Thursday, May 1, 2008

S Swell Alert - New S swell brewing up around Antarctica

So I got some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that a well positioned storm has spun up just off the coast of Antarctica. The storm has some decent wind speeds, a wide area of fetch, and is moving in a good direction. This system will be kicking out a large S-SW swell for Central America and Southern Mainland Mexico while at the same time sending some healthy, but more playful sized, surf to Baja and Southern California.

The Bad news is that the swell will hit over Mother's Day weekend. So unless your mom rips chances are you won't get to travel to score some waves on this swell.

Here are a few charts that highlight this storm and incoming swell...

There are a couple of things to note about this storm...from a positioning standpoint the core of this storm is almost out of the SoCal window...not quite but right on the edge for many of the SoCal regions...fortunately the fetch is pretty wide so edges of the swell direction will be a little "fuzzy". If it had moved a touch further eastward the swell would have been going back against the grain of the storm track and would have had a really hard time making it to SoCal.

Also this swell won't have to squeeze through the South Pacific islands which is an extra-bonus for socal. With a cleaner shot at SoCal we will actually see a bit more size and consistency from this one than we would from a more SW'erly angled swell.

So onto the swell details...

Central America and Southern Mainland Mexico
The main push of the swell is definitely aimed towards Central America...and due to the position of the storm it will last for several days after it peaks.

At this point expect the new SW swell (it has more of a 200-degree swell direction in this region) to hit late on May 8th, build fast through the morning of the 9th, and then peak in the afternoon of May 9th into the 10-11th. Look for surf running well overhead through the 9th with sets starting to hit double-overhead+ at the standout spots by the afternoon. Those waves will hold through the weekend before slowly trailing off through the first part of the next week.

(Please note that Southern Mainland Mexico is about 1/2-3/4 of a day behind on arrival times so the peak of the swell still hits on the 10-11th but shows less energy on the 9th).

Baja Sur
The S swell arrives in baja Sur late on the 9th, builds through the day on the 10th and peaks more in the afternoon of the 10th into the 11th. It will be a bit smaller through this look for plenty of shoulder-head high sets at exposed breaks and overhead+ sets at the standouts along the Tip. Expect slightly smaller surf the further north you move along the Pacific side.

Southern California
SoCal will have a smaller, but still fun version of this S swell (180). This swell will arrive later on the 10th and will fill in more overnight eventually peaking exactly on Mother's Day (May 11th) and holding into the 12th. At this point we can expect chest-shoulder high surf for most of the exposed areas in SoCal. Orange County, in particular North Orange County, will have some head high+ sets at the top breaks.

This one is still a long ways off so you should have time to get your Mom the gift she really needs...A family vacation to Costa Rica! (yeah...good luck with that).

Make sure to check back I will have more updates on this swell as it gets closer. As always if you get some good pictures of this swell send them my way.

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