West Coast Weekend Surf Forecast

The weekend’s surf is looking a bit like a split-decision…with funky/sloppy surf on tap for most of the west coast on Saturday and cleaning up, but fading, surf on tap for Sunday.

We have a lovely cold front that is starting to push down the West Coast on Friday, eventually heading into Socal by Friday evening. This front is followed by some steady NW winds that will push down the coast whipping up local WNW-NW windswell for most of the exposed spots as we head into the weekend.

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The angle on the windswell for spots North of Point Conception is going to be pretty steep out of the NW (310-330) so any spots that will be able to pick it up will likely get the onshore nastiness from the winds as well. Don’t expect a lot of this type of swell to wrap into the more protected spots…those areas, like most of Santa Cruz, will be pretty small, which sucks since they will have semi-clean conditions.

Socal will get a slightly different version of this windswell…thanks mostly to how the winds swirl around Point Conception and into the Southern California Bight. The swell will be a bit more WNW in swell direction, which means more spots will be exposed to the energy. Unfortunately onshore winds will be coming along for the ride at least for Saturday…so even though we get a little bump in size conditions are likely to be pretty ugly too.

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Saturday's wind pattern...

By Sunday conditions across the West Coast will improve as high-pressure fills in behind the departing cold front and pushes our local winds offshore.

Sunday's wind...offshore in the AM!

Sunday's wind...offshore in the AM!

Sunday morning will probably be our best bet surfwise…hopefully we will still have enough lingering local windswell showing in the AM to take advantage of the offshore flow. Don’t expect great surf…just better than what we had seen during the rest of the weekend.

Long-range is looking better than a few days ago…the latest run of charts is showing the NPAC storm track getting back into gear over the next few days and could potentially set up a bigger WNW-NW swell for later next week (Nov 19-20). We may see bad weather with this one…but its development is still several days from now…so hopefully we will see things change around as we get closer.

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Next week looks better...

Next week looks better...

The South Pacific is still looking pretty dull…not much heading our way from that ocean…just a few small SW pulses that filter into the better exposed areas over the weekend and through next week. At this point it looks like mostly knee-waist high type sizes but there may be a few more chest high sets showing on Monday-Wednesday of next week.

Small kine South swell action...we won't see much from it though.

Small kine South swell action...we won't see much from it though.

Northern and Central California
Steep NW windswell will be on tap for most of the weekend along with some very background SW energy (210-220). Most spots will be in the waist-head high range off the windswell mix, while a few of the more NNW exposed beach breaks along the North and Central coasts see some overhead sizes. Shape looks bad for Saturday but will improve Sunday and Monday as high pressure pushes winds offshore (at least for the mornings). Further out it looks like a much stronger, and possibly stormy, WNW swell will move in around Thursday Nov 19th and hold into the following weekend.

Southern California
Building WNW-NW windswell will filter through SoCal on Saturday but conditions will be pretty blah as winds push onshore as well. Look for the windswell to drop and conditions to improve on Sunday as winds go more offshore…by then we can expect a lot of knee-chest high sized surf at the average NW facing spots and some shoulder high sets at the best San Diego standouts. Look for these sizes to drop off fast after the morning and continue to fade out into Monday. SW facing spots will get a little boost on Friday/Saturday but it will be lost in the crappy conditions. More, inconsistent, waist high+ SW swell moves in on Monday and holds through the middle of next week.

Further out it looks like SoCal may see more WNW-NW swell lining up for late next week as storm activity in the North Pacific picks up…watch for an increase in size starting late on Thursday Nov 19th and then the peak of the swell hitting Friday and Saturday, Nov 20-21st. This one is still a few days from forming so check back next week for details.

By Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster
www.socalsurf.com