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Adam Wright
(Sunday) 2.12.12

Storm Forecast to move in on Monday but still a chance for some lighter winds in the morning.

Forecast Overview

Another cold front is forecast to move down the coast tonight and show up with cloudy skies, some drizzle, and eventually some sloppy conditions on Monday.

The Swell

Our swell will be a slowly fading mix of W-NW swell (270-300) along with some building local windswell and weak background SPAC energy. The windswell will really get going in the afternoon but the periods are so short that it won’t add a ton of “rideable” size to the overall swell blend.

The Surf

Look for most exposed W facing spots to see surf in the shoulder-overhead range with a few rare bigger waves at spots that like the shorter periods. The standout WNW-NW facing breaks, again in the normally better “winter” areas will have surf in the head high to a couple of feet overhead range on the biggest sets…looks like the surf will be the most consistent through the morning…at least with the medium period sets. The short-period energy could move in to help to keep up wave heights for the afternoon but the winds come along with it.

The Weather

The forecast is calling for a “semi-dry” cold front to move down the coast…almost making a move like an ‘inside-slider’ which is a storm that moves across the interior of California (overland) and then recurves back into Socal…bringing local wind and cold air temps but not a lot of moisture since it will have dropped most of it across the valley before arriving in our area. At this point it looks like W-NW winds for Santa Barbara and Ventura for the morning with more W-WSW winds through North LA and then S-SSE winds as you move through the South Bay down through San Diego. Winds are forecast to be in the 5-8 knot range for the southern counties but stronger…10-12 knots for the spots further north. W winds tear back into Socal by the afternoon as another colder low-pressure arrives with more drizzle through the afternoon/evening. Coastal winds look to be in the 10-15 knot+ range for most areas with some 20+ knot gusts hitting at the more exposed spots.

The weather is supposed to be a little damp on Saturday…the chance of precipitation is only 30-40%…but even that is supposed to be very light for most areas since this is sort of a dry cold front. This is what the NWS is calling for, in terms of weather by mid-morning on Saturday.

The Skinny

Again not a great looking surf day…but the location, position, and intensity of the storm front will make a world of difference in how the surf and the conditions behave from spot to spot. If the front hasn’t arrived then you can expect some S-SSE winds arriving before the front…if the front has passed your area expect building W-NW winds with moderate speeds at first but then getting stronger as that second front arrives. I think your best bet is going to be around the spots in OC, SD, and the South Bay that can handle the mix of swell and southerly winds…along with the breaks in Santa Barbara, Ventura and North LA that do ok on NW winds and the W-WNW swell mix…I would check the cams and wind obs before driving to far…and keep a close eye on those winds…if they are turning westerly in OC and SD early in the morning you may want to abort since the front may have sped up and already passed through the region.

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