West Coast And Hawaiian Islands Weekend Surf Forecast
The hits just keep on coming this spring…and now it looks like the North Pacific and the East Pacific Tropics are both getting jealous of all the Southern Hemi love we have been seeing over the last couple of weeks…so they will possibly be making it a ménage-three as we head into next week. Increasing swell activity isn't the only thing rolling through…a full on winter-type cold front is pushing through the Pacific NW dropping nearly a foot of new powpow at the higher winter resorts from Washington on down through Mammoth…looks like we might be able squeeze in a couple more snowboarding sessions before the resorts finally close (if they close—El Niño strikes again).
Like I mentioned in the intro…there is some new activity brewing up in the North Pacific and it is strong enough that I am starting to regret that I put the "closed for the season" tag on it a few weeks ago. This new storm that just moved over the West Coast on Thursday was strong and cold enough to generate some solid windswell, plenty of sloppy winds/conditions, and snow.
Further off the coast there is already another storm starting to slot into the Gulf of Alaska…you can actually see it on the GOES visible satellites this afternoon.
This storm is setting up some swell for all three of our main regions. In Hawaii the swell moves in out of the NNW (330-350) and will be good for head high to well overhead surf for most of the north shores. It isn't a full fledged NPAC swell, since the periods are on the short side, but it will be solid enough considering that it is almost summer.
The swell eventually tracks over to the Pacific NW and Northern/Central California and starts to push in new waves on June 1st and then holds through the end of the week. It will be a bit smaller than Hawaii…but still good for consistent head high to slightly overhead surf for most areas and some bigger sets at the standouts.
SoCal gets a bit of this swell…but mostly it is just a minor bump since most of the energy will be above the 300-degree swell window. Still it will be good for chest high surf at a few of the better NW exposed spots and possibly a few shoulder high sets at the standout NW spots.
In the long-range, there is yet another semi-strong NPAC storm that forms in about 6 days (again regretting the whole "closed" comments from before…stupid storms)…this one looks like mostly a West Coast storm since most of the intensification occurs as the storm moves into the Gulf of Alaska. It also shows a lot more energy around the mid-latitudes that, if it forms up like the charts are calling for, will allow a lot more swell into Southern Cal and hit the Northern/Central California coasts with a lot more juice that the swell that hits during the work week.
At this point it looks like new W-NW swell hitting Nor/Cen Cal on the 5-6th and SoCal on the 6-7th…but this swell may start to show earlier if the swell periods come out longer. Sizewise I expect the well-exposed areas to see head high to overhead surf with more playful chest-shoulder high+ stuff for spots South of Point Conception.
Not much change in the Southern Hemi since the last update…the SPAC continues to be very activity with multiple swells already in the water and more set up to form in the forecast models. Check out the peak swell periods that are showing on the wave model…
The latest developing system is pulling together around the 140W longitude mark…it is a very South-to-North oriented storm with 40-45 knots of wind blowing along a couple thousand miles of fetch. This storm is well positioned to send a raw, 10-15 foot, S swell to Tahiti and a smaller more organized S swell on up to Hawaii as well (hitting around the 31st of May).
The West Coast will see a slightly more SSW-SW version of this swell that hits with some initial energy around May-31 and June-1…but the meat of the energy hitting around June 2-3rd. This one looks good for shoulder-head high surf at the better than average S facing spots with some overhead sets at the standout breaks.
Further out the SPAC continues to be pretty fired up…while the storms aren't set in concrete yet it does look like we are going to see at least playful S-SW swell hitting all along the West Coast on down through Mainland Mex and Central America for at least the first week of June and probably all the way through to the middle of the month.
East Pacific Tropics
A big ass band of thunderstorms has formed down just off the coast of Central America that is showing some increasing signs of organization this afternoon. In fact you can see the lower level clouds starting to flow into the classic "spin" that you see with tropical storms.
Here’s that thunderstorm close up…
The NHC hasn't quite pulled the trigger on calling this a full tropical storm but to me it looks like it has probably reached the tropical depression level…I wouldn't be surprised to see TD-01e get dropped on this one in the next few hours. From the tone of the National Hurricane Forecast it sounds like they are getting ready to do just that. Check it out…
"THE BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE CENTERED A COUPLE OF HUNDRED MILES SOUTH OF THE GULF OF TEHUANTEPEC HAS REMAINED NEARLY STATIONARY.THIS SYSTEM CONTINUES TO SHOW SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR SOME GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT…AND A TROPICAL DEPRESSION COULD FORM DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THE SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO MOVE LITTLE OR DRIFT SLOWLY NORTHEASTWARD OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS…AND HAS THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE LOCALLY HEAVY RAINS…FLOODING…AND MUD SLIDES OVER PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AMERICA…ESPECIALLY OVER EL SALVADOR…SOUTHERN HONDURAS…AND COASTAL GUATEMALA. THERE IS A HIGH CHANCE…60 PERCENT…OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS."
You might want to keep in mind the heavy flooding that may occur in the travel areas even if it doesn't reach full "storm" strength.
That is it for now…check back on Tuesday for the weekend update!
TransWorld SURF Forecaster