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Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006 | Today our new NW swell is filling in along the coast as a fairly wet and windy storm, sitting offshore, bears down on the coast. More NW swell is due on the 30th in NCal, 31st in SoCal. We’re also watching another NW’er with a possible ETA around the 4th.
Right now, the California Buoy is checking at 14 feet with 9-second periods. Closer to the coast, the Half Moon Bay buoy is at an impressive 15 feet with long, 17-second periods, and the Cape San Martin buoy is at 12 feet with 16-second periods.
Overall, the swell energy in the water shows NW periods averaging 17 seconds from 300 degrees.
Note that the long-period and steep-angled nature of the NW swell will make for some dissimilarity in size between west facing breaks of varying bathymetry and westerly exposure. West facing spots that have steeper bathymetry that shoal well and refract the NW swell energy ideally-especially those with excellent westerly exposure-will see bigger sets than the slower, longboard-type breaks (particularly those with minimal westerly exposure).
Additionally, this swell’s long periods, and the sometimes-spotty nature of the steep angled NW energy can produce some deceiving lulls at times; many waves may look surfable, while every now and then sets that wrap in well to the coast could produce waves far greater in size. This swell may also increase the risk of riptides, especially during the outgoing tides at west facing breaks, and alongshore currents will be a concern as well.
In SoCal, wave heights are running head high to a couple feet overhead at most west facing breaks, near DOH at times on the better set waves at the standout spots. South facing breaks are running chest to at times head high when the better sets come through.
Northern California and the Central Coast are seeing sets running 12-14 feet on the faces at most west facing breaks, bigger at times at standouts. South facing breaks are running head high, well overhead at dual exposure spots.
The tide is at manageable levels now, but we will be entering another radical tidal swing by the end of the week from a Full Moon due on the 3rd.
Water temperatures are averaging 60 degrees in San Diego, 59 in Orange County, 60 in LA, 59 in Ventura County, 59 in Santa Barbara, 58 along the Central Coast, and 57 degrees in NCal.
Winds as of 6:00 this morning were light and variable most everywhere. Winds should remain light throughout the day. A storm though is bearing down on…[more]
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