Welcome to SwellWatch Mobile.Home
Today (Tuesday) NW swell has peaked along the California coast and will back off Wednesday. A smaller NW ground swell is due Thursday the 13th into Friday the 14th. And we should see NW ground swell Monday the 17th. Models show potential for a localized system bringing hefty wind swell Tuesday the 18th into Wednesday the 19th. Long range models also show a moderate NW ground swell for Thursday the 20th. The southern hemisphere is becoming active, and we might see a small to moderate SW ground swell by Monday the 24th. Condition-wise: Santa Ana gears up today into Wednesday, although strongest to our north; weekend looking quite nice for beaches in SoCal, although we could see a big change in weather early next week; the tide is running at moderate levels now but a Full Moon is due this weekend; and water temps are up in most spots.
Currently, periods in SoCal are primarily running 12-14 seconds from 290°.
Early this morning, most west facing breaks were running chest to head high. Direct south facing breaks were running waist to chest high, bigger at SW exposed spots.
Swell Forecast and Schedule
Buoys in the outer waters show impressive NW ground swell in the 10' range, and nearshores around SoCal are running 3.5-4.5'. Periods though have shortened to about 12 to at times 14 seconds, so look for pluses at times from those occasionally longer period swells.
The tide is starting to swing somewhat as we approach a Full Moon Sunday the 16th. Today we had a 4.5' high around 7:00 AM, we'll see a 0.1' low around 2:00 PM, and a 3.7' high around 8:30 PM.
Water temps were running 60-62° in most of SoCal. The usually cooler Ventura Harbor surprisingly checked in recently at 63°, Zuma was cooler at 59°, and Huntington Beach was up to 64°.
Swell-wise: Today's NW swell is from a system that dropped south from the Bering Sea towards Hawaii last week, and appears to have peaked along the California coast. This swell should back off Wednesday the 12th.
Thursday the 13th into Friday the 14th is when our next NW swell is due, but this is looking smaller. This system took more of a northerly track since its inception in the low latitudes of the Gulf, so it looks like we'll get 300-310° ground swell with 16-second periods building during the day Thursday the 13th, peaking Friday the 14th, with max sets reaching chest high at west facing breaks. ETA is expected to be pre dawn north of LA, dawn around LA, and then mid to late morning AM in OC and SD. Swell should peak Friday the 14th and back off Saturday the 15th.
Monday the 17th is when our next NW swell is due. The 48h+ models continue to show a sizable development coming out of the western Pacific, but fading once passing the Hawaiian longitudes. This is looking to bring chest to at times head high NW swell from 290-300° with 16-second periods max. We may get some occasional forerunners from this late in the day Sunday the 16th, but peak of this swell is expected to be Monday the 17th, lingering to a lesser degree Tuesday the 18th.
Tuesday the 18th into Wednesday the 19th though could be interesting days for swell and weather in SoCal. The 144h models show a development just 1000 miles off the CA/OR border, which would move south early next week. This could bring hefty wind swell to SoCal from a very steep 310-320°. Weather models show the low associated with this one passing right through SoCal, but not many models show any kind of precipitation with this system, so no rain is forecast. With this low passing right through our area winds are likely to be an issue, but it's too early to call this system today given its proximity to the coast (and subsequent long-range projection).
The southern hemisphere is starting to light up with signs up winter approaching the other side of the globe. While most of this activity is in the southern ocean south of Australia, the 120h models show something breaking off Antarctica south of French Polynesia, which is in our swell window. Right now this is looking like a waist to maybe chest high swell event for south facing breaks in SoCal, but it is too early to make that call today.
Here's how the day-to-day is breaking down so far:
Wednesday the 12th is looking at chest max swell at west facing breaks.
Thursday the 13th, looks smaller for the AM, but with NW ground swell filling in as the day progresses, peaking at chest high as the swell fills in.
Friday the 14th is expected to see chest high ground swell at west facing breaks.
Saturday the 15th is expected to see waist to at times chest high swell at west facing breaks.
Sunday the 16th should also start out in the waist+ range, but we may see some NW sets in the chest+ range late in the day.
Monday the 17th is looking at chest to head high swell at west facing breaks.
Tuesday the 18th is looking at chest high ground swell at west facing breaks with occasional head high pluses at standouts, mostly in the AM. We may also see NW wind swell pick up later in the day.
Wednesday the 19th could see an increase in NW wind swell. Initial estimates point to possibly head high wind swell from a localized system.
Thursday the 20th, so far, is expected to see NW wind swell fade as NW ground swell comes ashore. West facing breaks would run chest max, it is too early to call that today.
High pressure builds over the area today as a low begins to push south through the state's interior, setting up an inside-slider/Santa Ana wind event. Beaches should reach the high 60s today. Wednesday warms as the offshore conditions peak, putting beaches into the low 70s. Thursday through Saturday should then see beaches in the high 60s.
Models are split on possibly another slight warm-up Sunday under a moderate offshore flow. But all models this morning show a change by Tuesday the 18th or Wednesday the 19th as a Pacific low swipes through the area. Right now, rain is expected to stay north of SoCal, but this system would, at the very least, bring in a notable onshore flow. Too early to call today, but I'll stay on top of it and keep you posted.
Winds at 7:00 AM were light and variable most everywhere from the NE. A NW flow is setting up today, which could bring 15+ mph winds north of LA, but about 8-12 mph onshore this afternoon south of LA.
Late tonight into Wednesday we should see the peak of the NE wind-event being setup today. This wind-event is expected to be centered over the Central Coast of California, with the tail end of it affecting Santa Barbara and Ventura counties with 20+ mph offshore winds, but more like 10 mph from LA south on Wednesday. Winds should weaken Wednesday afternoon as the inside-slider low retrogrades back over SoCal, cutting off the NE flow.
Thursday then should see mild winds in the 5 mph range offshore in the AM, and onshore in the afternoon 8-12 mph. Friday, so far, looks similar.
Saturday into Sunday a ridge of high pressure building into the American West is likely to bring back an offshore flow, although models show this being mild Saturday, and then 10-15 mph in the AM on Sunday, which is still a toss-up across the models this morning.
Bigger question marks punctuate the forecast for early next week as models show a low swinging through our area Tuesday the 18th into Wednesday the 19th...more on that in my next report...
Until my next report (Thursday), take care, be safe, and smile in the lineup!