West Coast Weekly Surf Forecast

There are a couple of decent sized swells in the water, tracking in from the South Pacific, that will be sending in some fun to borderline scary size wave heights over the next few days. Like most Southern Hemi swells…the scary sizes will be showing mostly through Central America and Southern Mainland Mexico…the surf will get smaller and more playful the further North you go along the West Coast.

I am starting to see a little bit of a “forecaster vacation” forming in the Pacific…which means that the North Pacific and the EPAC tropics are both fairly quiet and that I can kick back and watch/wait for the Southern Hemi swells to track the several thousand miles it takes to reach the West Coast. Unfortunately, while it is nice to have a little breathing room as a forecaster…it sort of sucks from a surfing standpoint…and since I am a surfer as well as a forecaster these little gaps are a definitely a double-edge sword.

Fortunately the gap in swell doesn’t last…the long-range charts are already showing some new Southern Hemi storm action…and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new tropical storm form up later this week (or over the upcoming weekend…basically just whenever it is the least convenient, that is when one will spin up.)

North Pacific

The NPAC is really freaking boring at this point…the high pressure is sitting in about the same place it has for the last few days blah blah blah blah…with some blah and extra-blah blah! It is awesome because blah will go BLAH! And we will get some more blah!


To translate…we will basically get some tradeswell and windswell…sometimes it will be weak, and sometimes it will be less weak. Most of the time it will just suck…but there will be something to ride while we wait for the Southern Hemi swells.

East Pacific Tropics


It looked like the EPAC was going to get a little action going early this week…but both of our tropical disturbances decided to break apart, leaving us with pretty much nothing to replace them.

Current forecasts are pretty dull too…no new tropical storms are expected to develop for the next few days. Well at least there won’t be a tropical system screwing with the weather in the region as the latest round of Southern Hemi swells arrive.

The South Pacific

Over the next few days we are going to see a pretty decent run of S-SW swell (190-215 for California and 200-220 for Central-AM/Mainland Mexico).


This swell will definitely hit Southern Mainland Mexico the hardest…it has actually been peaking in the region over the last few days…and as we move through Tuesday-Wednesday we can expect smaller (but still well-overhead) sizes as the back side of this swell trails off.

The West Coast is just starting to see the new swell hit the buoys on Monday night…with the main part of the S-SW swell hitting Tuesday and Wednesday…check it out, you can see the long-period energy hitting across all of the nearshore buoys in Socal already this evening (Monday Night).


As this swell peaks we can expect surf in the chest-head high range for most of the exposed spots…while the standout SSW-SW breaks, mostly in Southern California, parts of Baja Sur, and a few other select spots spread throughout the West Coast, will have consistent shoulder-overhead surf with some bigger sets going a couple of feet overhead on the better parts of the tide swing.

We can expect this swell to hold onto some decent size throughout the day on Wednesday but the bigger sets will be less frequent…with this becoming more apparent the further south you are surfing (ie Baja Sur will see the bigger sets drop off earlier, and faster, than the well exposed breaks in Socal, which will see the drop about a day later.


A second S swell (180-200) is following right on the tail of the bigger SSW-SW swell…so wave heights for all of our areas (Central America on up through California) won’t drop off very fast…in fact the S facing spots, particularly in California, may even see wave heights come up a little bit as this new swell fills in. Central AM/Mexico can expect this swell to hit on Thursday and then peak into Friday, while SoCal sees the swell show early on Friday but really peaking overnight into Saturday and Sunday (July 24-25). Most areas will see chest-head high surf from this swell, with some overhead sets showing at the best SoCal S facing breaks. Mainland Mexico and Central America will be going overhead on most of the sets while the standout S spots see some sets going several feet overhead and possibly bigger if the break can focus these sort of swells.

These waves will finally drop off later next week…but another string of weak storms will keep smaller, but still playful, waist-chest waves going at the well exposed spots all the way through the end of July.

The really long-range charts are showing another set of storms that are forecast to push out of the Tasman Sea over the next 4-5 days. As these storms develop they are showing the potential to send more S-SW swell our way. Obviously we have a few more days before these storms actually form…but it looks like chance at more swell arriving in Mexico on up through SoCal around the first few days of August. It also happens that when I get creative with photoshop I can draw a bad-ass picture of a duck using the awesome FNMOC color scheme.


That is all we have going on for right now, the next forecast will be on Friday. If you are on the West Coast I hope you get a few good ones from this new S swell…happy hunting!

Adam Wright