Tuesday, May 13, 2008

WNW Swell Alert: North Pacific gets off another shot of WNW swell before the summer!

We have a decent sized WNW swell (290-300+) heading into Northern and Central California later this week. Looks like weather will be good too. I would start working on your "sick" excuses for ditching work.

The North Pacific storm track just won't quit this year...every time it looks like it is about to kick the seasonal bucket it spins off another storm. This latest system formed to the northeast of the Hawaiian Islands and is setting up fetch for Northern and Central California as it moves into the Gulf of Alaska.

While it is weak compared to "normal winter" reckoning it is still is very healthy considering that it is May. You can see on the QuikSCAT image below that it is showing winds in the 35-45 knot range right in the key areas of fetch.

Here are the details on this swell...

Northern California
Look for the WNW swell from this storm to arrive throughout the day on Friday and then peak overnight into Saturday. Wave heights will be consistently in the head high to overhead+ range while the standout NW facing spots see well-overhead sets.

As a huge bonus winds and weather are going to cut us a break as well...the springtime gale that we have had for what seems like forever is finally going to back off right as this swell hits. Friday and Saturday will have clean morning conditions and only moderate onshore flow below 15 knots in the afternoons.

Southern California
This swell isn't aimed very well for SoCal...we will see some energy but the brunt of the WNW energy (290-300) will be blocked by Point Conception.

Look for this new WNW-NW to arrive through the day on Saturday, peak late in the afternoon and hold into Sunday. Like I said above SoCal will be much smaller...mostly knee-chest high at the exposed breaks, but we may see a touch of S-SW swell in the water as well which would allow a few peaky sets to sneak through at the combo breaks.

Make sure to keep an eye on the offshore 49059 NOAA buoy...we should start to see some new energy showing around midday/evening on Thursday.

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