The South Pacific is kicking has been kicking some ass over the last 7-8 days. I know I mentioned some of this storm activity in the "forecast" portion of the last couple of forecast updates…well that system lived up to those forecasts and has pushed a solid S-SW swell toward the West Coast, Mexico, and on down through Central America. We can expect that energy to hit the more southerly regions over the weekend and early next week with a smaller (but still healthy) version peaking throughout the West Coast by the middle of the week. The other regions are a little less active, but we did have a brief tropical storm develop in the EPAC…so they aren't completely dormant either.
The NPAC is actually the most boring of the three main swell producing regions. High-pressure has set up across much of the normal storm track which has stunted any significant storm development.
Basically there really isn't any real swell moving through the NPAC…there are a couple of areas of increased tradeswell for Hawaii and the Pacific NW…but even Southern and Central California won't see much energy.
East Pacific Tropics
Well we had a little blip of life in the East Pacific Tropics…but it didn't last long. TD-06e formed late around the middle of the week but never had much of a chance to keep her convection going, with a combination of cooler water and upper level shearing disrupting things. Right now TD-6 is a remnant low-pressure and is expected to fall apart over the next few days.
There is another little area of disturbed weather that is forming in a better location, closer to Mainland Mexico and Central America…unfortunately it doesn't look like the overall conditions in the region are going to let it develop very much. Right now the NHC are giving it about a 10% of becoming other than a big patch of thunderstorms.
The South Pacific
The SPAC will be furnishing the majority of our swell energy over the next several days. Almost all of the exposed S-SW facing beaches along the West Coast and on down through Central America will be seeing fun-sized to solid Southern Hemi swell as we move into the weekend, with the bigger waves showing the further south your spots are.
That first storm managed to plow its way through a very open part of the swell window…throwing together some solid 40-50 knot winds with some gusty portions near the core of the storm seeing some 60-65 knot gusts and some heavy 40'+ seas.
Check out the WINDsat satellite data…all those black/purple wind barbs are where the storm is the most intense.
A second storm is forming right on the heels of the first system…and thanks to the first-one's intensity…it had all sorts of momentum (which is sometimes referred to as "active" sea-state) that it gets to pile more energy right on top of. This new storm, while not as strong as the first, isn't a slouch either…the satellites are showing some strong 40-45 knot winds that blow right over the "good" part of ocean that already has swell heading in the right direction.
The new round of S-SW swell (180-215) will start to push into Southern Mainland Mexico and Central America on Sunday (July 18) and will peak Monday-Tuesday (July 19-20). For these regions I am expecting consistent well-overhead surf for most of the exposed areas and double-overhead+ sets for the standouts…with the possibility of even bigger surf (12-15'+ faces) hitting the deepwater spots like Puerto Escondido.
Southern California will see this swell pushing in some new long-period energy on Monday (July 19) that will drive the surf up fast as we move throughout the day, but the peak of the energy won't hit until Tuesday-Wednesday (July 20-21). Sizewise the average S-SW facing spots will see some consistent chest-head high surf while the standout breaks see some sets going a couple of feet overhead as this swell peaks. A few of the really exposed focal breaks will have some bigger waves mixing in as well. Expect this swell to stick around for a couple of days…so we will see at minimum playful+ size surf through the 23rd…right in time for the next round of chest-head high+ S swell coming from the second system.
Further out…there is a bit of a gap in the storm production after this next round of swells but I don't think this one will last long though…there is another shot of meatballs pushing underneath Australia that will probably be in firing position by the middle of next week. Ah good times…
Check back on Friday for more details on the this incoming round of Southern Hemi swells and the possible chance of new tropical activity.