Thursday, December 31, 2015

Updated Forecast/Happy New Year

Clean conditions with east winds forecast to continue for New Years Day.  Deep water swell 5-7ft at 15 seconds, increasing on Saturday night to 6-8 at 17 seconds.  Swell will continue to increase through the weekend along with high pressure breaking down and the storm door opening up for the first week of 2016.  Winds will switch southeast to south Sunday and last through next Tuesday.  Get on it the next two days - past that it will be stormy, windy and hit and miss.  Cya in the water.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas/Updated Forecast

Merry Christmas to all that follow this blog.  Swell is running 11-12 ft at 305 this morning, size should trend down over the weekend (along with light winds Saturday morning).   I think tomorrow will be one of the "smaller" days we've had in a while - with deepwater heights in the 8-10ft range.  Swell will go smaller on Sunday but by then our next storm system will be knocking on the door with southwest winds ramping up through the day.  After that system passes we may have a few days of high pressure next week allowing for winds to remain light for morning sessions.  Swell will slowly creep back up Monday and into Tuesday - 11-14ft deepwater again by Tuesday.  Cya in the water.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Updated Forecast/12-19

Frontal passage early this morning with widespread rain throughout the region.  Northwest winds are already blowing early as the next large NW swell begins to roll in.  Already showing 12 ft at 14 seconds far north - will be in later today and hang around through tomorrow.  Swell peaks tomorrow at 10-15 feet.  SW winds tomorrow as another system comes ashore with rain in the afternoon.  Winds go NW again on Monday behind that passing front - swell remains 9-12 ft at 14 seconds.  NW winds will blow through Wednesday as we remain in a low pressure influenced environment - enhanced by El Nino - with storms lined up across the Pacific and dropping north to south along CA bringing rain, winds, mountain snow through Christmas.  By now you can probably see the pattern for the winter - rain, swell, wind.  Repeat.  We still have the heart of winter to come and i expect January thru February to be very active.  No shortage of waves to ride - just need to find places tucked in from whatever wind direction is active each day.  Cya in the water.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Updated Forecast/Week of 12-14

XXL large run of swell continues this morning with Pt Reyes showing 19ft at 12 seconds from 305.  Some of the biggest nearshore readings in a very long time were regarding this past Thursday with northern buoys showing 30-32 ft at 17 seconds for a few hours.  Rain, gale force winds accompanied all this swell and strong northerly gales continue today over the ocean with wind speeds still clocking 25-30kts.  Swell should peak today and move into more mortal territory through the week in the 8-10 ft range.  "Lightest" morning winds look like Wednesday, but no real clean offshore/calm wind events look likely for the week ahead.  In fact, another storm system will roll in next weekend, looking similar to this past weekend's system.  The good news with all this rain, swell, wind - lots of places up and down the CA Coast that need weather to open for business (river mouths, beach breaks) etc will start to get good, if they haven't already, just need the right combination of swell, tide and weather.  Cya in the water.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Biggest swell in many years set to roll in late week

The North Pacific is a conveyor belt of large low pressure systems right now and will be for the rest of the week.  Ocean surface is already agitated and primed from a week of strong winds and large surf.  This coming Thursday and Friday we might see one of the largest long period swells to come ashore in a long time.  Deepwater forecasts are calling for northwest swell 18-21ft at 17 seconds around the Bay Area - 20-24ft at 17 seconds! - north of Bodega Bay.  That's deepwater before it shoals, jacks and feels the bottom at area points, reefs and beaches which will crank up face heights dramatically.  Lots of weather coming in with this swell train - with rain starting Wednesday night and running through Thursday.  Winds too - west winds 15-25kts.  Surf and winds stay elevated through Sunday.  Another chance of rain Saturday night into Sunday.  El Nino making his presence known.  Cya in the water.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Updated Forecast/12-7 Storm and Swell Door Open

December in Nor Cal - huge surf and weather systems lined up across the Pacific thanks to Mr El Nino.  Large WNW swell cranking up tonight - will be 15-20ft (deepwater) by Monday morning.  Look for light morning winds around the Bay Area, south winds further north.  Storm track is aimed right at Washington/Oregon and far Northwest California - with a complex low pressure system covering the entire North Pacific.  Periods of rain and wind look likely for far north the entire week with the best shot of heavy rain around the Bay Area on Thursday.  Swell to stay elevated through the week - not quite as big as tomorrow - but still plenty of size.  Check your winds, know your spots.  Cya in the water.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Updated Forecast/12-3

Past few days featured east winds, large clean waves at Ocean Beach and other spots along the Central/North Coast.  Sat picture tells the story of change ahead.  A very strong storm system is moving onshore today with gale force south winds forecast and victory at sea conditions expected.  Swell is going to jump back up into the 14-20ft range - (biggest north of Cape Mendocino) - and stay large through the weekend.  In fact don't look for deep water swell heights to drop much below 10 ft through Monday with back to back West swells rolling through here as a result of a very active and strong storm pattern in the Gulf of Alaska, East and West Pacific.  El Nino is ramping up as we move more into the winter season.  Everything we've had so far in terms of rain and swell is just a teaser for the Jan-Mar time period when the current El Nino will be in full bloom and maturing.  Strong south winds today 20-30kts gusting to 45kts, and then pretty much light south winds through Sunday.   Spots that like that wind direction will be clean, but large.  Cya in the water.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Updated Forecast/11-27

East winds along with cold high pressure ruling our weather the past two days and should continue into the weekend.  Deepwater swell on Saturday forecast to come up to 4-6ft at 14 seconds and then jump further on Sunday at 4-6ft at 20 seconds as a new long period swell fills into the region.  That swell will build to 9-11ft on Monday.  East winds look to stick around for Sunday and then shift SE Monday as a weak storm system comes ashore.  Chance for rain will increase mid to late next week.  Good conditions and plenty of swell the next few days.  Cya in the water.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Updated Forecast/11-24

Strong low pressure system is moving through Northern California tonight with very cold temps, low snow levels and a lot of wind.  Ocean has responded to the system offshore - with Cape Mendo showing 17ft at 12-13 second intervals.  Not sure all the models have a good handle on this swell but look for deepwater in the 6-10ft range by sunrise tomorrow.  NW wind the rule and very cold temps for the early morning sessions.  Swell will quickly trend down through Thanksgiving Day and into Saturday - winds may improve for the morning sessions.  By Sunday, another large swell will roll in pushing deep water heights back up in the 8-12ft range.  We may see a fairly extended run of elevated surf through Dec 5th if the models are correct as the El Nino infused North Pacific gets energized with low pressure systems lining up and ramping up.  Plenty of swell on tap - check the winds and know your spots.  Happy Thanksgiving and cya in the water.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Weekend Forecast/11-19

Ridge of high pressure in control for a few more days as our run of northwest swell continues to fade into and through the weekend.  Northwest swell running 6-7 ft at 11 seconds - larger to our north.  North to northwest winds are blowing strongest in the outer waters and should remain strong until Saturday.  Best conditions will most likely be in the mornings for the next couple of days.  By Sunday swell should be in the 3-5ft range.  Big changes starting around Monday as a large area of cold low pressure will drop down from the Gulf of Alaska for the holiday week bringing wind, some rain and much colder temps.  Would expect to see swell increase as well but could be a mess with all the wind.  More on that late in the weekend.  Water temps have cooled now - running in the mid 50's.  Cya in the water.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Updated Forecast/Saturday 11-14

Booming long period swell showing early at 9-10ft at 20 seconds from the north/northwest.  Swell will increase into the very large range all day (already 19ft at 18 seconds up near Cape Mendo).  A vigorous storm system is digging south all day and will spread rain north to south overnight.  Winds will increase from the southwest overnight and switch to northwest behind the front on Sunday.  Swell will stay large through Monday.  Winds will stay northwest as well, switching to north mid week as swell fades but remains moderate sized through Wednesday.  Constellation Orion is rising a bit higher and early each night in the east.  Gotta love fall and winter in Nor Cal.  Cya in the water.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Updated Forecast/11-8

Solid swell from the North Pacific will stick around all next week as back to back swells roll ashore.  Large NW swell currently in the water will peak tomorrow - deepwater heights in the 8-12ft range.  Swell will ease some Tuesday and more on Wednesday but remain quite solid.  Then a new swell will charge in next Thursday/Friday pushing deepwater heights back to the 6-10 ft range.  Winds look bad on Monday as the storm system bringing rain to parts of Nor Cal will come onshore during the day.  Winds may clean up from Tuesday on - at least for the morning sessions.  Check the winds - plenty of swell in the water.  Fall is starting to pop.  Cya in the water.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Updated Forecast/11-3

Strong early season storm brought large swell, rain and mountain snow to CA yesterday.  In it's wake, north/northwest to northeast winds blowing today and swell continues quite solid at 9-12 ft at 11 seconds at 300.  Look for surf to stay somewhat elevated all week fading some by Friday and then jumping up again next weekend into the large range.  North to northwest winds most of the week, but check it each morning as winds may be lighter for the AM sessions.  Plenty to ride, just hit a spot you know will be clean.  Next shot of rain will be Sunday/Monday.  Cya in the water.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Next Forecast on 11-3

I'm away this weekend so won't be updating the blog.  I can say there is plenty of swell headed our way - some wind and rain too by Sunday/Monday.  Check the winds and buoys.  Cya in the water.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Updated Forecast/10-25

Interesting week of weather past, Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere (and a product of this year's El Nino) came ashore south of Puerto Vallarta with sustained winds of 200mph.  Higher gusts were recorded around 248mph while the system was still offshore.  Winds equivalent to an F4 tornado.  Because the storm came ashore between major population centers damage was extensive, but not catastrophic as forecast.  By now you probably also read about the cluster of large great whites sighted by the US Coast Guard between OB and Pacifica - fairly close to shore.  Interesting as well, perhaps related to the warm surface temps - doubt anyone knows for sure.  Uncle Whitey is out there.   For today, new good size WNW swell is filling in this morning and pushing surf heights back to double overhead range at top winter breaks with exposure to the swell direction.  Winds are light onshore.  Look for the swell to increase all day and peak tomorrow with deepwater swell in the 6-10ft range.  Lighter winds tomorrow morning.  The remains of Hurricane Olaf, now well north and east of Hawaii will get entrained by a strong Gulf of Alaska low over the next 24-48 hours.  The winds will increase over the open waters and send a good size swell our way mid week - with deep water heights back in the 6-10ft range on Wednesday and 8-12ft on Thursday.  Unfortunately, weather from this system may come ashore at the same time making a mess of things from a wind stand point.  Something to keep an eye on.  Surf will stay elevated into next weekend with a gradual improvement in the winds as high pressure regains control.  Plenty of size the next few days - check the winds.  Cya in the water.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week Ahead/Updated Forecast 10-20

Lots of surf on tap this week with west/northwest, southwest and some tropical south/southwest in the water.  Pretty much west northwest swell in the water today and tomorrow (shoulder to head hight plus) - then a larger swell builds in late Thursday and Friday with deepwater swell peaking on Friday in the 8-10ft range.  Tropical southwest swell from Hurricane Olaf, out near Hawaii will mix in Thursday and Friday as well.  For sure the dominant swell will be the northwest which should keep waves going through next weekend as a new pulse moves in next Sunday.   Southwest swell in the background all week as the South Pacific remains very active for this time of year.  Winds should stay pretty light for am sessions this week - offshore flow trying to set up but might not make it all the way to the coast each day.  NO rain in the forecast through the period - but models are hinting at perhaps a pattern change over a week out.  Cya in the water.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Weekend Forecast/October 16th

Nice couple of days past - small mix of southwest and northwest swells and light winds.  Storm system in the Gulf of Alaska will drop in overnight and spread rain from far Northwest CA thru the Bay Area.  Rain amounts around here will be very light a few hundredth's if we're lucky - most of the precipitation will fall from Sonoma County north.  Swell will come in late tomorrow - peaking late Saturday into Sunday.  Look for double overhead waves Sunday at north facing breaks.  Swell will be on the slow rise all day tomorrow.  Unfortunately, northwest winds look to pick up late Saturday on behind the front.  Lightest winds tomorrow morning for sure, maybe again Sunday AM.  But afternoons will feature stronger onshore winds.  Check it for sure.  Cya in the water.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Updated Forecast/Monday October 12th

Pt Arena is back online.  Along with the CA Buoy back and Pt Reyes Deepwater we have our eyes to the swells once again.   Large west swell is winding down today - 7-8 ft at 11 seconds.  Look for this swell to hang around a good part of the week.   Winds don't look that bad until about Friday when things might pick up from the northwest again.  Solid southwest swell is in the water - 3ft at 18-20 seconds and we should have overlapping southwest swells through most of the week.  Slight chance of rain mid week, south of the Bay Area from a system that has retrograded north of Baja turned back to the west and moving to the northwest/northeast.    Better chance of rain next weekend as a system from the North Pacific drops in.  Check the winds each morning - plenty to ride.  Cya in the water.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Updated Forecast/Wednesday Oct 7th - Unusual swell on the way ** Welcome Back CA Buoy!

Hurricane Oho is east of Hawaii and now tracking quickly to the northeast getting caught up in a larger low pressure complex circulating in the Gulf.  What is unusual for us, a fairly large west/southwest swell will begin to fill in on Friday (230-260 deg) and we could see well overhead to double overhead sets at stand out breaks.  As Oho gets absorbed into the larger system swell will turn northwest (270-300 deg) late this weekend and hold thru the middle of next week.  Stand out winter breaks will certainly be overhead and possibly larger - i'll update on that swell late this weekend.  Lightest winds will be found each morning - especially Thurs/Friday around the Bay Area.  Farther north winds might be a bit more suspect as northwest CA is much closer to the storm energy that will be impacting Oregon and Washington.  The pipe is wide open from way south of Hawaii all the way to BC.  Encouraging this early in the season and the thinking is as we get a bit later into the Fall and Winter set ups like that will start to focus the energy and rain onto CA.  Let's hope so.  If you open the Pacific Satellite link to the right and click on the 16k or 28k infrared imagery you will see all the energy flowing into the Northwest.  It's impressive for early October.  El Nino slowly starting to assert influence on the jet stream in the Pacific.  This El Nino, it's signature is very different from 97' or 82' - it's taking it's sweet time developing.  A slow train wreck and the full impact probably won't be felt until the heart of the winter - Jan to Mar.    One more small day and then things will get busy.  Check the winds.  I suspect more than a few unusual spots will open up on that first west/southwest shot starting Friday.  Cya in the water.  Finally, CA Buoy is once again back online and starting to transmit.  Just in time too.  This gives us a window out to incoming swell trains 350 nautical miles west of San Francisco.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Updated Forecast/Sunday Oct 3

Pt Reyes Buoy showing 10-12 ft at 10-12 seconds from 310 at this hour.  Unseasonably strong upper low pressure system is dropping straight down CA from Canada bringing gale force winds over the ocean and land.  Winds will peak between 10pm and 2am tonight and then slowly start to diminish on Sunday.  Swell heights to our far north will be 12-18 ft by the morning, lower past Pt Reyes.  Water temps as you might expect are starting to fall - dropping 2 degrees at Bodega in the past 12 hours or so.  I'd expect another couple degrees by mid day tomorrow.  Model guidance earlier this week really missed the size of the mid period swell also in the water and i believe most other forecasters are under calling wave heights for the current event.  I'd look for overhead surf tomorrow morning at north facing breaks with wind - smaller at south facing spots.  Check the winds, should be plenty of swell around.   Quick look ahead to next week should feature much smaller surf.  Next interesting run looks to be around mid month.  Stay tuned and i'll update again next week.  Cya in the water.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Updated Forecast/Wednesday 9-30

Sat photo tells the story or our swell maker for the weekend.  Nice small storm in the Gulf pushing winds and resulting swell in our direction.  Probably look for building swell all day Friday peaking over the weekend.  Biggest surf north - but most Bay Area breaks with good exposure to the west/northwest will see head high waves with overhead sets at the top breaks.  This will be mid period swell - probably in the 12-14 second range.  Winds right now could be problematic as strong north winds are forecast late week as another low is forecast to drop down the West Coast from BC (Inside Slider) which will create strong north to northeast winds over the weekend and cool temps.  Check the mornings - that will be when you will find the lightest winds.  North Pac looks active further to the West which should give us more swell as we move into the month of October.  Cya in the water.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Updated Forecast/Monday Sept 28

Light to variable/onshore winds this morning and should be the case the next few mornings.  Wind swell remains the primary source of waves - deepwater 3-5 ft at 8-10 seconds.  Small southwest swell is going to build in late today and might be good for some waist to chest high sets at south facing breaks.  Not a lot of surf this week.  Waiting on the N Pac to open up and generate some real long period swell.  We do have a low pressure system due west way off shore and that may bring us some mid period swell for the coming weekend.  More on that mid week.  Northwest winds may ramp up from Wednesday on too - will update.  Cya in the water.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Updating Forecast Links 9-24

Couple posts back I indicated the CDIP Pt Reyes Deepwater Buoy was taken offline.  Did some checking tonight on the CDIP website and it looks like it's still transmitting.  So I am putting the link back on the forecast.  Also putting a link to the Monterey CDIP Deepwater Buoy.    Wasabi.....

Updated Forecast/Thursday Sept 24

Winds have been lighter than forecast near shore the past couple days - but still fairly strong over the outer waters and northern buoys.  So worth a check if you have time.  New mid period northwest swell is building in 4-5 ft at 11-13 seconds from 280 +.  Still have wind swell in the water - (8-9 second energy) and a very small southwest swell in the 1-3ft range.   Large area of low pressure circulating in the Gulf of AK - but all associated rain is moving into the Pac Northwest.  That system is going to meander through the weekend and may continue to send us some mid period swell through the period.  Winds, as a result, may be highly variable.  So keep an eye on it - certainly some swell in the water.  Cya in the water.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy Fall!

Autumn Equinox happened at 120am this morning.  It's officially the first day of Fall.  Let's hope for plenty of swell, rain and some nice offshore wind events.  None of those things to occur between now and the weekend however - decent size wind swell in the water through Friday - but winds look to remain onshore and fairly strong - especially the further north you go.  Good time to get some work done.  Cya in the water.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Updated Forecast/Monday, Sept 21

One more really warm day inland and then things will start to cool off some towards seasonal norms. Short period wind swell in the water with light/variable winds.  Winds should pick up more onshore as the day progresses.  Winds look stronger onshore tomorrow through Wednesday - wind swell will increase in size thru tomorrow and then drop off.  Then we are looking towards a short/mid period swell event (280-320) from Thursday to Sunday, from a system in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska bringing head to overhead waves (biggest from Sonoma north).    Winds look suspect from mid week on due in part to that front moving into the Pac Northwest, so keep an eye on the wind links on the right hand side of the page.  We do have some overlapping southwest swells this week - but nothing remarkable.  Maybe some knee to chest high sets at south facing breaks.  In the bigger picture, the northern branch of the jet stream remains up in Alaska with high pressure anchored offshore and in the Pacific - pretty much the set up we've had for the past four years.  So the connection between El Nino and the N Pac Jet is not showing real improvement just yet.   This should change as we move deeper into the fall and winter when the main impact of El Nino starts to influence the upper atmosphere wind patterns and storm production.  Until then - shorter period/mid period wind swell the rule.   There are a couple tropical systems in the Pacific right now - far west and east - but nothing that looks to give us swell any time soon.  Cya in the water.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Cape Mendo Buoy offline now....

Another buoy to our north has gone offline.  It really will be back to old school surf checks soon - you'll have to drive to see what the surf looks like.  Maybe that's not such a bad thing.....So the Cape Mendo buoy has stopped transmitting - not sure if it's a temporary glitch or it's toast.  It might be toast.  We have deepwater swell in the 5-6ft range at 8-10 seconds from the northwest.  Winds are up a bit onshore - not horrible yet.  Should start blowing far north later today as high pressure regains control.  Good rainfall yesterday. Parts of Marin reported .50 inch of rain - up in Sonoma/Mendo some reports of 2.5 inches.  Decent for Mid Sept.  Look for swell to stay the same the rest of the week.  Might see an uptick over the weekend, but it's just wind swell.  There is a sw swell in the water, which was heavily shadowed by Tahiti.  So expect long waits and not much size - but south facing breaks will show this energy best.   Hint we might see some offshore wind this weekend - but i'm skeptical right now those winds will make it to the coast.  Check it for sure.  Cya in the water.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

PT Reyes Buoy Gone

PT Reyes Buoy has been "decommissioned" by the CDIP.  So it's gone.  I had read that the National Park Service was going to try and cover costs to keep online - but unlikely that will happen.  Lost another good window to incoming swells up here - both from the north and south.  At this rate, I will probably start using tarot cards soon to read incoming swell trains.  Mid period northwest wind swell remains in the water today 3-5 ft at 8-10 seconds, but winds are blowing from the northwest in wake of the weather system that brought very light rain to the region yesterday.  Next weather maker is plowing down from the Gulf of Alaska - looks impressive on satellite imagery for Mid September and will bring rain to most of Northern California starting tomorrow morning far north and spreading south through the day.  Good news for the fires raging.  Winds and weather near the coast will continue to be an issue next couple days.  Good time to get some work done.  Cya in the water.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Updated Forecast/Monday Sept 14

Pattern change in the upper levels as the storm track is opening in the NE Pacific sending a series of weather systems our way through about Thursday.  Most of the rain will stay north of the Golden Gate with very light amounts forecast around the Bay Area (.10 to .25 of an inch) - however far northwest CA (Del Norte, Kings Range) will see upwards of 1-2 inches of rain by Thursday morning.   Northern buoys are showing the result - swell is 12-14ft at 9-10 seconds as winds have been blowing steady for 36 hours in the northeast quadrant of the Gulf of Alaska.  Winds are blowing south/southwest in advance of the first front now entering coastal waters.  In fact, don't look for much help in the wind department most of the week as things look marginal at best with south to southwest winds as fronts pass through the region - west to northwest behind.  A harbinger of things to come for this upcoming surf season perhaps?  Northwest windswell will dominate the week.  Biggest to the north.  You might find some windows in between fronts and early am sessions.  Things look to settle down again by next weekend with high pressure building into the region and warm temps returning inland.  May see a new pulse of WNW swell around the 17th/18th - more on that to come and look for a building SW swell later this week (Thursday) for waist/chest high surf at south facing breaks.  Watch the winds, cya in the water.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Updated Forecast/El Nino Update

SSW swell holding steady today at around 3ft 17 seconds from 180.  Wind swell at 3 ft 9 seconds from 310 plus.  This SSW swell will hold thru the end of the week and fade out Friday.   WSW swell from former Hurricane Jimena is fading out today.  Winds near the coast are light but trending onshore and we may see an increase in the fog and wind over the next couple days as the pressure gradient begins to weaken just a tad.  Inland temps will continue hot to extreme so only relief will be near the coast.  On a larger scale, Hurricane Ignacio has turned extra tropical in the North Pacific and will send a shot of steep angled NW swell (300-320) that will build in Thursday (northern areas first) and spread south during the day Friday.  Should fade over the weekend.  Size wise, probably on par with the wind swell now in the water.  The Jetstream in the North Pacific is showing some signs of Fall - but nothing remarkable just yet.  What is more definite is the 2015/2016 El Nino event on track to rival the 82/83 and/or 97' Super Nino events with warm to very warm water throughout the Pacific Basin.  Experts feel this event may be closer to the 82/83 El Nino in that it's location (or focus) is much farther west in the Pacific.  What that means for us, storms form further out and have time to send cleaner swell towards the West Coast.  That's not a given, just analysis from people who know a lot more about this phenomenon that I do.  As with past events, the main impact is the Jan-Mar time period - that's when a mature El Nino peaks.  This one continues to build and shows no sign of slowing down.  So we watch and wait.  Keep an eye on the winds going into the weekend, still should be waves around to ride.  Cya in the water.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Updated Forecast/Sunday Night

Overlapping SSW swells in the water tonight with deepwater energy showing 4ft + at 17 seconds from 220+.   Older SSW swell is fading out.  We also have a very steep angled SSE swell (160+) mostly bypassing our stretch of coast.  NW wind swell in the mix as well - 3-5 ft at 8-9 seconds from 310+.  Former Central Pac Hurricane Jimena has pushed out a small southwest/west swell that will start to show tomorrow and Tuesday.  Probably won't notice this swell train much with the bigger sw in the water.  Winds near shore have dropped dramatically and look for mostly calm to offshore conditions the next few mornings with a sea breeze in the afternoon.  Former Central Pac Hurricane Ignacio has turned extra tropical well north of Hawaii, will curve northwest and bring us a shot of fun size northwest swell late in the week.  More on that in a couple days.  Good week ahead for surf - cya in the water.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Updated Forecast

Gulf wind swell is 4-5 at 11 seconds from 315 - much bigger surf near Cape Mendo with surf 8-10 ft at 11-12 seconds.  SW swell from Pacific Hurricane Jimena 3-4 ft at 11 seconds from 200.  Northwest winds are already blowing onshore and will increase throughout the day.  Gale warnings up far north, this will increase the wind swell over the next couple days.  I don't see any real let up in the northwest winds through Labor Day right now.  New long period southwest swell will move in Friday and Saturday and feature deepwater heights in the 3-4 ft range at 19-20 seconds.  Swell will continue from Hurricane Jimena at around 3 ft 12 seconds.  Protected spots will be best - need to get out the wind.  Water temps up near Bodega have dropped back to the mid 50s.  Still warmer around SF at 60 deg.  That will change by the end of the weekend, dropping some.  Cya in the water.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Welcome to the 2015/2016 Season.   We had west swell this past weekend from former Typhoon Atsani and steep northwest swell from a low pressure system that brought very light rain from Sonoma north and swell that is still around this morning at 6  to 7 ft - broad range of periods from 10-14 seconds second from 315.  Until Thursday we should have Gulf of Alaska windswell hanging in at around 4-5 ft periods 10-11 seconds, as the storm track is active in the northeast Pac sending small swell our way.  In addition to that - watching for southwest/west swell from Hurricane Jimena - which is presently in the Central Pac - East of Hawaii and forecast to continue a turn to the north.  If swell develops as forecast - look for that to show Tuesday to Thursday - deepwater 2-3 ft from 12-13 seconds - 195 degrees +.    Jimena is still a Category 4 Hurricane and it's location and track that far east of the Hawaiian Islands is very typical of an El Nino season, and Hawaii recently has seen a swarm of hurricanes from all directions.  Upcoming weekend should still feature some surf from Jimena, some new southwest swell building and ongoing windswell.  Winds don't look ideal most of the week with northwest/west onshore strongest mid day on.  Best bet may be early mornings and protected spots.  Plenty of swell to ride however.  Cya in the water.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

CA Buoy coming back online in October

The CA Buoy (46059) is set for deployment in October - this is great news and timing for the coming season.  This buoy has been out of service since 2012.  It's a vital buoy as it's in a great location to give us a sense timing, size of incoming swell trains.  The buoy is roughly 357 nautical miles to the northwest of SF.  No update yet on the Papa Buoy, which has also been offline for a while now and sits beyond the CA buoy at a greater distance, but equally vital to tracking swell.  Incoming swell trains for the weekend from Atsani look a touch smaller than models projected, but there will still be plenty to ride.  Very early season low pressure system churning in the Gulf is set to bring a chance of rain to far northern CA and may increase southerly winds from late Friday on - but strongest winds will probably be north of Pt Reyes.  Cya in the water.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Swell doors open....

Last week of August.  N Pac and S Pac warming up with swell due in here later this week into next week and beyond.   Former Typhoon Atsani is moving north of Japan and will transition into an extratropical storm this week while pushing out a long period WNW swell (270-290) creeping up this Wednesday and topping out next weekend Aug 30-31.  Size wise - probably waist to chest high + mid week and bigger this weekend.  Also going to have some steep angled mid period NW swell (320+) mixing in mid week and some shorter period wind swell.  The mid period swell should feature overhead sets the further north you go.  SW swell (190-220) mixes in for the upcoming weekend - good to push chest/shoulder high sets in at south facing breaks, but might be lost a bit under all the dominant northwest/west swell energy.  Winds will be lightest early - still locked in a summer pattern of onshore winds.  But overall winds have been on the lighter side so check it.  As we transition to September, looking for these early season systems hitting the Pacific Northwest to cruise into the Great Basin and start giving us some offshore winds.  Really waiting for the jet stream in the N Pac to energize with El Nino fully flexing it's muscle as we move into fall.  Cya in the water.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

And so, it almost begins.....

As of Early August, most experts have officially announced a strong El Nino is in play.  The warm water we're experiencing actually has nothing to do with El Nino, rather the lack of heavy northwest winds this summer kicking off upwelling and more about the ongoing southerly flow of wind which tends to increase water temps around these parts.  Elsewhere in the Pacific, subsurface warm water along the equator - stretching west to east and north and south with some key areas El Nino experts monitor  - much warmer than usual  - (referred to as the Nino 3.4 and Nino 1.2 regions) and West Pacific Cyclone Molave forecast to recurve and turn extra tropical to bring us potentially our first longer period west/northwest swell of the season next week.  If that system tracks as forecast we can see surf week of 8-24.  The northern branch of the Pacific jet stream is more active than normal for August - not remarkable, but certainly more energetic than you would find this time of year.  What's it all mean for us?  Well, hopefully copious amounts of rain - but that's not always a sure thing with an El Nino, where the southern branch of the jet stream can get move active and bring weather into So Cal.  But recent history has proven we get plenty of rain, 1997, 82 and smaller events.  High elevation snowpack - due to warm storms, high snow levels.  Good for water supply, bad for most Tahoe ski resorts.  Plenty of swell, but could come with a lot of weather as storms form close offshore and barrel through.  Will update on Typhoon Atsani early next week.  Then look for official forecasts weekly to start up in September.  Cya in the water.

Monday, August 3, 2015


Pt Arena buoy has gone offline.  We've lost another window to the N Pac for the upcoming season.  Not sure if NOAA cares any longer about buoys along the West Coast.  CA buoy and SE Papa have both been offline for around two years now.  Mix of northwest windswell and back to back SSW and SSE swells on tap this week - best winds look like Wednesday and Thursday.  Maybe again on Saturday.  Both southern swell events are coming in at a very steep angle so will miss much of the region unless you know where to look.  Less than 30 days to go until September.  Cya in the water.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Dog Days....

These are the darkest times of the year to be a surfer in Nor Cal.  About a month to go before the start of the surfing fall season - so hang tight.  If you look around, you can see very early signs (quite early in fact) of the season to come.  In West Marin, local elm and maples are showing color along with the Redwoods.  Could be drought induced and the trees are saying the hell with it and going into early hibernation, or a sign of an early fall and perhaps rainy season.  Time will tell.  El Nino continues to gather momentum and all will be revealed soon enough.  In the meantime, big warm up this week and that might extend enough to the coast to give us a break from the onshore winds and fog.  High pressure moving over us from the East.  A new southwest swell will start to fill in tomorrow and run through Thursday.  Peak day is Wednesday.  Should be good for chest high with some plus sets at good south facing breaks.  Angle of approach 210-225.  Just nw windswell right now from the N Pac.  Nothing on the charts beyond.  Next few mornings should feature light winds.  Cya in the water.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

JULY - Updated Forecast

Run of southwest swells looks to start up next week.  All from the that super storm that started in the Indian Ocean, moved east under Australia and charged north past New Zealand.  Around these parts surf won't be as big as pictures and videos you've know doubt seen from Indo, etc - but we can expect an extended run of swell from this storm through mid month.  Look for things to start on Monday and go through next weekend.  Right now, probably deepwater swell in the 2-3 ft range - maybe larger at times - should be good for chest high surf at south facing breaks, also larger sets at times.  We also have a pulse of short to mid period swell from a Gulf of Alaska storm that developed over the past couple days.  Look for that to be 4-5ft at 9-10 seconds moving in Sat/Sun - biggest north of SF.  Water temps have warmed nicely (55-57 deg) since the wind machine stopped off Cape Mendo.   This is due to strong high pressure in the Great Basin with a low trough over CA, advecting monsoon moisture up from Baja along with s/se winds.  That should start to change by the end of the weekend and we will get back to more of a northwest flow.  It's still summer, so check the winds which will be highly variable based on location over the next few days.  Cya in the water.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Almost July, El Nino still developing

Looks like we may be headed for a better run of southwest swells starting later this weekend and going into Mid July.  An El Nino of some magnitude is looking more and more likely for the Fall/Winter of 2015/16.  Experts are hinting that it will be somewhere between the Super Nino of 97 and the strong El Nino of 82 - which wouldn't be a bad thing.  Still another month or so to go before we're clear on the strength of this event - but growing more certain it will impact our winter and surf next season.  I will return with regular updates/forecast on September 1.  Until then will update as needed or events warrant.  Cya in the water.

Monday, June 1, 2015


Any way you cut it - June is normally tough - we're into the gloom, wind of springtime - but there are moments now and then.  Surf early, keep expectations low.  Hurricane Andres, only the fifth major hurricane to develop in the East Pac Basin this early is now a major storm with winds at 125kt and gusts to 145kt.  Some spots in Nor Cal will see swell from him later this week.  Angle of approach is going to be pretty steep at 165 degrees plus - so some spots may miss the swell completely.  In addition to Andres, we have steep windswell and some west/northwest groundswell through the week.  Winds are going to remain onshore all week - perhaps lighter mid week and beyond, at least for the morning sessions.  Should be stuff to ride from Wednesday on.  Cya in the water.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Hope you found some place to ride over the past few days on that really decent south swell that hit.  We're back to Gale Warnings, water temps will be in the upper 40s by Friday and we've got large, short period northwest windswell churning down the coast.  Don't look for any break in the winds - south facing spots offering protection will be best.  Another long period south swell looks to roll in this coming weekend (much smaller than this past event) but should provide something to ride.  Cya in the water.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Large Off Season NW Swell HIts 46002

Long period northwest swell started showing at the West Oregon Buoy 46002 - a few hours ago - 11-13 ft with periods 19-21 seconds.  About as forecast.  This buoy is roughly 450 miles north/northwest of SF and with the CA Buoy and Papa Buoy still out of commission - remains our offshore window to incoming swell trains.  Look for energy to start showing late in the day around these parts - earlier further north.  Swell will be in full force tomorrow with double overhead sets and larger at north facing breaks.  Winds look favorable - null to east around the Bay - still some northerly wind as you go up the Coast.  Might be a sea breeze late today and tomorrow before things turn more onshore for the weekend as energy in the Gulf goes up and over the ridge into the Pac NW.  Swell will stick around until Sunday - dropping in size and period each day.   Check the winds - am sessions will probably be the cleanest.  cya in the water.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


January to March this year was the driest period on record in the Bay Area.  April, it would appear is looking rather normal.  Water temps are hovering around 51-52 due to all the northwest winds for the past week and a fairly dynamic pattern is underway with storms brushing through to the north creating the wind and good size windswell.  Hope you got some of that rather decent southwest swell from former Super Cyclone Pam - which created a most impressive swell display across the Pacific.  Swell will remain elevated through the rest of this week with a mix of west groundswell and northerly windswell.  Winds will shred things the entire week from the northwest and probably drop water temps even lower by weeks end.  Ab season starts today.  Sport salmon season starts this Saturday.  Decent chance of rain by next Sunday into the following week.  Cya in the water.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring Happens

First day of Spring is Friday and right on cue it looks a lot like Spring around these parts.  Weatherman Bill Martin called it the other night by saying - "all you have to do is take a look at the North Pacific satellite feed, jet stream is pushing up into Alaska…"  so it goes.  El Nino has been declared (only by 0.5 degree of warmer than usual water temps).  California is in the 4th year of one of the worst droughts  on record and the surf for you and me looks average for the rest of the week with a combination of northwest windswell along with some west/northwest swell.  There will be some decent size tomorrow and into the weekend - issue will be northwest winds.   In fact water temps tumbled 3 degrees in 24hours last night at our northern buoys to 53.  Still holding steady at SF around 55 degrees.  I'd look towards next Sunday and Monday for the most size - but find a place protected from the winds.  Very small chances of rain far north this Friday and Saturday and then again early next week.  Be mindful of your water use this Spring and Summer - it's going to be a long off season.  Cya in the water.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


March 1st is traditionally the end of the winter surf season on the North Coast.  Colder water, northwest winds all mark the change of seasons.   We do have an early season south swell rolling in early next week so keep an eye on that.  Conditions in the South Pacific do indicate a better than average south swell season so let's hope that materializes.  Until then, windswell will be the primary source of swell for the time ahead, although i don't think the North Pac is ready to shut down completely just yet.  Will update as needed.  Cya in the water.

Friday, February 20, 2015

March looms…..

Fairly small surf prevails with an increase expected this weekend as another small West swell moves in along with potentially offshore winds near the Coast, but stronger northwest winds over the outer waters - a sign that Spring isn't too far away.  Forecast remains dry through the end of Feb so on and off good windows of surf should be found in between these north/northwest wind events being created by high pressure just offshore and to our north with systems moving up and over the ridge into the Great Basin.  Fun size surf should prevail through most of next week.  Cya in the water.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Major rain event unfolding offshore and will steam in here overnight bringing copious amounts of rain to Central/Northern California.  Gale warnings are up and south winds are already howling over the outer waters whipping up a big southwest swell (21ft) at Cape Mendo Buoy.  Going to be a mess for the next 2-4 days with up to 10-12 inches of rain when it's all over by Monday on the Sonoma Coast with lesser amounts further south but still plenty of rain to go around.  Unless you like big south winds and large storm swell - might not be an ideal weekend for surfing.  However, if you know the Coast - there are a few spots that actually might not be too shabby over the next few days.  Enjoy the rain.  Cya in the water.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


It hasn't rained in Northern California since December 24.  SF set the record for the driest January since the City has been keep records - over 165 years.  Ridge of high pressure has brought us superb surfing conditions over the past month.  It does look like the ridge is finally going to yield towards the end of this week and bring badly needed rain to California.  Especially from SF north.  Until then, look for mid size surf - shoulder to head high Monday - new West swell comes in Tues/Wed pushing deepwater heights back up in the 6-8ft range both days - good for well overhead surf at top winter breaks.  Thursday swell will drop some and then come up again on Friday (probably with strong south winds) as the storm door opens and a few systems come ashore.  Conditions look potentially quite stormy by next Monday/Tuesday Feb 8-9.  Next update wk of Feb 9th.  Cya in the water.

Monday, January 12, 2015


Strong high pressure, as we've had the past few drought years in January, has locked the N Pac down since just before Christmas.   Not much swell and no rain but conditions have been clean with offshore winds many days. Pattern looks to break down by the end of this week with the storm door opening.  Until then some good days ahead with light AM winds.  A new powerful swell will charge in on Thursday pushing deepwater heights into the 6-10 ft range with offshore winds.  This looks to be the beginning of a solid run of larger swells through the back half of January.  Deep low pressure in the N Pac looks to replace high pressure and start pumping out storms and swell.  Happy New Year and cya in the water.