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Thursday, Aug. 24, 2006 | Today our new southern hemi SW swell is just now starting to fill in, right on schedule. Size will increase throughout the day and peak on Friday. Friday is due for some fairly significant southerly swell from hurricane Ileana as well. Saturday still sees some waves with diminishing size come Sunday.

Right now, the California Buoy is checking in at 3 feet with 14-second periods. Closer to the coast, the Half Moon Bay buoy is at 5 feet with 8-second periods and Cape San Martin buoy is at 5 feet with 8-second periods.

Buoys around SoCal waters are showing not only the wind swell, but also signs of our new SW swell with 2-4 foot seas having 17-19 second periods.

Overall, the swell energy in the water shows southerly periods averaging 18 seconds from 190-210 degrees and NW periods running 9 seconds from 310 degrees.

Note that the long-period nature of the SW swell that’s filling in today will make for some dissimilarity 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 at times; many waves may look surfable, while every now and then sets could roll through that produce waves far greater in size – especially later today and more so on Friday when the bulk of the southern hemi and hurricane swells hit the coast. This also is increasing the risk of riptides, especially at direct south facing beach breaks, and especially during the outgoing tides. Note that the NWS has issued riptide and coastal flooding warnings for south facing beaches through Saturday morning. Caution and steady observation before making a decision on a paddle-out is advised – when in doubt, just stay out.

In SoCal, wave heights early this morning were checking in around chest high on the better sets at south facing breaks. Size will be building as the day progresses with wave heights reaching…[more]

Northern California and the Central Coast are seeing waist to chest high surf at most west facing spots. South facing breaks are barely seeing any of the southern hemi swell yet, but will be seeing size approach chest high by mid to late morning, and up to…[more]

The tide is not too much of an issue now but we are seeing a tidal swing from a New Moon that peaked Wednesday, making for some fairly high tides by late morning. This can tend to slow…[more]

Water temperatures are averaging 70 degrees in San Diego, 69 in Orange County, 70 in LA, 66 in Ventura County, 65 in Santa Barbara, 57 along the central coast, and 57 degrees in NCal.

Winds as of 6 this morning were light and variable most everywhere. Onshores are expected to reach 12-15 mph this afternoon. On Friday, when the southern hemi and hurricane swells combine, winds are looking to…[more]

Southern hemi swell builds today…[more]

Southern hemi and hurricane swells peak on Friday…[more]

Smaller surf on the long-range right now…[more]

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