West Coast And Hawaii Weekly Surf Forecast

The North Pacific has managed to pull off another big winter-type storm despite the fact that we’re already a few days into Spring. This system turned out to be a little less nasty than a few of the forecast runs that I saw last week were calling it…but it is still no joke…Hawaii and Southern California will both see decent sized swells from this storm…but Northern California in particular is going to get slammed as the swell peaks there on Wednesday.


Here is a shot of that storm on the NOAA/GOES Visible satellite…


Conditions won’t be all that clean for most of the West Coast…the storm that is setting up this WNW-NW swell is coming right along with it. Looks like onshore winds, rain, sloppy shape…you know all of the things we would expect with a winter swell…will be pushing down the West Coast throughout the week.


Northern Cal sees this new swell, and the bad weather, pushing in on Tuesday…SoCal will lag about a day behind and see the funky swell mix arrive on Wednesday. Expect waves from this one to stick around through the end of the week for both areas and then trail off fast as we head into the weekend.

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The long-range forecast for the North Pacific looks a little quieter…high-pressure builds across most of the NPAC and locks down the middle latitudes. There is one storm that is forecast to form over the upcoming weekend that has the potential to send another punchy NW swell (290-310+) to Northern/Central California around the 4-5th of April…but that is about the only region with any activity taking place in its swell window.

The South Pacific
The SPAC is stepping up activity this week…there was a pretty saucy storm about midway between New Zealand and Chile that formed late last week and it will end up sending a decent S swell to SoCal, Mexico, and Central America. The swell will be hitting Central America over the next couple of days, then Mexico around midweek, and SoCal by Thursday, but peaking Friday and Saturday. All regions will have consistent chest-shoulder high+ surf from this one…the top spots will be bigger with some overhead sets mixing in the travel destinations…SoCal will be mostly shoulder-head high on the bigger sets but there are a few breaks that may help focus the swell a touch bigger.

Further out…there is another group of storms forming over by New Zealand that are showing some decent potential for swell. These are set to intensify as they move into a good spot of the SPAC, a spot where they can send swell to a variety of locations.


Hawaii would actually see some S swell from the tropical/extra-tropical elements that develop around Fiji/Samoa…but the rest of the regions would see the swell from the higher-latitude fetch that forms up down around Antarctica. This storm is still several days from forming…but if the forecast holds true we would be seeing S-SW swell starting to arrive in SoCal/Mex/Central America regions around April 8-10th.


Check out the details on swell sizes and arrival times in the regional forecasts…

North Shores will see a new N swell (340-360) peaking on 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 will hold some size into Wednesday but would be on the way out fast by the end of the week. A second, much smaller, WNW swell (320-340) will arrive on Friday (April 2nd) and will keep the exposed spots in easy shoulder-overhead surf with a few sets still going a few feet+ overhead at the standouts. South Shores will have some minor, but fun SW swell (200-210) holding waist-chest high+ surf through most of the work week. A bigger S swell (180-195) will arrive early Saturday morning and will peak overnight into Sunday with some shoulder-head high surf at the well exposed spots.

Northern/Central California
Northern and Central California look pretty stormy this week…stormy and big. There is already a well overhead to double-overhead W-WNW swell in the water…this coming off the first storm that set up late last week. The main push of WNW swell (270-310+) swell will be arriving later Tuesday night, peaking on Wednesday, and holding strong into Thursday. This swell looks good for 16-18’ of deepwater energy @ 14-16 seconds…which means easy 15-18’ faces at the exposed spots…and potentially some 30-35’ faces at the best big wave spots (like Mav’s). Unfortunately the weather looks pretty nasty too…NW winds around 15-25 knots with some stronger gusts at times. So while the swell will be big…it will be mostly blown out as well. I think that some of the really protected spots, both from the swell and the wind, will be the call this week…you might see some fun waves at spots that almost never get swell. Look for the surf to dip down a bit as we head into the weekend…with the potential for another double-overhead+ NW’er lining up for Sunday/Monday.

Southern California
New WNW-NW swell (280-300) fills in more on Tuesday but will eventually peak on Wednesday as more stormy winds and windswell jump into the mix. Conditions look pretty sloppy through midweek thanks to a cold front associated with the swell-producing storm…lots of W-WNW winds pushing onshore chop on both Wednesday and Thursday. Sizewise…Tuesday will average waist-shoulder high at ok breaks and some head high+ sets at the NW standouts. By Wednesday it looks like shoulder-head high+ surf for most winter spots and sets going a couple of feet overhead (and bigger) at the NW standouts. The swell holds into early Thursday but will start to wind down by the afternoon and it will continue to drop through the end of the week/weekend. New S swell (170-195) moves in on Thursday and peaks Friday and Saturday…conditions look cleaner as this swell peaks…cross your fingers and hope that we have enough WNW-NW swell still hanging around that it can combo up the S swell as conditions improve. More NW swell will be on tap for select areas early next week…chance for some more SW swell as well.

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

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster