Man this is almost like forecaster vacation time. The Northern Hemi summer is pretty slow compared to the winter, the SPAC storm track is soooo far away that I can sit back and wait for the storms to form, get the full satellite treatment, over-analyze all of the data and still have 7-10 days before the surf actually gets to the West Coast (or even Hawaii). Granted it does get a little tricky when, like this spring, we had multiple swells on the way, some already formed and in the water, while others were just wisps of numbers stacking up in the computer weather models, but even then you have some time to get sorted out.For worldwide surf forecasts and reports head to magicseaweed.com.
The real reason I get to kick-back isn’t really a “good” reason from a swell perspective…it is because the NPAC is pretty much shutting down for good (this time) for the summer, and the tropical regions are quiet—chirping crickets quiet.
Fortunately for a few of our regions, like Southern California for example, there was enough gas in the tank of the North and South Pacific that they managed to scrape together a one-two combo of healthy NW windswell and some decent sized S-SW swell that will keep the surf rolling for the weekend and most of next week.
The bigger gap in storm production for the South Pacific storm track is still there, but it isn’t quite as menacing as it was earlier this week. And besides, this gap is only going to really affect California and Hawaii. The South Pacific Islands, Mainland Mexico, and Central America will all continue to see some playful to healthy sized surf for the next weekend, with a couple of bigger shots of southern hemi energy hitting next week.
So the next few days the North Pacific is still mostly just cranking out windswell. Hawaii is seeing mostly trade windswell and the West Coast sees mostly smaller NW energy (290+) that hits hardest along the Pacific NW and down through Central California, which all pretty much have the same W-NW facing bits of Coastline. Socal gets a bit of more energetic NW windswell swooping around the corner of Point Conception but that will be much smaller than any other region.
We do have one funky little storm tracking across the mid-latitudes that is moving into Northern California and Oregon here on Thursday. The storm itself is going to move a bit too fast to do much more than produce short-period swell. It did, however, slow down right as it hit the coastal mountains on Thursday, which has let it crank up a bumpy mess of local windswell, setting up nearly double overhead sizes, but with swell-periods in the 8-10 second range, which doesn’t do much for shape. The exposed spots north of Point Conception will likely be very blown out, but there may be a few of those springtime locations that can pull in a bit of NW energy without the wind, so there is always a chance for the desperate. The meat of the swell arrives starting Thursday night and holds through Friday before slowly backing down on Saturday.
SoCal will get a smaller version of this NW swell—it will come in as WNW-NW windswell that will have a more westerly angle than many of the swells we normally see this time of year, which means more spots will be able to pull some in. There will also be some S winds and overcast drizzly skies, called “June Gloom” or the Coastal Eddy which will hamper conditions but at the same time push in some warmer water temps.
The NPAC finally starts to shut down as we head into next week—a very strong 1040mb high-pressure is setting up to lockdown the NE Pacific, centering over the Gulf of Alaska and basically stretching all they down to the equator and off over to Japan. About the only way this could get worse would be if another similar high-pressure sets up around Kamchatka and we get dreaded double-barrel high (sounds like it should be a bong). Anyway, once this high sets up, it is going to be game-over for swell production until it erodes enough to let a storm through, which at this point doesn’t look like it is going to happen any time soon.
The South Pacific is still active, but like I mentioned last forecast the last few days of activity have been a lot more West-to-East in the storm track, sticking mostly to the high-latitudes as they squeeze past a strong high-pressure that is holding over the mid-latitudes.
Fortunately before this pattern truly developed we already had a couple of swells heading down the barrel. So the West Coast, down through Baja, Mainland Mex and Central America will get a few overlapping S-SW swells that hit throughout this week and the upcoming weekend, finally slowing down for the West Coast right around the middle of the month.
One thing worth noting about this “gap” in the storms is it will primarily affect the West Coast, not Central America. The positioning of the high-pressure has left enough of a window between itself and Chile that storms still have some room to move around and there is some pretty decent action forming up in that region.
So while the rest of the regions see a dip in swell activity the tropical regions, mostly in Southern Mainland Mexico and Central America will actually see another round of S swell (180-190) that pushes in with some well-overhead surf, arriving around the 13-14th and holding strong through the 15-16th before seeing any real drop in size.
For the West Coast…we can expect a series of overlapping S-SW swells, all around the waist-shoulder high range for the average exposed spots and a few head high+ sets for the standout breaks. These will push in on the 9th and then again on the 9-10th, again on the 13-15th, and possibly one more little one on the 19th. These will eventually back off around the middle/end of the month.
Long-range charts are actually not looking that bad. There is a lot of activity starting to show around the end of the forecast run that will develop around New Zealand. The charts are showing some increased wave heights there that are supposed to spill on over into the South Pacific proper. If this lives up to the current run the West Coast and Hawaii could be back in the S-SW swell business by the last 3rd of June.
East Pacific Tropics
The tropics continue to be pretty quiet right now…looks like we won’t see any new storm activity for the next couple of days.
That is it for now…check back on Tuesday for the next forecast update.