The North Pacific continues its relentless run of storm activity that we have seen this winter…battering both Hawaii and the West Coast with both weather and new swell.
Currently we have a fairly strong storm holding just off the California Coast…pushing a new rainy cold-front down the state. It looks like funky weather and slowly building W-NW storm-swell will be on tap for Northern/Central California on Friday…and then a much bigger jump in stormy swell by Saturday and Sunday. SoCal, like usual, lags about day behind…seeing the storm move in later Friday and the swell arriving more on Saturday and peaking on Sunday, before fading on Monday.
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Here is the same storm on the Visible GOES satellite…
This mix of W-NW storm swell, will actually be a blend of short-period W swell from the storm's winds and it broke through the outer-waters just off the coast, and some longer-period energy from the same system as it was further over by Hawaii and just developing. It looks like exposed areas will see overhead to well overhead+ surf along the North and Central Coasts, while SoCal sees a smaller version. All areas will likely see S winds around 15-25+ knots on Friday…and then SW-W winds on Saturday (and plenty of junk conditions).
Further out in the charts we have continued storm activity taking place over in the Western North Pacific…this is setting up another round of WNW-NW swell for Hawaii that hits on Friday and fades slowly through the weekend. This same swell comes in more NW'erly for the West Coast showing some energy late on Sunday for Nor/Cen-Cal and late Monday down in SoCal. This one doesn't look all that great for the West Coast but it will have a little bit longer-periods and some time to groom out as it makes its way over…so while it won't be as big as some of the swells we have seen it might be a little more organized.
Further out there is another strong low-pressure setting up in the next 4-5 days…likely becoming yet another complex low-pressure up around the Aleutians.
If this can live up to forecasts and right now it seems likely…Hawaii would be looking at a sizeable WNW-NW swell (300-340) that would arrive on Feb 10-11. 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-overhead+ along the Northern/Central coasts. SoCal will be smaller with mostly shoulder-overhead surf and sets going a few feet overhead as the swell peaks.
Chances are that there will be some weather coming along with that Valentine's swell but we are still several days from seeing how funky it might actually get…but it is something that you should keep in mind as you plan out where to surf that weekend.
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).
Down in the South Pacific we have finally have a bit more activity humming along…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. Check out how these winds are showing on WINDSAT satellite…
One thing to keep in mind is that this one does look like it will hit Tahiti pretty good…possibly in the 10-foot deepwater range (which is double-overhead+ at spots that can focus the swell) around the 7-8th…which is plenty large considering that it is the middle of their summer. Not sure how the winds will hold up since there is a lot of weather moving around the tropic/sub-tropical regions, so it might not be worth pulling the trigger on a ticket…but if you were heading to the region anyways (say to catch some WNW-NW swell) you might want to keep in mind that the S-swell spots will be working as well.
Here are the details for Hawaii and the West Coast…
WNW-NW swell peaked on Wednesday along with some funky N winds…here on Thursday the winds have shifted more easterly and will hold into Friday…just in time for another round of WNW-NW swell, again around the 10-12' feet of deepwater energy but with longer swell-periods (closer to 15-17 seconds) as the swell peaks. This seems like the cleanest and most organized swell of the week/weekend so it might be worth planning on surfing around then. Further out it looks like another 10-12' WNW swell arrives and peaks on the 8th…and then possibly a much bigger shot of 15-17' of WNW swell energy lining up for Feb 10-12th. There will probably be some weather coming along with this one so plan for winds to be shifting around as a couple of cold fronts pass through as the swell peaks.
A shorter-period, W-WNW swell (260-290) from a storm just off the California Coast will arrive on Saturday coming up fast and bringing more wind and rain along with it. We can expect more surf in the well-overhead range with more double-overhead sets. This swell looks a lot less organized than the swell earlier in the week but there should still be some rideable waves at spots protected from the S winds. Further out it looks like a longer-period WNW-NW swell (285-320) arrives on Sunday, Feb 7, and peaks on Monday the 8th before dropping off. This one looks about head high for most areas and some sets going a few feet overhead at the top breaks. Long-range charts are calling for more storm action and more short-period/medium period WNW swell showing through the middle and end of next week…with the potential for a bigger WNW-NW swell showing as early as Feb 12…and then peaking over Valentine's Day weekend.
After seeing mostly leftovers on Friday, a stormy mix of short period W-WNW swell and some longer period NW swell will arrive on Saturday, peaking on Sunday with surf running overhead to a few feet overhead at the top breaks. Unfortunately it looks like more S winds and rain on tap for most of SoCal as well…it doesn't mean every spot will be blown out, but expect most areas to see sort of sloppy hacked up shape with a few more rideable nuggets showing at breaks protected by the winds. Next week looks a little cleaner and we will have more shoulder-head high WNW-NW swell moving in around the 8-9th. The second half of next week looks a bit stormy again (at least on the weather charts) and so we can expect more short-period storm swell through Thursday and Friday…and potentially a bigger, longer-period WNW swell that would peak over the weekend of Feb 13-14.