West Coast Weekly Surf Forecast

Apparently this year when the North Pacific gets going…it really gets going.

For detailed worldwide surf forecasts and reports go to magicseaweed.com.

We already had a decent shot of WNW-NW swell that hit and peaked on Thursday (Nov 19)…maybe not the biggest or best swell for Southern California …but definitely better than what we saw earlier in the week. For SoCal this pulse of new swell will fade slightly into Friday…holding playful chest-shoulder high+ waves at the better NW facing spots. NorCal was quite a bit bigger but had some funky winds at times as the swell peaked. Look for that region to hold on to its size (actually pulling in a reinforcement of swell) on Friday but continue to see southerly winds and some rain as another cold front moves through.

This weekend we can expect another round of WNW swell for NorCal and more WNW-NW swell for Southern Cal…along with some shady weather for both regions on Saturday (thanks to that passing cold front).



In the forecast…when I mentioned that the North Pacific has its poop together…I wasn't really kidding. Right now on the charts I am seeing a whole string of low-pressures pushing across the NPAC…right in the mid-upper latitudes, which puts them into the California swell window (Mostly aimed at NorCal…but with enough that SoCal will see plenty of waves as well).

Like I said…the next round of WNW-NW swell will hit this weekend…peaking Saturday and Sunday and then fading slowly as we hit early Monday.

The next round of swell will start to push into Northern California late on Monday and Socal throughout the day on Tuesday, November 24th. It won't be quite as intense as the swell mix that hits over the weekend but it will have longer-periods and much cleaner local conditions as high-pressure builds across the state.

Even further out there is this bad-ass of a storm brewing over by Japan and Kamchatka…


Here it is close up, where you can see the wind barbs from the QuikSCAT satellite…(uh don't mind the boat).


Of course this part of the storm is only really in the Northern and Central California swell window at this time…but all this intensity is still a good sign since the same system is forecast to move across the Pacific and push a little lower in latitude as it gets more tropical moisture from warm/wet air pocket just to the north of Hawaii. The storm eventually ends up looking something like this on the forecast charts…


And producing swell that looks like this…

picture-18…which if you couldn't tell, will hit on Thanksgiving, Nov 26th.

If all goes well in this storm's development we will be looking at another very large W-WNW swell for Northern and Central California…and a decent-size, maybe even well-overhead, WNW swell (270-290) for Southern California heading in on Thanksgiving…likely peaking Thursday afternoon and into Friday. Before we get too fired up remember that we still have about 4-5 days before the system forms and a lot can happen between now and then…fortunately it has been a consistent feature on the charts, so the odds are looking to be in our favor.

More storms are on the charts even further out the back (around the 6-7 forecast mark) but they are so far out that you can't put a lot of credibility into them…still if we get lucky we might have a nice run of swell that holds us all the way through to December.

Just to break down the regions a little better…

Northern and Central California
Expect more well-overhead to double overhead+ WNW swell (280-320) pushing through on Friday and Saturday before fading slowly Sunday. More wind/rain comes through with it both days…sort of out of the south on Friday and then NW winds on Saturday, but even with the extra bump you should be able to find some clean spots. Monday will start off on the slower side as it holds head high+ surf for most of the exposed spots…but then by the afternoon a new long-period WNW swell (280-300) will start to arrive and push the well exposed spots back into the overhead to well overhead range by the end of the day, with the swell likely peaking overnight into Tuesday.

Southern California
Look for fading WNW-NW swell and mostly clean conditions on Friday. Lots of spots hold in the waist-chest high range with some shoulder-head highs sets at the standout NW facing spots. A new mix of WNW-NW energy, both windswell and medium-period energy, (280-300) moves in through the day on Saturday and eventually peaks on Sunday morning. This one looks good for more chest-shoulder high+ surf at the average spots and head-high/overhead surf at the standouts. Conditions will be a little shaky Saturday as the remnants of Friday's cold front pushes through spinning up NW winds and maybe a bit of eddy. Sunday looks much cleaner with variable to offshore winds through the morning.

The swell mix fades a bit as we head into Monday, but the new NW swell (290-300) moves in on Tuesday, props our waves heights back up through midweek, just in time for the giant Turkey and WNW swell to arrive for Thanksgiving and holding into the following weekend. Good times.

That is all I got for now…check back next week for the latest updates on the upcoming swells.

By Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster