offshore/forecast.

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As the tide builds to a fat high this morning we’re going to be seeing less and less of the easing S-SSE (170-180) tropical swell, and the building SSW (190-200) is expected to get a little more lully.  The good news is, that the dominant SSW, which is already bringing some fun waist to head high waves is supposed to continue to build to a peak Friday and Saturday and looks pretty solid when not inundated by the swampy morning high (we’ve got a new moon Friday night it looks like).

The second overlapping pulse that should be arriving tonight will help add a little more to the mix and push the surf for the peak into the chest to overhead+ range for standouts.  Most average spots will be in the waist to head high range though.  Although we’re still expecting fairly nice morning conditions the next couple of days the trend is going to be for conditions to shift a little more onshore overall, with possibly some breezy textured afternoons.  Saturday looks a little more interesting though.  We’re expecting a cold front moving into Northern/Central California on Friday to be followed by breezier NW winds for the Central Coast and Socal Outer Waters Saturday.

Aside from some cooler weather, this is going to bring us some windswell, and probably some mixed up conditions, including potential eddy circulation stirring up some southerly winds for OC and SD counties Saturday night.  Right now the models are showing the swell starting to build a little Saturday, then picking up more late Sunday.  The peak could be late Sunday/Monday with short-period mixed surf running waist to head high+ along the exposed W-NW facing coast.  Because of the fickle nature of these kinds of events, its hard to say how big it will be, but you can likely deduce that the windier it is the bigger.  You’ll want to keep an eye on shifting winds late Monday/Tuesday as the swell starts to ease for cleaner more surfable conditions…. Although… I wouldn’t put it past a few protected spots especially around the south facing coast of Santa Barbara to see some fun size with possibly some groomed waves.

Tropical Overview

There’s some very light background energy in the water for Southern California from the S-SSE (170-180) that was a result of TS Roslyn.  Very minimal surf though for the most part especially compared to the larger lines coming in from the building SSW in the water.  For those places that notice a little more tropical swell than anything else, we’re looking at knee to waist high+ waves though.  That energy will be on a downward trend through the end of the week, and it doesn’t look like there’s going to be much to follow.  There is one area of low pressure off the coast of Central Mexico, but global models aren’t showing a very likely scenario where it strengthens enough to become a swell maker.

Long-Range Surf and Swell Forecast

North Pacific Swell Forecast

We could see another pulse of WNW-NW (300-315) arriving mid-late next week depending on how the models play out with this feature in the Gulf of Alaska early next week.

Right now they aren’t in great agreement on the strength, with the NAVGEM looking a bit more aggressive.  Both are showing a low developing some swell in the Gulf at least.  Because of the steep angle, Central California would definitely see much more of this energy than Southern California.  I don’t want to make too many hypothetical guesses… but it could end up generating another around of chest to overhead+ surf at standouts next Thursday-Friday.  Southern California’s standout W-NW exposures if lucky would see very inconsistent and much weaker surf in the knee to waist high+ range wrapping in.   I wouldn’t put too much hope in this one being all that surfable if that’s the case.

South Pacific Swell Forecast

The southern hemi models have been downgrading over the past few days.  They still continue to show some weak systems moving off that little ice lip south of French Polynesia, but there doesn’t look like there’s any upper level support, and the storms can’t strengthen enough to become anything all that exciting.

You can see that these are super small storms, and although they start to take a good NE trajectory away from that little lip, they don’t really strengthen until they hit the mid latitudes, and at that point they are running into a ridge of high pressure that is pushing them back down south… that’s going to direct most of the fetch away from California.  Still keep an eye on a little pulse of SSW (190-210) background around the 7th/8th.

After that, the long-range models continue to show these weaker (although this one is looking much broader) systems skirting the swell window and pushing more to the east taking aim at southern Chile.  We are likely to see similarly small and inconsistent S-SSW (180-200) background energy if things continue to hold together.  As far as dates go… keep an eye on the 12th-13th for the time being.

The next long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, October 3, 2016.

Austin Gendron
Surf Forecaster

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