West Coast And Hawaii Weekend Surf Forecast

Not sure if you watched the Volcom Pipeline Pro today (Thursday Jan 28), but that WNW swell that I was talking about in Monday’s forecast seemed to hit Pipe right in the sweet spot. I watched the webcast most of the day and it was freaking cranking, I could barely get anything done…every time I tried to minimize the stream Stanfield and Cote would call out another bomb set and I would get hypnotized again. Anyway you can see some of the craziness here…


(this is nature’s way of patting itself on the back for “making a kick ass storm”)

Forecast-wise we are right back where we were a couple of weeks ago…the North Pacific storm track continuing to kick ass and the usual winter spots throughout our region continuing to reap the benefits. The storm that just sent that WNW swell to Hawaii (and the Pipeline contest) has kicked out energy for the West Coast that will be arriving Friday and through the weekend. This is the storm on the charts right now…check it out…


There is more storm activity brewing out the back too…another pretty intense looking low-pressure is off to the NNW of Hawaii and will be moving into the Gulf of Alaska over the next couple of days. This first part of the storm looks like it will set up another shot of solid WNW-NW swell for Hawaii that will hit late Saturday but more for Sunday and Monday. It doesn’t do a great job setting up swell for the West Coast but there will be some energy that heads our way by Tuesday/Wednesday (Feb 2-3). The real kicker of this storm is that it begins another round of that “complex low-pressure” circulation that I keep talking about. The initial front is followed by a series of new fronts that will gradually push closer and closer to the West Coast…and each one will have the potential to send us more waves.


At this point, like I mentioned above, it looks like the West Coast will see another round of WNW-NW swell hitting next Tuesday, and then peaking Wednesday and holding through Thursday before trailing off slightly.


As those swells hit yet another storm follows close on their heels, pushing in close to the West Coast, potentially setting up some more rainy/wintery weather for Friday and Saturday (Feb 5-6). This looks pretty similar to all the crazy weather we had last week…so the chances of seeing yet another shot of W-WNW swell will probably be pretty good. This one is still a loooooooong way from actually forming but it has been on the forecast charts for the last couple of runs so it will definitely bears watching.

The South Pacific is starting to warm up a little…there are a couple weak swells that have been limping out of the Southern Ocean but I doubt many of us have noticed thanks to all of the NPAC energy. This trend isn’t going to change a whole lot over the next several days but the forecast models are starting to show a few cracks in the SPAC blandness… the most notable feature is a strong tropical/sub-tropical system that makes a fast jump into the colder latitudes just south of Tahiti in about 5 days…


I know that it is sort of boring looking right now but this is the sort of mixing that helps spark up bigger storms…and even though the best part of this storm is forecast to move away from us (on the West Coast) it looks like it might set up a better SSW swell for around the 10-11th of Feb…again this is a ways out so we will have to wait and see how things shake out.

Here are the details…


We are going to see backing off WNW-NW swell (300-340) for the next couple of days as the mid-week swell winds down. It won’t ever completely fade out but it will get down into the head to slightly overhead range by then end of the week. Another round of WNW-NW swell (320-340) starts to arrive later on Saturday (Jan 30) and eventually peaks on Sunday and Monday…this one looks good for about 10-11 feet of deepwater swell around the 15-16 second range…so double-overhead faces at the top spots along with some bigger sets lurking around as well. Long-range is showing a lot of activity still forming out the back…so it looks like more WNW-NW swell and possibly some stormy weather starting on Thursday and holding for the second half of next week.

Northern California
The new WNW-NW swell (270-300) arrives on Friday, peaking later in the afternoon with more double-triple overhead surf for the top spots. This swell will hold into Saturday and then back down late in the weekend. Right now it looks like there may be a little more rain and onshore texture coming through as the swell peaks on Saturday…but conditions clean up pretty fast on Sunday and on into Monday. This swell mix will back down a bit on Monday but more WNW-NW swell (280-300) hits on Tuesday and peaks overnight into Wednesday…setting up more overhead to well-overhead surf for the well exposed spots and a few bigger double-overhead sets at the standouts. This one won’t be as big as the last few swells but it does look a little more organized, at least as it starts to fill in…weather doesn’t look too bad at this point but we can expect a little more rain as the swell peaks. Long-range charts are showing a chance for more, much stormier, W swell by the end of next week.

Southern California
A new WNW-NW swell (280-300) moves in later on Friday and will peak on Saturday and Sunday before dropping off on Monday. Look for average spots to see surf in the chest-shoulder high range with some head high sets mixing in at the better exposed spots. Standout NW facing spots will have shoulder-overhead surf with some sets going a couple of feet overhead on the better tides. Unfortunately the next few mornings as going to see some craptacular high tides…pushing 6’+ and peaking right around 8-10am…which will seriously honk up the surf. Look for another, smaller, round of WNW-NW swell hitting late Tuesday and peaking Wednesday before dropping off Thursday. Waaaay out the back it looks like we might have some more stormy W-WNW swell (and rain and wind) heading our way for the next weekend (Feb 6-7).

Adam Wright