Thursday’s storm looking larger than previously expected

No Comments
Austin Gendron
(Tuesday) 11.27.18

Short Range Surf Forecast Overview

I’ve got updates for you this evening on the incoming WNW-NW (290-310) that should be arriving tonight, and building to a peak Wednesday night.  Then Thursday and Friday we’re expecting a fairly strong storm to swing through the region, kicking up a large fetch just off Point Conception, and then bring rain and wind across Southern California through possibly Saturday.  This update is because that storm is looking a bit stronger than previously expected.  Read more for details.

Get the live Southern California Buoy Forecast graph here - http://solspot.com/buoy/oceanside-offshore/forecast.

Surfwise, the first pulse so far is still on track from what we forecasted on Sunday.  That means it is still expected to fill in tonight with surf starting to build into the waist to chest high+ range after sundown then build through the day Wednesday.

Wave heights are expected to build into the moderate to plus sized range with wave heights running chest high to overhead+, potentially a little bigger at top exposures.  Conditions are supposed to be a little quieter in the morning, shifting onshore in the afternoon.  The afternoon does look a little more questionable conditionwise as the impending storm advances into Socal.  Winds are expected to start turning onshore in Santa Barbara through the afternoon, and its possible that there could start to be some rain working down as far as Ventura County around dusk. The southerly prefrontal winds will pick up overnight, increasing rain chances for the rest of the region through early Thursday morning.  The center of the low is going to drop down the coast, and looks capable of generating storm force winds in the 25 to 30 knot range.

The breezy winds off the coast are supposed to kick up a pretty solid fetch in the Socal Bite, and that’s going to mean additional surf piling on through the day Thursday and peaking early Friday.  Original estimates were for chest to overhead+ wave heights, but with the storm being a bit stronger and those winds generating more fetch off the coast it looks like it could result in larger overhead to well overhead (albeit mixed up and messy for a lot of exposed spots).  There are a few areas (mostly south facing cost of Santa Barbara and parts of Ventura that could see N-NW winds blowing offshore Friday morning.  NW wins should hold through the day as surf starts to settle from north to south.

It’s still very unclear what happens after Thursday’s storm passes.  The glboal models aren’t in very good agreement about a second system making its way down from the Gulf of Alaska, or whether it will just head towards the Pacific Northwest over the weekend.  Either way it should continue the onshore winds through at least Saturday, and potentially could mean another round of precipitation.  We’ll have to wait and see.


Here’s what to expect on a day-to-day basis this week:

Wednesday the 28th new WNW-NW swell builds through the morning, bringing chest to overhead+ surf to the exposed coast, possibly bigger at standouts.  Keeping an eye on increased onshores and potential for rain late in the day.

Thursday the 29th likely wet weather and breezy onshore winds as WNW-NW swell mix builds, bringing head high to well overhead+ surf to the regions exposed spots late in the day.  It’s potential for bigger waves, but at select exposures, and it’s probably not going to be pretty.

Friday the 30th WNW-NW swell mix holds its peak through the morning before easing in the afternoon.  Conditions likely to still be pretty funky for most of the exposed coast, although a few south facing spots in SB and Ventura could see cleaner conditions thanks to northerly winds.

Saturday the 1st The WNW-NW swell mix and some background SSW should ease some but its hard to say how much, and at this point dependent on a second storm potentially working its way down the coast

Sunday the 2nd surf dependent on swell number 2, but likely to be smaller to more moderate either way with wave heights in the waist to head high+ range at standouts.

Monday the 3rd swell mix eases.

Tuesday the 4th smaller leftovers expected

Tropical Overview

No tropical cyclones at this time

Long-Range Surf and Swell Forecast

North Pacific Swell Forecast

Not a whole lot going on with the Npac models for the time being.  There’s a little system north of Hawaii, but high pressure over Alaska is going to make it spin kinda funny, and not send any swell towards California.

Another stronger system does appear near the dateline about 180 hours out, but it’s too far out to call right now, and also really far north to generate very good swell for Socal.  We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.

South Pacific Swell Forecast

The Southern Hemisphere is looking quieter, with only small background swells being spun off of a couple zonal systems bouncing along the melting ice shelf.  Nothing too exciting to report there.

Austin Gendron

Surf Forecaster