West Coast And Hawaii Weekend Surf Forecast

Summer surf is on the rise for pretty much everywhere…really, I am not kidding. There is some sort of solid swell heading everywhere—Central America and on up through the Pacific NW will see plenty of waves and over on Hawaii they are going to get a solid shot of S swell as we head into the weekend. The Pacific Ocean is spreading the swell generation around to a bunch of different areas…which means that we are seeing almost every kind of swell that it can dish out. There is short-period NW swell from the North Pacific, long-period S and SW swells from the Southern Hemi, and even a crap-load of tropical swell thanks to our newly intensified Category-5 Hurricane Celia…about the only thing missing is a long-period NW swell (I am sure one will brew up right as I post this forecast).

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North Pacific

The North Pacific is still fairly quiet in terms of long-period swell production…but it seems to be making up for it in other ways. The overall pattern is still being dominated by the NE Pacific High pressure…this ridge is posting up across the mid-upper latitudes and is continues to shunt any storm activity moving toward the West Coast or Hawaii on up into the northerly part of the Gulf of Alaska where it gets to send swell to bears, moose, and lumberjacks.

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The one thing that is sort of different is that one of those passing low-pressures manages to slide down the backside of the high-pressure enough to erode part of the ridge. This erosion is actually passing on down some more favorable conditions for our tropical region by weakening the shear-line that would have ripped up some of our tropical activity before it had a chance to reach hurricane strength.

The Pacific NW is really the only region that will see much energy directly from the North Pacific storm track…and since most of the storm activity is occurring far to the north, courtesy of our high-pressure, they will only get a shot at kicking out short/medium period windswell for the well exposed NW facing spots (basically breaks that can pull in swells over 300-degrees. Look for this lumpy, usually windy, swell mix to push in over the weekend and then get another reinforcement as we head into next weekend. It won’t be all that big…right around head high for most spots and some overhead waves for the standouts…but it will keep some semi-rideable surf showing at spots that are usually shut down after the winter winds down.

East Pacific Tropics

The tropics continue to kick some ass…we now have two hurricanes…Hurricane Darby, who is a Category-1 storm that formed over by Southern Mainland Mexico and is going to sort of spin in place for the next few days. And we also have Hurricane Celia…oh man do we have her. Celia is a seriously bad-news storm…she has just reached Category-5 and has sustained winds in the 140-knot range (160 mph) with gusts hitting 170-knots (200+ miles per hour).

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Check out Celia on the GOES Floater Satellite that is tasked to follow her…

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Hurricane Celia is squarely in the swell window for Southern California, Baja Mexico, and if it continues to track to the WNW she will likely move into the extreme S-swell window of Central California.

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Based on Celia’s track and intensity…she is going to kick out a pretty significant swell. Because a lot of Celia’s intensification occurred a little later in her “lifespan” when she had moved away from Mainland Mexico and even Cabo/the East Cape, the main lump of her swell will be heading at sort of funky angle across and away from Baja Sur…fortunately this hurricane is so big, and so intense, that even a glancing shot of swell from her, while she is only a few hundred miles away…will end up being a solid wave-maker. Being conservative…the S facing spots of Baja Sur along the Pacific Side will see consistent well-overhead surf with sets going double-overhead and possibly bigger. These waves will be hitting over this weekend, likely backing down as we move into early next week.

As the swell tracks further north it loses a bit of size…but will still be pretty healthy. Southern California can expect the smaller, forerunner portion of this swell to arrive on Saturday and Sunday…with the meat of the S-SE swell to hit Sunday night into Monday and Tuesday. Surfwise it looks good for consistent shoulder-head high+ surf for most of the S-SE exposed spots and sets going overhead to well overhead at the top SSE-SE standouts. How consistent and how long (timewise) that this swell peaks will depend on how Celia behaves over the next day or so…but current forecasts look like she is going to hold Cat-5 strength for about 18-24 hours, which means the swell should stick around for a few days.


The South Pacific

The South Pacific storm track has been nice and actively lately…we had some solid storm action last week that kicked up S swell for Hawaii that will be peaking over the weekend and a decent SSW-SW swell that will hit the West Coast with some forerunners on Friday/Saturday…and then fill in more on Sunday, peaking on Monday-Tuesday (which is about the same time as the Hurricane Celia swell for Southern California).

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Sizewise Hawaii looks pretty good…the storm aimed some fetch with 40-55 knot winds in its direction for a couple of days, which will end up being a solid head high to overhead at the well exposed spots.

The West Coast (from Northern Cal on down through Socal) will see the first pulse push waves into the shoulder high range at the better spots…maybe a touch bigger at the standouts. The second shot of swell will be more in the shoulder-head high range at the better SW breaks while the standouts see some inconsistent head high sets. Waves might be a bit inconsistent at first but as the swell shifts more southerly later in the weekend and it will fill in a bit more.

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Further out we have another sizeable storm brewing up between Tahiti and Chile, but at some pretty high-latitudes. The storm looks a little zonal, but trailing elements will have some decent fetch set up for Central America, Mainland Mexico, and Southern California to a lesser degree. If this storm pulls together…the exposed regions will see another swell moving in around July 3-5th.

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That is it for now…good luck hunting down Celia swell and the new Southern Hemi…hopefully you will be out scoring rather than reading my Tuesday update (you can read it at night).

Adam Wright
Forecaster
socalsurf.com