West Coast Weekend Surf Forecast

North Pacific

The North Pacific continues to settle in a unquiet summer slumber…springtime combined with the repositioned El Nino water temps may have a tighter grip on the storm track than I have seen over the last few years. It isn't really doing anyone any favors…the East Pacific high is still in place so storms have to move around the semi-permanent ridge of pressure, which means they won't get a legit shot at producing long-period swell…instead they are forced into poor positions that have a tendency to increase winds along the West Coast or super charge the tradewinds for Hawaii.

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Right now we have a low-pressure moving over the West Coast that is doing just that, basically pushing 15-35 knot NW winds down the coast, building windswell but hurting shape almost everywhere in the region. This storm will move on through over the weekend but it will do its damage by jacking up the bigger S-SSW swell that will be moving in at the same time.

The windswell from this storm will push into Northern and Central California with overhead+ surf, even several feet overhead at the directly exposed beach breaks, but shape will be pretty poor at spots that can pull in the full amount of swell.

Southern California will get a smaller version of this windswell but conditions look a bit better thanks to the coastal eddy that has a tendency to blunt the edge of the stronger NW winds as they clear Point Conception. Look for the NW facing breaks in this region to see shoulder-head high surf with potential for a few bigger waves down in San Diego where there is a little steeper exposure to the NW swell direction.

The good-swell (compared to crappy windswell) will be coming out of the South Pacific this weekend…hopefully you read the swell alert that was posted here (or on the blog) a few days ago. This swell will be impacting all along the West Coast, Baja, Mainland Mexico, and on down through Central America. The main push of swell will hit the tropical travel areas…but there will be healthy waves for all areas, with surf going well overhead for the top S-SSW facing spots in California.


This swell is already moving into Central America and Mainland Mexico, with some long-period forerunners hitting Baja and California…and it is just going to get bigger as we move into the weekend. Most spots will see this swell peak on Saturday with plenty of energy holding into Sunday and then finally a slow fade through the early part of next week.

The Southern Hemi energy won't back down all that much before we get another shot of energy from the S-SW (190-220)…this one will be arriving in the exposed spots late on the 26th (for Central America/Mex) and the 27th (for California)…it won't be as big as the swell for the weekend but the standouts will still have plenty of overhead surf as it peaks.


Further out the forecast charts are showing another pretty good-looking storm that is set to pull together in about 4-5 days. If this bad boy forms up like the forecast charts are indicating it looks like it will be another intense mid-latitude storm with a load of extra-tropical energy (which will just fuel the already strong core of the storm).

At this point it looks like this system will set up another round of S-SW swell (190-225) for all of the areas from Central America on up through Northern California. Sizewise we could be looking at another overhead+ to possibly well-overhead+ (biggest in Central America and Southern Mainland Mexico) that would arrive on June 2nd/3rd and then hold for a couple of days afterwards. Keep in mind that this storm is still several days from developing…so you are going to want to check back in early next week for the latest details.

East Pacific Tropics

Yep the official start of hurricane season (for the West Coast) was May 15th…so the season is underway. Not seeing much activity down that way, which is a bit unusual compared to the last couple of years…both of which had fully named storms springing up almost as the 15th rolled around. Looking at the current forecasts, we aren't going to see much form in this region over the next few days…and with those strong NW winds moving down the West Coast (and down the Baja Mexico coast), conditions for tropical storm formation aren't going to improve anytime soon

That's all I have for now…if you are on the West Coast (or any of the travel regions) I hope you get some of the new S-SSW swell…stay safe and happy hunting!

Adam Wright