Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2006 | Today southern hemi SW swell is filling in, right on schedule. This long-period surf will peak on Wednesday when some NW ground swell comes into the mix. Waves persist into the weekend, but before the week is out, we will see a good deal of NW wind swell and an onshore push with some wind issues. Some moderately sized SW is on tap early next week, and we’re tracking some south swell for the 28th.
Right now, the California Buoy is checking in at 8 feet with 12-second periods. Closer to the coast, the Half Moon Bay buoy is at 7 feet with 7-second periods and Cape San Martin buoy is at 4 feet with 17-second periods.
Near-shore buoys in SoCal waters are showing the southern hemi SW swell with 2.4-2.8 foot seas having 17-20 second periods.
Overall, the swell energy in the water shows southerly periods averaging 17-20 seconds from 205-210 degrees and NW periods running 11 seconds from 300 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 Wednesday when the bulk of the southern hemi swell hits the coast. This swell may also increase the risk of riptides, especially at direct south facing beach breaks, and especially during the outgoing tides. Note that the NWS has issued riptide warnings for south facing beaches through Monday. 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 chest to shoulder high at most south facing breaks, head high at standouts with occasional pluses. West facing breaks are seeing waist to chest high + sets.
Northern California and the Central Coast are seeing chest to shoulder high surf at most west facing breaks. South facing breaks are running chest high.
The tide is starting to swing rather high for early to mid morning sessions as we enter a tidal swing due to a New Moon this Friday. This spring tide can tend to…[more]
Winds as of 7 this morning were light and variable most everywhere. The offshore gradients have weakened though, and onshore winds are expected to reach 8-12 mph by noon. Wednesday will start to see…[more]
SW peaks Wednesday…[more]
NW ground swell mixes in Wednesday, Thursday…[more]
Some SW to last into weekend…[more]
Southern hemi SW 25th through 27th…[more]
Tracking south swell for 28th…[more]