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Forecaster Report

Southern California

Report Date & Time: October 19, 2014 8:15 AM
By forecaster: Nathan Cool
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Surf Synopsis
Today (Sunday) we have a moderate mix of NW wind and ground swell in SoCal. A significantly sized NW swell is due Tuesday the 21st. A smaller, moderate NW ground swell is being tracked for the end of the week. The end of the month will likely see smaller surf. Condition-wise: weather warms during the second half of the week after a cooler onshore flow early in the workweek; winds to be somewhat strong onshore over the next couple days with then milder conditions during the second half of the week; the tide swings wide this week; and water temps remain on the warm side.

Early this morning, periods were running 9 seconds from 280° and 12 seconds from 290°.

Most west facing breaks were running chest high with occasional pluses at standouts. Direct south facing breaks were running waist to at times chest.


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Swell Forecast and Schedule
Buoys in the outer waters were running 6', but with periods now shorter in the 9-12 second range. Nearshore buoys around SoCal were running 2.5-3.3', with NW energy being nearly all of that.

The tide will swing wide this week as we approach a New Moon Thursday the 17th. Today we have a 4.8' high around 8:00 AM, a 1.5' low around 2:00 PM, and a 4.5' high around 7:30 PM.

Water temps remain on the high side for this time of year and were running about 70° up and down the SoCal coast from Santa Barbara to San Diego. In fact, CCal is warmer than normal at around 66°, and it isn't until you get up to around Pt. Sur where water temps drop to the low 60s (and still 60° around much of Oregon).

Swell-wise: Today we're seeing a combo of lagging periods from the Alaskan Gulf system that peaked late last week, and localized wind swell from a passing low. This mix will likely back down Monday morning, but a much bigger swell will arrive shortly.

Tuesday the 21st (building late in the day Monday the 20th) should see sizable NW swell in SoCal. As you may recall from last week's reports, this is from a system that came out of the western Pacific, gaining strength near the Aleutians. This system is currently spinning at a fairly low latitude (from 35N to 50N...a big ole honkin' fetch) just 1100 nautical miles from SoCal with 30' seas. This system is expected to continue pushing east toward the west coast. Running the numbers this morning it looks like we're on track for surf running up to 3' overhead at west facing breaks in SoCal, angled from a fairly direct 290° with 16-second periods. This should also be a consistent swell with little to no let-up in sets with few and short lulls. Rip current risk will be extremely high.

This swell should continue Wednesday the 22nd with similar size, and then linger to a lesser degree Thursday the 23rd (waist to chest).

Friday the 24th into Saturday the 25th is the ETA for our next NW swell from a system projected to break off the Aleutian Chain. Models take this one on more of a southerly course, where we'd need a southeasterly trajectory to see most of its swell. Right now it looks like we'll see 300-310° energy with 14-second periods and size chest high at west facing breaks. ETA is for SB/VC early AM Friday, LA mid morning, then OC and SD late morning. This swell should peak early Saturday morning.

Sunday the 25th and for the remainder of the month is, so far, looking at smaller surf as long range models show little activity once this Aleutian swell fades. Additionally, a dominant area of low pressure in the Gulf is looking to be temporarily shifted north early next week, taking the jetstream/swell-track with it. The extended, 180h models however show a Rosby Wave-like shift in the jetstream around the beginning of November near the Gulf of Alaska, which would once again setup an El Niño-like pattern (dominant low pressure in the Gulf) that would position the jetstream better for NW swell development (and guidance of energy to our area). It's way too early to make that call today, and even though the jetstream/swell-track would be nicely aligned, we'd still need swell-making storms to form in its path. Too many ifs today, but I'll keep a close watch and keep you posted as things progress.


Here's how the day-to-day is breaking down so far:

Monday the 20th should start out waist to chest, but then forerunners are expected throughout the day as our next swell approaches.

Tuesday the 21st is looking at sets running 1-3' overhead at west facing breaks.

Wednesday the 22nd looks similar, 1-3' overheat at west facing breaks.

Thursday the 23rd looks about chest to head high at west facing breaks

Friday the 24th looks about chest high at west facing breaks with swell filling in throughout the morning.

Saturday the 25th should run chest high at west facing breaks.

Sunday the 26th, so far, is expected to run waist to chest at west facing breaks.

Monday the 27th, so far, is looking about waist high at west facing breaks.

Tuesday the 28th, so far, also looks about waist high at west facing breaks.


Weather Outlook
Weak troughing today is allowing a light offshore effect this morning with beaches reaching about 70°. Monday and Tuesday see a low pass just north of the area, thickening up the marine layer and dropping beach temps to the high 60s. High pressure builds Wednesday, but beaches are still likely to run about the same as Tuesday (high 60s). Thursday though is looking at a nice, moderate offshore flow as high pressure builds into the region after the passing low, warming beaches into the low to mid 70s. Friday looks similar. The high is expected to break down Saturday with beach temps cooling to the high 60s for the weekend.


Wind Outlook
Winds at 8:00 AM were light and variable most everywhere with a light offshore effect. Afternoon onshores are expected to reach 8-12 mph. Monday should see light and variables early with afternoon onshores to 15 mph. Tuesday should see onshores pick up early, reaching 15+ mph in the afternoon. Wednesday through the rest of the week is looking at milder winds, lightly offshore in the AM and onshore in the afternoon 8-12 mph.


Until my next report (Tuesday), take care, be safe, and smile in the lineup!


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