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Early this morning (Tuesday) we have a moderate mix of NW wind and ground swell in SoCal. NW wind swell is on the rise in the outer waters and to our north, with wind swell increasing along the SoCal coast later today, peaking Wednesday. It looks like we'll see another round of wind swell Saturday the 7th into Sunday the 8th. Looking at the long range, we could see NW ground swell build Tuesday the 10th, peaking Wednesday the 11th. Southern hemi models continue to show potential for a little something headed our way Wednesday the 11th into Thursday the 12th, but it may likely be overshadowed by NW wrap. Condition-wise: weather turns today with very low temps shortly, and some precip chances in the forecast; onshore winds to be an issue shortly, but we may see a Santa Ana Sunday the 8th; and although water temps have dropped slightly, they're likely to drop further as the week progresses.
Currently, periods in SoCal are primarily running 9 seconds from 310° and 12 seconds from 290°.
Early this morning, most west facing breaks were running waist to chest high. Direct south facing breaks were mostly knee to waist. Look for an increase in NW wind swell later today.
Please note that as wind swell increases today there will be an elevated the risk of rip currents, especially at west facing breaks, and especially during the outgoing tide. The NWS has issued rip current warnings for SoCal, and other advisories are in effect. Caution is advised.
Swell Forecast and Schedule
Outer water buoys are up to 9' early this morning with very short-period wind swell in the 7-9 second range. This is headed to SoCal shortly, but for now, as of about 7:00 AM, nearshore buoys in SoCal were mostly 2.0-2.5', slightly bigger though north of LA where wind swell was starting to fill in.
The tide is swinging very wide from a New Moon that peaked Monday the 2nd. Today we have a 6.9' high around 8:40 AM and a -1.4' low around 4:00 PM. This extreme tidal swing, combined with the approaching wind swell, is cause for a special Beach Hazards Statement to be issued by the NWS, increasing the risk of rip currents as well as threat for potential coastal flooding.
Water temps were running 60-62° in most of SoCal. Cold air coming into SoCal starting mid week is likely to cause surface cooling and drop water temps in SoCal. And, with strong onshore winds also on tap this, an upwelling is likely to cause additional cooling.
Swell-wise: NW wind swell is on the rise along the California coast from a system that's been dropping south from the Gulf, riding the west coast all the way into SoCal. At such a steep angle (320-340°), much of this should skirt past SoCal, but, short period wind swell will wrap into SoCal, peaking Wednesday the 4th, possibly pushing west facing breaks into head high wind swell early. Conditions though look very poor with strong onshore winds and very choppy conditions.
Either way, it looks like wind swell swell will fade Thursday the 5th, more so Friday the 6th.
Models this morning show another round of wind swell developing Saturday the 7th into Sunday the 8th as another low dives south to SoCal from Canada. This could also increase onshore winds and even bring a slight chance of precip as well. As for size, so far it's looking like chest+ at west facing breaks, but with poor conditions.
The 84h+ models continue to show potential for NW ground swell around the 10th-11th from a system south of the Aleutians that could pump up at least 25' seas. This would bring at least chest high swell to west facing breaks in SoCal Tuesday the 10th, possibly bigger Wednesday the 11th. Angle would be around 290° with 14 seconds. It's too early to call this one today though, especially with some models showing this system somewhat stronger (although slightly delayed) from model runs 48 hours ago.
Also on Wednesday the 11th into Thursday the 12th we should see some background southern hemi from an unseasonable development that recently broke off Antarctica south of New Zealand with 25' seas. But typical for this time of year, that system is staying at low latitudes. It does though look like we'd see perhaps waist high waves from this at west facing breaks, coming in from around 190-200° with 14-second periods. NW ground swell may overshadow this with wrap, and if the system bringing NW on the 10th-11th intensifies enough, then this southern hemi won't be worth mentioning.
Here's how the day-to-day is breaking down so far:
Wednesday the 4th is looking at chest to head high wind swell at west facing breaks early, decreasing later in the day.
Thursday the 5th looks smaller, about waist high wind swell.
Friday the 6th, so far, looks smaller yet, about knee to waist high at west facing spots.
Saturday the 7th is looking at NW wind swell increasing again, with waist high waves early, but then at least chest high in the afternoon (by the looks of things today).
Sunday the 8th, so far, is likely to see the peak of the wind swell with about chest high waves early at west facing breaks, but with surf backing off as the day progresses.
Monday the 9th, so far, is looking at knee to waist high waves at west facing spots.
Tuesday the 10th, so far, is looking at chest high NW ground swell at west facing breaks.
Wednesday the 11th, so far, looks a little bigger.
NOTE: NWS warnings in effect.
Today a hefty trough pushes south from the Gulf/Canada as a leg of the jetstream is now draped over the West Coast, which will be driving cold and windy -- although fairly dry -- storms as far south as Baja. Models continue to show a sub-zero upper-atmosphere air mass traversing south from Canada to encompass most of the desert southwest, which should bring not just cold, but also unsettled weather to SoCal, along with onshore wind issues.
Today should see beach max temps drop to the high 50s. There is also a slight chance of precip later today as a front, passing the Bay Area early this morning, is expected to pass through SoCal shortly. Dry conditions are expected Wednesday through Friday, but with cold air keeping beach max temps in the high 50s, and nighttime lows in the low 40s, possibly only the high 30s Thursday night from LA north.
Another low is now forecast to dive south from Canada Saturday. There is a slight chance of precip with this one, but most models show this one taking an inland trajectory, keeping it dry.
Either way, all models show improving weather Sunday the 8th, possibly with a brief Santa Ana forming then.
NOTE: NWS wind warnings in effect.
Winds at 7:00 AM were lightly offshore from the ENE from LA north, but with a slight southerly element farther south. WNW onshores are expected to pick up by this afternoon reaching 20+ mph at the coast, possibly stronger at wind-prone spots. Wednesday is looking at light northerlies early, with afternoon onshores 15+ mph. Thursday is likely to be a fairly calm day for wind with onshores for most of the day, but in the 8-12 mph range. Models are split on Friday, but it looks like we should see light and variables early with afternoon onshores to 15 mph. Saturday is then likely to see WNW winds pick up early, reaching 15+ mph in the afternoon. Sunday has a chance of seeing some kind of offshore event, but it's a bit early to make that call today.
Until my next report (Thursday), take care, be safe, and smile in the lineup!