West Coast Weekend SURF Forecast

I am not sure if you guys still remember last winter (I know that I have trouble remembering what I was doing 10 minutes ago)…but it sucked. It was right up there in the "really sucked" range right next to "that winter blows". Fortunately this winter is doing its best to erase all of the bitterness that was spawned last season…and lucky for us this trend is going to keep right on rolling through the end of December.

I was diligently scanning through the forecast charts (ok I was playing Super Mario Wii) and there is still plenty of activity pulsing through the North Pacific…and we are even starting to see a few little storms brew up down in the SPAC too.

Over the next few days we are going to see a decent shot of W-WNW swell hit the West Coast right in tune with a round of clean conditions that will stretch across most of California. The W-WNW swell will hit much harder across the Northern and Central California coasts (like they almost always do)…but Socal is going to get its fair share of fun waves as we move into the weekend. Check out the wave models for Saturday…


picture-23Further out on the charts I am seeing a string of storms moving through both the Western and Eastern North Pacific, none of which look particularly intense but they do a great job stacking up swells that will overlap each other over the next 7-8 days…and possibly even longer.

picture-35At this point it looks like another decent shot of WNW swell (280-300) will move in on Monday and hold through the middle of the week. This will be followed by another round of WNW energy that hits on Wednesday just as the earlier swell starts to back off. The extreme long-range charts are showing even more storm/swell forming out the back that has the potential to put another round of W-WNW energy hitting the West Coast on Christmas, which if it lives up to forecasts would stick around for a couple of days afterward (so you can test out the new board you got!).

So like I said, nothing super massive showing in the long-range charts (yet), but we will have a steady string of playful-sized WNW energy that will keep us surfing for a while, which in my opinion is at least as good or better than a bigger "one-hit-wonder" swell would be.

Here are the details for each of the regions…

Northern California
WNW swell, that peaked on Thursday, will be backing down but never really fading away as we head into the weekend. On Friday look for consistent shoulder-overhead sizes at most of the WNW-facing breaks and sets going a few feet overhead as we move through the morning. These sizes will trail off slightly as we move into Saturday and the W-WNW swell (275-300) continues to back down. Expect more chest-head high surf at the "average" exposed spots while the top breaks, mostly the more northerly beach breaks, continue to see head high and overhead+ sets sneaking in on the lower tides. Sunday looks pretty similar to Saturday but the local winds will shift a bit more NE throughout the region which means that conditions could clean up for quite a few areas. Look for another round of well-overhead WNW swell to start to arrive late Sunday night and then peak (with some potential for bad weather) on Monday of next week.

Southern California
The WNW swell (275-300) that moved in on Thursday will be on the way down on Friday and will continue to trail off, but never really fade completely out, as we head into the weekend. Friday most spots will continue to see chest-high surf with some shoulder high sets. Standout NW facing breaks will have some head high+ sets through the morning but may get a bit swamped out thanks to a morning high tide. By Saturday and Sunday our surf sizes will back down into the waist-chest high range for the average spots and chest-shoulder high waves at the standout breaks. Clean conditions will continue through early Sunday (even blowing light/moderate offshore in the mornings) but we may see cooler temps, some increasing clouds, and the potential for some more rain as we head into early next week. Long-range-wise we can expect more WNW swell (285-300) moving in throughout the day on Monday, hopefully the weather will break more in our favor as the next round of surf hits.

Adam Wright