Hawaii And West Coast Surf Forecast

We have another macker of a storm forming in the North Pacific. I mentioned this storm in the forecast last week…it is a sizeable low-pressure that is setting up fetch for both Hawaii and the West Coast. At this point this storm will produce a solid shot of WNW-NW energy, for both the Islands and the Mainland, setting up well-overhead surf for all exposed spots and double-triple overhead+ at the standout breaks in each area.


The crazy part is that this is just the beginning…the initial storm quickly evolves into a much larger complex low-pressure centered on the edge of the Gulf of Alaska and a whole assload of following low-pressures get pulled into the storm-merry-go-round, resulting in a steady stream of NPAC swelly-goodness going all over everywhere.


Hawaii will see this swell a couple of days earlier than other areas…expect it to show as a sizeable WNW-NW swell (300-340) that would arrive on Feb 10-11.

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The West Coast would also see a pretty good-sized dose of WNW-NW energy (280-300) that would begin arriving as early as the 12th in Northern and Central California and the 13th in SoCal. This will peak over Valentines day weekend…with more overhead+ surf on tap for exposed areas and sets going well-overhead to double-triple overhead+ along the Northern/Central coasts. SoCal will be smaller with mostly shoulder-overhead surf showing at most spots and sets going a few feet overhead+ as the swell peaks.

At this point it looks like weather for Valentine’s Day weekend will be pretty decent for California…maybe a touch wetter the closer you get to San Francisco and on up to Oregon but still clean for most areas. SoCal in particular could be very fun this upcoming weekend…the mix of W-NW swell, decent conditions, and a small SW swell (to help combo up the beach breaks) will likely blend very nicely.


Extreme long-range charts for the North Pacific show that complex low-pressure hold in place through the end of the forecast run with some storms starting to push over the west coast…reminiscent of the bigger rains we had in January…if this ends up happening not only will we see some weather, but there will be a good chance of WNW-NW swell holding some decent size all the way through the middle of the month…and probably out to the 18-20th. (ah good times).


Like I mentioned before there is a little South Pacific action going on…nothing like what we would see over the NPAC summer, but enough that it is going to kick out some SW swell for the exposed spots. It won’t generate a huge SW swell for the Northern Hemisphere…but it should be good for some chest-head high sets at the standout SW facing breaks in SoCal. This SW swell starts to hit the West Coast on Friday Feb 12 and will peak Saturday and Sunday…the same time as that bigger WNW swell. Nothing big on tap after this shot of swell, but there are a couple smaller SW’ers that will filter through the following week.

Here are the details for Hawaii and the West Coast…

New WNW-NW swell (300-340) starts to arrive throughout the day on Tuesday…building overnight and peaking into Wednesday/Thursday. This WNW-NW swell will push in easy 13-15’ deepwater (Hawaiian sized) surf…so face heights will be running double-triple overhead with some of the standout breaks seeing much bigger sets at times. Winds aren’t the greatest while the swell hits…sort of N-NNE on Wednesday and then more NE on Thursday…enough to keep the really wind sensitive spots a bit junky…but still be pretty manageable on the more protected sides of the islands. There will be a bit of S swell for the islands as well this week…at the same time the WNW-NW swell hits a decent sized…about head high to a few feet overhead…S swell will arrive, peaking on Wednesday and holding into Thursday before backing down for the weekend. Look for the large WNW-NW swell to hold solid but smaller surf into Friday and then another round of reinforcing WNW energy to arrive and keep the well overhead waves hitting into the weekend.

Northern California
The overall mix of WNW-NW swell that we had hit over the weekend will back down a bit on Tuesday and Wednesday…but an increase in local windswell will keep wave heights from dropping too far. Unfortunately it also means that weather and conditions are going to be a bit funky through mid-week as well. Further out we see one last lump of onshore winds push through on Friday…about the same time a solid WNW-NW swell (270-320) starts to arrive. This swell will be good for easy double-overhead+ surf at the average WNW-NW spots and double-triple overhead surf at the standouts. Deepwater breaks like Maverick’s will likely be in the 15-20’ face range by Friday evening…with some bigger sets pushing through around sundown. These waves will hold steady into Saturday and it looks like winds/weather will clean up as well…likely giving the region sunny skies and some light/light-offshore winds. Look for a slow drop in size later in the weekend but even more WNW swell from the complex low-pressure will keep Nor/Cen California in well overhead surf all the way up through the 18-19th and probably longer.

Southern California
We will have a mix of fading W-NW leftovers from the weekend on Tuesday and a touch of building local windswell starting to arrive late in the day. This will hold overnight into Wednesday…though winds don’t do us any favors (staying onshore out of the WNW-NW around 10-20 knots for most areas). Look for smaller, but still sort of playful surf on Thursday…conditions start to clean up a touch then as well. Friday will start small…but a new combo of large WNW-NW swell (275-300) and some new SW swell (200-215) will start to fill in through the day…eventually peaking over the weekend. Average spots will see surf in the chest-head high range with some overhead sets at the average combo breaks. The standout WNW spots and excellent combo spots will see sets going a few feet overhead and possibly bigger as the swell peaks on Saturday and Sunday. Look for decent sized surf to hold into Monday and possibly more on tap for the middle end of next week.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster