West Coast And Hawaii Surf Forecast

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The North Pacific is rocking again…man I love writing that…the storm activity that we had last week set up some fun waves over the weekend and the storm activity that we had lining up in the last “forecast” is coming together nicely, which basically means that there are a lot of new waves lining up for this week, particularly through the end of the week.

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That complex low that we had forming last Thursday is definitely spinning around North of Hawaii this afternoon and it is in the process of putting the finishing touches on a good-sized (lets just call it “large”) WNW swell for Hawaii, and a solid dose of energy for California and the West Coast as well.

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Right now the key parts of the storm’s fetch are showing steady 35-40 knot winds (with gusts hitting around 50-knots) that extend a couple thousand miles behind the main front and are spread out across an area about a thousand miles wide. Needless to say that this is a pretty broad storm, not the most intense, but still very large, which in some ways can make up for winds that aren’t as strong.

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The best part is that this is only one part of the storm…since it is a complex low, it has a bunch of embedded fronts that will cycle through the circulation of the bigger system, each setting up its own round of WNW swell. Basically this storm isn’t really rebuilding its intensity; it is just reloading and blasting away.

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Surfwise…because of its proximity to Hawaii the main push of swell will hit there with the most intensity and size (as well as an extremely raw sort of swell mix). The West Coast will get a not-as-large but more-organized shot of WNW energy that arrives a couple of days later. The directly exposed spots will be running well-overhead to ridiculously large, depending on your location.

Further out the charts show that this complex storm just keeps on spinning out swell…and a few of the forecast models make it look like we could see similar, or slightly smaller sizes, from these following fronts all the way up through the middle of the month. Basically we could have the surf kick into overdrive in a few days and not really slow down much for at least a week, possibly longer. Overhead waves for a week or more…hell yes sign me up!

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Here are the details for each of the regions…

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At this point the large WNW swell (290-330) will come up fast on Tuesday the 5th and peak overnight into on Wednesday Jan 6th…and then holding strong into the 7th. The swell will peak with nearly 15-17 deepwater swell so most North Shore breaks could easily hit the 15-20’ face range with some of the really big wave spots going 25-35’ faces at times. The extended range part of the forecast shows this energy dipping down a bit during the weekend but then coming back up fast during the following work week.

Northern California
Norcal will be a little smaller for the next couple of days (smaller being more a more normal head high to a couple of feet overhead verses what they had over the weekend). By Thursday the new, much larger WNW swell (270-300) will start to arrive building in fast throughout the day. Look for the swell to start to peak late Thursday, hold Friday, and then see overlapping reinforcements holding through the weekend and into early next week. This run of swell looks good for easy overhead to well overhead surf at the average/protected spots. The standout NW facing breaks will be seeing nearly 16-18 feet of deepwater energy, which means spots like Maverick’s could be pulling in some 20-30’ faces on some of the big bombs. It looks like the winds are going to cooperate too…so solid surf and good conditions…man that is just crazy-talk.

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Southern California

SoCal will see a small mix of WNW-NW swell showing for the first part of the week…nothing super exciting…but enough to keep the average spots in the knee-waist high+ range while the standout NW breaks see some chest-shoulder high sets. These waves will stick around through early Thursday…and then a bigger W-WNW swell (275-300) will start to arrive. This one will eventually peak on Friday and hold through the weekend, putting lots of the average W facing breaks into the chest-head high range and the top NW facing breaks into the consistent head high to a couple-feet-overhead range with some inconsistent bombers coming through on the best parts of the tide swings. Looks like Ventura, the South Bay, and San Diego will see the bigger waves (as they usually do on winter swells) but expect lots of breaks to be pulling in some fun waves. Weather looks great this week…some of that cold/chilly high-pressure weather that we get in the winter sometimes. Winds will be cleanest in the mornings (even light/moderate offshore) but the afternoons shouldn’t be too bad either. Again clean conditions and big WNW swell, crazy talk.forecast7Hope you guys get a few this week…stay safe and check back for the latest storm/swell nonsense later this week.

Cheers!

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster
www.socalsurf.com