Friday, August 31, 2012

End of Summer

You made it through another summer in Nor Cal.  Tomorrow marks the opening of the 2012-2013 Fall/Winter Surf season.  We will have surf this weekend as well.  Here's how it breaks down this morning:

First - swell from Hurricane Illena is showing - 1-2 ft at 11-12 seconds from 165-175.  Probably not very noticeable.  North windswell is 5-7 ft at 7-8 seconds.  The bigger inbound swell, this south swell that everyone has hyped all week - is just showing in So Cal.  I've seen some readings at 3-4 ft at 20-22 seconds (deepwater).  This is a good sign, and just the earlier beginnings of this event.  Don't think we'll see anything up here until very late today or tonight.  By tomorrow, swell should be filling in nicely along the coast.  Should stick around through Monday.  Fog has really plowed inland today and will stick around through tomorrow.  Warmer temps expected on Sunday and Monday, inland mainly.  Winds are light onshore and will probably stay that way through the period.  This is good however, because the inbound swell train will not encounter huge northwest winds down the coast which will help maintain some size.   Out in the North Pacific, watching a couple systems taking shape under the Aleutians, but as of today, no wind fetch really associated with either headed our way.  If you know where to look this weekend you will probably find some fun waves.  Cya in the water. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Updated Forecast

Winds have calmed down a bit this morning after yesterday afternoon's complete blow out.  Windswell in the water, the 8 second variety.  Sun is out, not too much fog.  Watching a couple features today. First, what hopes to be a decent size south swell event for us this weekend is in the water and moving north.  Expect swell arrival on Friday with long period (19-20 sec) forerunners increasing later in the day.  Swell should peak on Saturday, period drops to 18 sec and size should fill in.  Period will drop to 15-16 sec on Sunday.  At the same time, we might have some background south swell from Tropical Storm Ileana which is moving north under Cabo San Lucas.  This swell will be lost under the larger south.  By Thursday and into Friday, windswell will increase to 4-6 ft, this, along with the continued northwest winds in the outer waters could certainly impact the incoming southerly swell trains and degrade size.  Just have to see when the swell enters our waters.  The northwest winds are suppose to drop some by Saturday (5-15kts) - so that might help.  Typhoon Bolaven, off North Korea is forecast to re curve off the North Pacific late in the week over the weekend, might bring some minimal swell for the Pacific Northwest early next week.  That is if it all behaves as forecast.  I do not think we'll see much swell from this storm.  Cya in the water.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Last Days of August

Small pulse of Gulf Swell is hitting this am - deepwater around 2ft at 10-12 sec from 325.  This will stick around until Wednesday.  This swell has come in a bit smaller than forecast, due to the trajectory of the Gulf Storm over the weekend.  Just didn't get much of a wind field aimed at the Nor Cal coast.  It's fairly clean this AM - just small.  We look for increasing NW winds during the week, which will kick up the windswell again.  Could see somewhat lighter winds for the upcoming holiday weekend.  Main story for the upcoming week is the track of a decent size south swell, in the water and headed our way.  Should see long period forerunners on Friday and this swell will last all weekend.  Other forecast sites have been hyping this swell for over a week now, i'm not ready to jump on the bandwagon just yet.  It does look decent for 3-4 ft deep water swell heights with very long periods.  How big it gets for us depends on how much northwest wind knocks the size out as it marches up our Coast.  NW winds are suppose to lighten up a bit on Friday, so that's a great sign.  I'll update more on this swell and wind as the week goes.  Otherwise, not tracking anything else significant at this point in the North Pacific.  There is another low pressure system moving inland to our northwest tomorrow, but it won't be strong enough to get into the Great Basin and reverse the wind flow.  Cya in the water.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Weekend Forecast - Gulf Low

Upper level low (top of picture) is dropping south this morning out of the Gulf of Alaska.  Winds with this system just starting to ramp up.  Swell from this system will probably start Monday (perhaps late Sunday) and stick around until next Wednesday.  Probably looking for 2-4 ft deepwater swell from 310-330 - so pretty steep angle of approach.  Mid periods.  But it's a nice sign.  Also watching a couple of Typhoons in the far West Pacific.  This is also an indication that things are starting to change as the calendar heads towards September.  Better news perhaps is the end it appears of La Nina and a return to a neutral or mild El Nino this coming Fall/Winter which could help fuel more storms and more swells to grace our coast. Now if we can just get some systems diving into the Great Basin to give us north to northeast flow at the surface we can scour out this fog and get down to some long overdue business.  You feel me?  Until then, the weekend wind forecast looks light for the mornings with south to west winds so the AM sessions might be the best call to take advantage of lighter flow.  Cya in the water.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wind swell, small Gulf swell early next week?

NW Windswell on the rise tonight and for the next couple days.  Should be good for head to slighty overhead surf at north facing breaks at it's peak.  Winds are still onshore, the fog is still in and conditions are reserved for the most desperate.  I am watching a weak weather system just dropping out of the Bering Sea tonight (i'm really reaching here, can you tell?)  Anyway, if this little sucker pulls it together we could see a small mid period north swell come in next Mon/Tues.  That's still a long way off - but it's something to watch.  More on that by Friday.  Cya in the water. ***ALSO - added a new link to the Forecast at right - it's the Goes NOAA High Density Winds page.  This is a good look at the upper level winds with storm/storm fronts.  Colored arrows indicate strength (number of barbs on each line) and direction. Good tool to keep an eye on when storms start to head our way this fall. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Good Week To Get Things Done.....

Pretty small surf on tap most of the week with NW winds on and off.  Might see a slight increase in NW windswell by around Wednesday.  A few small lows are forecast in the Gulf of Alaska, but right now doesn't look like either will push swell our way.  Will monitor just in case.  Hang in there and cya in the water.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hit and miss south

Ventured up to a spot today I thought would harness some of this south.  No luck.   A couple pulses showed promise, but otherwise, whole lot of effort for little return.  It's a sneaky, elusive south swell, and like I said before, missing most of the Nor Cal Coast from the looks of it.  Winds are up some, but actually not horrible for the time of day.  I'd say check it early on Sunday, keep an eye on the winds, maybe some left over windswell dribble at a north facing break.  It's all we have for the next few days.  I am watching another weather system in the Gulf of Alaska this afternoon as it is dropping south, but feel the wind field and the trajectory will not be much of a swell maker for us.  More on that in the next day.  cya in the water.

Friday, August 17, 2012

South Swell and NW Winds for the Weekend

Extreme angled south swell showing this morning with long period energy - 2.4 at 20 from 165 degrees.  It will miss most of the N Coast with that approach.  But some spots may pull in the energy.  If you know where to look, you'll find some waves. Windswell in the water  all weekend.  NW winds are picking up and should blow pretty steady from AM to PM especially at exposed breaks.  Very slight chance of rain tonight into Saturday, as monsoon moisture is being advected up from Mexico (remnants of TS Hector).  South will fill in all weekend - should peak at 3ft (deep water) with long periods 17-19 seconds.  Cya in the water.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

3.2 at 11 sec from 290

Small pulse of Gulf swell has arrived this am - not much 3-4 ft at 11 seconds - but given the way things have been around here - it's something to talk about.  Winds are still an issue, but only blowing lightly onshore, fog is in.  Still, you might find a spot to get wet.  Get it while you can.  Not much else to speak of until late this week when a pretty steep angled south swell arrives.  More on that by Friday.  cya in the water.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gulf Swell still on track

Storm under the Aleutians will send down a pulse of WNW swell (285-300) for Wednesday/Thursday this coming week.  Probably good for chest/head high sets at best exposures.  SSW swell will continue all week then be joined late in the week by a S-SE swell (165-180) around Aug 18-22.  Because of the angle of approach, this swell will miss a lot of spots in Nor Cal, but breaks that can harness the angle might see some chest high sets.  Tropical Storm Hector is 320 miles south of Baja, but looks to move due West and weaken as we start the week.  If we see any swell from Hector it will probably be lost in the mix of SSW-S-SE swells for the week.  We could see lighter AM winds Tuesday thru Thursday - so check the wind links for early morning sessions to see if it's a go.  No other swell maker in the North Pacific behind the current storm.  No extra tropical systems either re curving off Japan.  Keeping an eye on everything now for stronger signs of Fall.  A few more weeks....cya in the water.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Signs of life in the North Pacific

Forecast models show a storm developing in the Gulf of Alaska over the upcoming weekend.  If the storm forms as forecast, we could see our first mid period WNW swell (285-300) around the 15th/16th of August.  We also have a nice run of SSW swell (180-205) starting on Friday and that will last through Monday.  Could see shoulder to head high sets on occasion at breaks that harness that southern hemi energy.  Winds are still an issue from the northwest, with high pressure surrounding the entire region.  But there are spots that will be clean.  Cya in the water. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Northwest Wind Machine Ramps Up

WNW winds are starting to blow as high pressure builds over California and to the west and northwest.  Expect winds most of the week - perhaps slowing down a bit by Friday.  Windswell will be the rule for the days ahead and we have an extreme angled SSE swell filling in today (right now 2ft at 20 sec).  This SSE will only show at breaks that can handle the angle of approach (155-170 deg).  SW background swell to continue too.  Need to find protection from the winds this week if you want to get waves.  cya in the water.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Weekend Forecast

Mix of fun size southwest swell and north windswell for Saturday and Sunday.  Combo beach breaks will probably be best.  Winds are looking a bit lighter than what we've had - but mornings will still be the best call as the winds will increase during the day.  Do some searching around and you'll probably find something to ride.  Cya in the water.