Thursday, Aug. 3, 2006 | Today our new SW swell has arrived on schedule and there’s a fair amount of NW wind swell hanging around the coast as well. This swell will dip a bit on Saturday before another stout swathe of southern hemi swell swipes the coast.

Bacteria Alert: There was a sewage spill Wednesday in Orange County that has closed a 600-foot stretch of the North Beach shoreline in San Clemente near the Pico drain. An unknown amount of raw sewage was released, and the area will remain closed to water-contact sports until further notice.

Right now, the California Buoy is checking in at 7 feet with 7-second periods. Closer to the coast, the Half Moon Bay buoy is at 9 feet with 9-second periods and Cape San Martin buoy is at 8 feet with 9-second periods.

Buoys around SoCal waters are showing SW energy running 3-4+ feet with 17-18+ second periods.

Overall, the swell energy in the water shows southerly periods averaging 17 seconds from 225 degrees and NW periods running 9 seconds from 315 degrees.

Note that the long-period nature of the SW swell in the water today will cause 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 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 – when in doubt, just stay out.

In SoCal, wave heights are running a steady shoulder to head high+ at most south facing breaks with pluses running a couple feet overhead at standout south facing spots. With the wide SW angle of 225, west facing breaks are not only picking up the NW wind swell, but also some of the southern hemi stuff too, running chest to shoulder high – dual exposure spots are bigger. Note though that there is some island blockage (from Catalina and San Clemente islands) affecting the OC region north of Dana Pt. where size is mostly waist to chest+.

Northern California and the Central Coast are seeing chest to head high peaky sets at west facing breaks, chest to shoulder high at south facing breaks.

The tide will start to become an issue for evening sessions in the next couple of days as we approach a Full Moon on Wednesday the 9th. This spring tide will tend to slow things down during…[more]

Water temperatures are averaging 72 degrees in San Diego, 67 in Orange County, 72 in LA, 69 in Ventura County, 68 in Santa Barbara, 63 along the central coast, and 59 degrees in NCal.

Winds as of 5 this morning were light and variable most everywhere but some areas were picking up southerly texture breezes to 8 mph. Afternoon onshores are expected to reach 8-12 mph. Friday is when another trough digs into the region, bringing with it…[more]

Southern hemi stays strong Friday…[more]

Still waves for Saturday but…[more]

Then more southern hemi Sunday…[more]

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