Windswell backs off as s.hemi takes over

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Austin Gendron
(Thursday) 5.18.17

Short Range Surf Forecast Overview

After one final heaving breath WNW-NW coastal winds are expected to leaves some leftover windswell for Thursday, but ultimately die off before the weekend.  That will leave us with slowly building southern hemi swell from the S-SSW (190-200).  Said overlapping swell mix should bring some playful surf in the small to moderate size range this weekend and early next week before backing off again for a few days.  Read more for details…..

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

Basically we’re heading into a transition to warmer weather and lighter winds over the next few days.  It doesn’t look like we’re going to be seeing an significant offshore event due to upper level winds not playing their part, but we should still see at least lighter winds, with the potential for some offshores, but mostly inland.  The coast is expected to mostly see light onshore sea breezes, not enough to kick up any notable windswell.  SOooo.. basically there will be some small leftovers on Thursday, but they will be trailing off through the end of the week…. That’s when we turn our attention to the south.

New energy should be arriving already from the S-SSW (185-195).  This first smaller pulse will build to a peak Friday at around 2 feet.  A second and more prominent pulse arrives Saturday and will build to a 2-3 foot peak on Sunday.  That means we’re expecting the first round of energy to bring knee to chest high surf followed by potentially waist to head high waves at standouts Sunday and Monday.  more average spots will be running knee to waist high+.  Wave heights will start to back off some Tuesday.

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

Thursday the 18th wind sell is due to hold some size from Wednesday, but alsoo expected to back off from north to south through the day.  New southern hemi should be building.  Standout southerly exposures expected to be around knee to waist high, and westerly exposures knee to chest high.

Friday the 19th Windswell should have backed off leaving mostly southern hemi swell.  Wave heights could be knee to chest high at standouts.

Saturday the 20th  wave heights should hold at standouts as new southern hemi starts to fill in. Winds could shift a little more offshore.

Sunday the 21st wave heights could build into the waist to chest high+ range at standouts, maybe even a little bigger for magnets

Monday the 22nd southerly swell peak holds, with waist to chest high+ surf, possibly bigger.

Tuesday the 16th surf at southerly exposures starts to back off slowly.  Standouts expected to be running waist to chest high.

Wednesday the 17th southern hemi eases more.  Standouts expected to run knee to waist high+.

Tropical Overview

Long-Range Surf and Swell Forecast

North Pacific Swell Forecast

Nothing really new to report. Still watching that weak system working its way north of Hawaii over the weekend.

Current projections are for it to generate 25 to 35 knot winds and 15 to 20 foot seas, but nothing overly impressive. It looks like it will probably be strong enough to generate a few feet of medium period energy in Central California mid-late next week. SoCal will be on the minimal side without enough swell energy to be noticeable. Stay tuned for updates.

South Pacific Swell Forecast

Looking out a ways, we’ve got more southern hemi on the radar for around the 28th/29th.

It’s a tight fit, but the it’s looking like there’s a chance that this powerful low off the coast of New Zealand could thread the small needle window between New Zealand and Tahiti to send some SW (210-230) swell energy for the end of the month. The fetch could generate 30+ foot seas, but it is a bit far away at roughly over 5k miles. That’s going to mean a smaller to moderate sized swell, but it should still have a little punch for SW exposures. More details next week.

Next long-range forecast expected for Monday the 22nd of May. 

Austin Gendron
Surf Forecaster