Gotta Love Adam Wright
I consider him the voice of reason. He's not always right, but he comes close more often than not. And he doesn't charge one thin dime for his forecasts. My hero!!
Waves for Wednesday – WNW-NW swell peaks but expect some heavy shadowing for some areas
By adam wright on November 2, 2010 @ 8:33 pm
Wednesday will be a surf day…and despite the title of the forecast most WNW-NW facing spots will have some sort of surf and even a few of the best-est breaks will have some decent size…but if you were expecting to need jet-skis and tow ropes really anywhere in Socal you are going to be disappointed.
So if you haven’t already heard…on Wednesday a new WNW-NW swell (285-300 but with the biggest energy showing at 295+ degrees) will be peaking throughout the day. There is a tiny fraction of S-SW remnant swell from the Southern Hemi but it is basically there as a party decoration.
After looking at the charts all day…this is probably the most useful one in terms of seeing how the swell will be filtering into Southern California. At first glance you basically go “holy crap the outer waters are on fire!” but then you take a closer look at how much of the swell is actually making it into our beaches, which isn’t all that much compared to the “potential energy” on the outside. Now that being said there will be some decent surf here and there…and I have circled the regions that will pull in the most energy (for the color blind)…so if you are looking for bigger waves you are going to want to focus on those areas.
Sizewise…the average spots (outside the circles) are seeing some swell…but it isn’t all that much. We can expect the WNW-NW facing spots in those areas to hold around the chest-shoulder high range on most of the sets…with the potential for a few bigger sets on the right tides and if the break has a tendency to work on swells like these. The standout spots, again…mostly in the circled areas of Southern Ventura, parts of the South Bay, and Southern San Diego (once you move out of the Catalina Shadow), will have more consistent shoulder-head high surf with some overhead sets…and the potential for sets going a couple of feet overhead…maybe a little bigger at the focal breaks in S. San Diego. One thing that sort of blows…is that we have a 6’+ high tide peaking right at 7am so if your spot is tide sensitive…you might be out of luck for a morning session.
Weather on the other hand is going to be really good again on Wednesday. Winds will be light/moderate N-NE (offshore) for most areas…holding around 4-5 knots for most spots and seeing some stronger gusts 10-15 knots near the really wind prone passes and canyons. Winds stay light for most of midday and then will get variable to variable onshore near the end of the day. Skies will be sunny and overall it will be a pretty good beach day, while people burst into flames out in the Inland Empire.
Just a couple more parting shots for this forecast…the points/reefs that are exposed to the NW swell are going to have the best shape…there just isn’t anything to break up the lines at the open beach breaks…but if you are stuck surfing one, try to pick one with some sort of structure or really good sandbar and hope it can put a couple of creases in the swell. Watch those tides…the 6’ high at 7am drops to a negative -0.2 low by 2pm…and tide swings like that can take a lot of wind out of a swell’s sails. Happy hunting…let us know if you score a few tomorrow.