If you have been reading the last few forecasts you know that we have a pretty good sized S swell on tap for the 4th of July Holiday Weekend. Really besides a couple of scattered areas of windswell this S swell is pretty much the only thing we have going this weekend…fortunately it is going to be a pretty big one for the exposed areas. I will spend a couple of paragraphs explaining why we aren’t getting swell from the North Pacific and the Tropics but it will just be noise…for those of you that like Southern Hemi swells…you probably are just going to hear “S-swell S-swell S-swell S-swell with a touch of S-swell arriving on S-swell. Head to the S-swell S-swell S-swell with some extra S-swell arriving through the S-swell”.
The NPAC is all about high-pressure and a lack of storm activity. The NE Pacific High is settling in like an unwelcome houseguest and continues to provide the crappy springtime weather patterns. With the high positioning itself midway between Hawaii and the West Coast it manages to block any significant storms from developing but leaves enough of a gap around the edges of the ocean that sloppy winds can blow over our various surf regions, pulsing out local windswell and tradeswell but also hampering conditions with onshore winds.
The one little nugget of goodness that I am seeing is that the high-pressure is slowly starting to ridge over the Pacific NW…and eventually will connect itself to a high-pressure ridge that forms over the windward sides of the Rockies…this will help to break up the winds along the West Coast and offer up some nicer weather for Sunday and Monday through Central and Southern California.
Long-range for this region is pretty dull…just more of the current pattern…don’t expect much swell from this part of the Pacific anytime soon.
East Pacific Tropics
After Hurricane Celia (and to a lesser degree Hurricane Darby) tore the tropics a new one…it seems like the conditions in the EPAC sort of blew themselves out. Currently there are no tropical storms and there are none expected for the next several days.
It is worth keeping an eye on the tropics next week…there is a chance that some of Tropical Storm Alex’s remnant energy will push over into the Pacific and help energize our side. There isn’t anything definite at this point, but don’t count it completely out either.
The South Pacific
Okay…finally I get to the fun stuff. As we head into the weekend the new S swell will be pushing up from the Southern Hemisphere.
The swell will hit in Central America starting on Friday and then Southern Mainland Mexico over Friday night into Saturday morning. The rest of the West Coast will see some smaller S-SW swells for the start on Saturday…but the new S swell will fill in throughout the day…eventually peaking in Southern and Northern California on Sunday and Monday.
Sizewise this new S swell (180-200) will be coming up fast in Central America with Mainland Mexico several hours behind on Friday (July 2) and peaking over Saturday and Sunday (July 3-4). The exposed areas will see solid well-overhead surf with sets nearing double-overhead at the better S-facing breaks. The standout deepwater spots, like Puerto Escondido and a few select others, will have consistent double-overhead sets with some bigger waves pushing the 15’+ face range at times. It is worth noting that the Galapagos Islands to cast a bit of a swell shadow on some of Central America…expect some smaller, but still healthy, sizes through Costa Rica and parts of southern Nicaragua.
This swell does push up into Baja Sur about 12-20 hours after its arrival in Central America…coming up fast mostly on the Saturday (July 3), peaking by the afternoon and then holding through Sunday and Monday before dropping off.
Southern California will be a few hours behind that…with the S swell (170-195) arriving with long-period energy in the 20-22 second range throughout the day on Saturday (July 3) then peaking on Sunday and Monday (July 4-5). While it won’t be as big as Central America and Mainland Mexico, it will have enough energy to push in shoulder-head high surf for most of the average S facing breaks and sets going 2-3’ feet overhead at the standout S facing beaches. This swell does hit over the holiday weekend…which is a bit of a bummer crowdwise…but the surf from this one will stick around for a few days after the peak of the swell so we should be able to get plenty of waves without all the extra bodies in the water.
Further out in the South Pacific I am not seeing any super organized systems (yet) but there is a lot of new activity forming up around New Zealand (both above and below) that will be moving into the South Pacific over the next several days. If this stuff follows the track of the last storm we should be looking at another round of S-SW swell heading into the exposed regions a little before mid-July. We will have to keep an eye on it as we head into next weekend.
That is it for now…have a good holiday and I hope you score off this new S swell! See you next week!
TransWorld SURF Forecaster