West Coast And Hawaii Surf Forecast

Apparently the North Pacific did not get the memo about winter being over (uh…yeah…Peter we are going to need to talk about your TPS reports. Did you get the memo?)

Instead of going into the spring/summer hibernation it’s still awake and is winding up to kick the Pacific NW and Northern/Central California right in the junk… but that is further out in the forecast… lets start with some of the stuff that is going to happen this week/weekend.

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There is already a pretty well developed low-pressure north of Hawaii, just under the Aleutian Islands, that is setting up some WNW-NW swell for Hawaii for Friday and the West Coast starting on Monday. This low, does more than send out some OK sized swell, it pulls up into the Gulf of Alaska and sits, becoming… wait for it… the anchor-low for a much larger complex low-pressure that is forecast to put together some pretty intense looking winds. You know, just like all of those badass storms we had this winter. (This is where the NPAC storm track winds up the kick to the junk).


The charts are showing that it just piles on the juice… with more storms following in close succession to these first three fronts… eventually producing this ugly sucker…


Which apparently is going to do something like this to the Pacific NW and parts of California…


…really I could go into the details but that picture pretty much sums it up. IF…and there is always a “BIG IF” when we are in transition between seasons… if this storm brews up like these forecasts are calling for the West Coast would see new swell arriving early next week and then a huge WNW-NW swell that would hit midweek and hold through the end of the week. Of course it looks like that bad weather will be coming along with the swell… most likely victory-at-sea conditions for some of the directly exposed spots… but the further south you go down the coast the cleaner things will get. Check out the regional forecasts below for more details on surf sizes and arrival times…

The South Pacific is going to get in on this action as well… a nice looking storm just pushed off Antarctica over the last couple of days and is going to take a really good track to the N-NNE as it intensifies. From where is it located this system will be able to send a pretty decent S swell to Southern California and some shots of bigger swell to Mexico and Central America.


These waves would hit SoCal around Thursday April 1st (after hitting our Central American spots a day or so earlier)… which, unfortunately, is about the same time the WNW swell is forecast to plow through the region.

This isn’t the only swell either… there looks like some really good extra-tropical mixing that occurs over by New Zealand that will invigorate a whole chunk of the SPAC storm track, and in the process put together a pretty good S swell for Hawaii and probably a bunch more SW swell for California and the West Coast.


These waves would be arriving throughout the first week of April… with a shot at some bigger SW swell moving into the exposed West Coast spots around April 8-10th. Keep in mind that, except for the S swell heading to SoCal for next week, these storms haven’t formed…. they are just being modeled on the charts… a lot of the activity will form (or not form) over the next week or so… I will have more details on them in the next update.

Here are the details for each of the regions…more on the sizes/periods and arrival times in the sections below…

A smaller WNW-NW swell (310-330) fills in on Friday to help the fading swell from earlier in the week… this new pulse will still have enough energy to be playful and fun at most of the exposed spots. Expect exposed spots to see surf in the shoulder-overhead range with a few of the top breaks seeing sets going a couple of feet overhead+ at times. New S swell moves in on Friday as well… keeping the Town spots in the chest-shoulder high range, with a few bigger sets showing at the best spots. Both the WNW-NW and the S swell will hold into the weekend… slowly fading by Sunday/Monday. North Shores will see a new N swell (340-360) moves in on Monday…hitting with some pretty long-periods early in the morning and then coming up fast by the afternoon… eventually peaking overnight into the Tuesday. This swell is forecast to have some pretty legit size, 10-12’ of deepwater swell at 14-16 seconds… so face sizes could easily get pushed into the double-triple overhead range for most exposed spots and bigger at the standouts. This swell would hold some size into Wednesday but would be on the way out fast by the end of the week.

Northern/Central California
Solid double-overhead WNW-NW swell hit the North and Central Coasts on Thursday… these waves will hold into Friday but winds will continue to be an issue as the last bit of the storm that built the swell moves on through the region. We see mostly leftovers, but overhead playful leftovers, on Saturday as conditions clean up…high-pressure is forecast to shift local winds to the NE and considerably warm up the coast. Sunday another front starts to arrive, bringing new S winds and building in new WNW-NW swell (280-320+). This new WNW’er will come up fast throughout the day with the surf eventually hitting the overhead to several feet+ overhead by the end of the day. This swell continues to build overnight into Monday where it sets up consistently well-overhead to nearly double overhead surf for most of the average spots and sets going double-triple overhead at the top spots. This swell will hold strong into Tuesday… and may start to increase even more on Wednesday.


At this point it looks like a pretty strong spring storm hits Northern/Central California on Wednesday/Thursday… which, if it develops, will push through with nearly 20-25’+ seas and nasty 20-35 knot W winds. This one has a ways to go before we get too fired up on it… but definitely keep an eye on those long-range charts.

Southern California
We have had a pretty fun run of SW and WNW-NW combo in SoCal for the last few days… and it looks like a similar mix of swell will continue into the weekend. On Friday the SW swell (195-210) continues to slowly fade while a new WNW-NW swell (280-300) moves in and mixes it up with some local windswell. We can expect the average spots to see waist-chest high surf with a few bigger sets on the lower tides both Friday and Saturday. The top NW breaks and really good combo spots will have some shoulder-head high sets… maybe even a few plus sets here and there as the swells blend together. Sunday both swells will slowly back down… still plenty of rideable surf, but we might want to break out the small wave boards. A new WNW-NW swell (285-300) moves in on Monday as well as another small pulse of SW energy (200-220) both of which will help to keep waves in the waist-chest high range for most spots and some head high+ sets at the standout NW/combo breaks. Long-range charts are showing that storm that plows the Pacific NW next week sending a pretty sizeable NW swell to SoCal by Wednesday… this storm has a long ways to go development-wise… but we could be looking a well-overhead+ WNW-NW’er (and probably bad conditions) if this one comes together. We will actually get a little Southern Hemi energy around the same time…a straight S swell is lining up for Thursday (April 1) that will peak on Friday with some shoulder-head high surf for the summer spots. Hopefully conditions won’t be as nasty as the weather models are saying it will be.

Next forecast will be on Tuesday, check back in for the latest update…

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster