West Coast And Hawaii Weekly Surf Forecast

The South Pacific is starting to crank again and there is a juicy-red meatball of a storm starting to brew up in a wide open portion of the Southern Ocean, which is going to let it send a good-sized S-SW swell to most of the West Coast and all over Central America and Mexico. If that wasn’t enough the East Pacific Tropics are starting to rumble a little as well—there is an outside chance of a new tropical storm forming later this week. It is nice to see the swell floodgates starting to bulge a bit, and what is even better is the long-range weather charts are showing a chance at some better weather for the West Coast as these new waves arrive, (which was one of the things missing from the last big Southern Hemi swell).

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North Pacific
There is one little shot of NW swell hitting the West Coast, mostly the Pacific NW down through Central California, here on Tuesday—this will send in a few waves to the better NW facing spots through early Wednesday and then it will fade out.

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Southern California will see an itty-bitty slice of NW swell from this system but for the most part it is going to get lost in the chop from the latest round of onshore winds that will be pushing through during the next few days.

Other than this small swell, the North Pacific will be its usual summer snoozefest than we know and barely tolerate. Expect a mix of trade swell for Hawaii and some on and off WNW-NW windswell.

East Pacific Tropics
The EPAC tropics are starting to get a little more active, coming back slowly after having the combo of Major Hurricane Celia and Hurricane Darby tear the region a new one. The current tropical storm outlook is showing a couple of areas of disturbed weather…one out to sea between Socal and Hawaii and the other right up next to the coast of Southern Mainland Mexico and Central America.

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As you can see on the NHC image the nugget of thunderstorms near Southern Mex is starting to become more organized. The probability of it becoming a tropical storm in the next 48 hours is still fairly low—around 30%—but the GFS, NOGAPS, and the WavewatchIII models are all showing this becoming at least a named tropical storm, if not a hurricane, later this week. Keep an eye on this region, I think we will see the activity increase as we get closer to the weekend.

The South Pacific
Like I mentioned at the beginning of the forecast…the SPAC is starting to slam out a couple of intense, and well positioned storms that will be sending all kinds of healthy swell up into the West Coast as well as hefty shot of surf into the directly exposed regions of Mainland Mexico and Central America.

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The first system is actually forming right now: there is a big-ass cold-front that is moving off of Antarctica that is combining with some warmer tropical air-mass from a tropical cell over by New Zealand (basically this is the system that I have been talking about in the last few forecasts). This storm is already showing some 45-50 knot wind speeds and it looks like it might have a little more strengthening to do before it starts to break up.

What is even more interesting, in a weather-nerd sort of way, is the second storm forming right behind this first system. This storm is forecast to follow in the wake of the stronger one, and while it isn’t a huge system, it gets to capitalize on all of the energy that the first one has already pushed northward. Basically this is like drafting in NASCAR (rednecks unite!)…it basically gets to use less energy to generate the same amount of swell, and in this case the second system is better positioned and it takes a more south-to-north path, which will help it push more surf up over the equator.

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Swellwise we will have to wait a few days before this new energy starts to arrive. The West Coast will be looking at a mix of small S and SW swells that overlap as they arrive throughout the week. The combination of the Southern Hemi swell, the weak NW energy, and the WNW-NW windswell will help to keep the standout spots of Southern California in the chest-shoulder high range…while the Northern and Central California see some overhead surf (from the NW not the chest high+ S-SW swells).

Central America and Southern Mainland Mexico will continue to be the biggest over the next week, the last few storms have been better positioned for those areas and they can expect consistent head high surf with sets going several feet overhead at the standout breaks and probably some bigger sets as a better shot of S-SSW swell hits on the 15-16th.

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The new round of S-SW swell (180-215) will start to push into Southern Mainland Mexico and Central America on Sunday (July 18) and will peak Monday-Tuesday (July 19-20). For these regions I am expecting consistent well-overhead surf for most of the exposed areas and double-overhead+ sets for the standouts, with the possibility of even bigger surf hitting the deepwater spots like Puerto Escondido.

Southern California will see this swell pushing in some new long-period energy on Monday (July 19) that will drive the surf up fast as we move throughout the day, but the peak of the energy won’t hit until Tuesday-Wednesday (July 20-21). Sizewise the average S-SW facing spots will see some consistent chest-head high surf while the standout breaks see some sets going a couple of feet overhead as this swell peaks. A few of the really exposed focal breaks will have some bigger waves mixing in as well. Expect this swell to stick around for a couple of days…so we will see at minimum playful+ size surf through the 23rd…right in time for the next round of chest-head high+ S swell coming from the second system.

Further out…there is a bit of a gap in the storm production after this next round of swells but I don’t think this one will last long though. There is another shot of meatballs pushing underneath Australia that will probably be in firing position by the middle of next week. Ah good times.

Check back on Friday for more details on the this incoming round of Southern Hemi swells and the possible chance of new tropical activity.

Adam Wright
Forecaster
socalsurf.com