Weekly Pacific Ocean Surf Forecast

Finally I get to put some good news in this forecast…at least for the West Coast and the travel areas that like Southern Hemi swells. Things had been pretty slow in both halves of the Pacific with high pressure blocking across the North Pacific…and the SPAC going so zonal that only a few small pulses of Southern Hemi swell leaked out.

Things won't improve overnight, we are still going to have to wait a few days…but the South Pacific is really starting to heat up. There is a new S swell that will be arriving throughout SoCal, Baja, and Mainland Mexico during the second half of the week and into the upcoming weekend.

Further out there is even more activity in both the North Pacific and much more in the South Pacific that is promising to have some larger swell moving in later next week…finally things are starting to feel a bit more like Fall.

North Pacific
There isn't the anything concrete in the NPAC yet…but the long-range charts are showing a bit of change that indicates a nice breakdown in our high-pressure and the possible kick-off of some new North Pacific activity.


What makes this interesting happens out in the last few charts in the forecast run. Basically I see some sort of tropical energy, either a tropical storm or leftover tropical wave that makes a pass by Japan and starts to jump to more northerly latitudes. Generally this sort of storm behavior has a tendency to really invigorate the storm track…basically pouring a bunch of extra energy into an already unstable area.

Now with the storm track more active it looks like it starts to erode the high-pressure changing weather for the West Coast and opening up the swell window a bunch. At this point I think that by next week, we are going see some new storm activity forming in the region…maybe enough to get some waves to Hawaii and at least the Pacific NW and maybe the rest of the West Coast as well. We will have to keep an eye on it.

East Pacific Tropics


Not much going on in the tropics right now. Looks like we aren't going to see any new tropical activity for the next few days.

South Pacific
The South Pacific has definitely become more active over the last few days…there has been a nice little, but well positioned, spinner of a storm that has been sitting just of the Coast of South America. This storm will be sending new S swell into all of the good S facing areas of the West Coast, basically from Point Conception on down. Look for this energy to move into Central America and Southern Mainland Mexico on the 8-9th, Baja Sur on the 10th, and Southern California on the 11-12th.  While not a Huge swell it does post up some overhead surf for Central AM/Mex…and more playful shoulder high surf for everywhere else.


Further out…there is a bunch more activity brewing over closer to New Zealand. This storm is set to form in about 2-3 days and it looks pretty good for a couple of reasons. First it is pretty strong…probably 40-knots with 30'+ seas when it peaks…and it also makes a good northerly movement, which means it lines up more fetch for our areas.


If that wasn't enough this is only the first storm…the forecast charts are showing a bunch more systems following close behind the first that get to capitalize on "flow" or sea-state set up by the first storm.

These following storms come through and should set up a bunch more swell that will be at least as big as the first one, and possibly a little bigger, due to the position of the storms, which are both positioned in a more southerly portion of the swell window and closer to all of our regions.


These swells I expect to start arriving around the 15th…with the peak of the first SSW-SW swell (200-220) hitting on the 16-18th. The following S-SW swells (180-210) would arrive on the tail of the first swell, keeping wave heights going through the 19-22nd…and that is just what is showing on the charts so far…there may be more lining up out past the end of the run…cross your fingers that this storm action can continue.

The Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Friday, September 10, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster