Tuesday, June 20, 2006 | The long awaited southern hemi SW swell has arrived in full force after slowly filling in yesterday. This one has a steep southerly angle to it, making it tricky for some breaks to see some action. Note that there’s quite a bit of NW wind swell in the water today as well.

We’ll still have some waves tomorrow, but this swell will fade Thursday and even more so by the weekend. There have been only small ramblings down in the South Pacific as of late, but we do have some bursts of SW swell on the charts for next week, although nothing like what we’re seeing today.

Right now, the California Buoy is checking in at 9 feet with 9-second periods. Closer to the coast, the Half Moon Bay buoy is at 10 feet with 11-second periods and Cape San Martin buoy is at 10 feet with 10-second periods.

In SoCal waters, buoys such as Catalina, Huntington Beach Nearshore, San Pedro and Dana Point are showing the long periods of the southern hemi swell with seas running over 4 to at times near 6 feet with 18-21 second periods.

SW periods are averaging an extremely long 20 seconds from a very steep 170-180 degrees, and NW periods are running 10 seconds from 305.

Note that the long-period nature of the SW swell in the water today is making for quite a bit of variation in size between south facing breaks of varying bathymetry. Breaks with steeper bathymetry that shoal well and refract the southern energy ideally will see bigger sets at times than the slower, longboard breaks.

Additionally, these long periods can produce some deceiving lulls; many waves may look surfable, while every now and then sets could roll through that produce waves far greater in size. This, and the increased risk of riptides are hazards to be aware of during this swell, especially at direct south facing beach breaks, and especially during the outgoing tides. Caution and steady observation before making a decision on a paddle-out is advised.

In SoCal, most south facing breaks are seeing sets running chest to head high. Breaks able to work the steep south are seeing sets a couple feet overhead, and the standouts are seeing set waves nearing DOH every now and then. West facing breaks are running waist to chest high + with dual exposure spots seeing bigger sets.

Northern California and the Central Coast are seeing sets running head high to a couple feet overhead at west facing breaks. South facing breaks are running chest to head high, seeing not only the southern hemi swell but also some NW diffraction.

The tide is fairly manageable for morning sessions, yet evening sessions are responding to an upcoming New Moon next Sunday, which is swinging evening highs above the 6-foot mark. This will affect many…[more]

Water temperatures are averaging 67 degrees in San Diego, 65 in Orange County, 67 in LA, 61 in Ventura County, 62 in Santa Barbara, 55 along the central coast, and 55 in NCal.

Winds as of 7:00 this morning were light and variable with a slight onshore element most everywhere. Afternoon onshores are expected to reach 11-14 mph. Not much change is expected tomorrow, but as we approach the weekend…[more]

SW peaks today…[more]

Facing smaller weekend…[more]

Light SW early next week…[more]

State of the Surf report for the summer of 2006

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