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John Lyman Photos

March 2018

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The Surf & Weather Forecast for

Southern California

March 19, 2018



WE’ve got a playful mix of small S-SSW (180-200) and some weak NW in the water.  New SSW (195-205) shows up Tuesday, as a storm starts working its way into the region.  For the northern half of the region we’re expecting a wet weak with WSW-W (240-280) wind swell/swell mix building Wednesday and bringing some moderate sized surf that could hold through the end of the week.  Read more for details.

Get the live Southern California Buoy Forecast graph here -

Surfwise we’re expecting the playful knee to waist high+ waves at southerly exposures to continue through Tuesday, with some fun conditions.  The weather although it may start to rain Tuesday afternoon/evening is still looking pretty light.  Onshores could add some texture with a southerly component Tuesday afternoon.

The big news this week is going be the storm.  It’s looking likely that Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties are going to be hit the hardest with consistent rains starting Tuesday, and continuing through Thursday, possibly lingering Friday even.  This is an atmospheric river event and its likely that it will bring heavy rains at times.  Accumulations levels drop off as you head south of LA.  The main concern is going to be mud and debris flows as well coming off the recent burn areas, local flooding and water quality issues through out the region.  Wind wise, we aren’t expecting winds to be too much of an issue at first.   Light and variable Tuesday, shifting more easterly on Wednesday, and then as the storm approaches the coast Thursday we could see stronger onshores out of the SW.  The onshore trend is then expected to remain in tact for the most part through the upcoming weekend.

Surfwise we’re expecting the new W-WSW (240-280) swell mix to start picking up early Wednesday.  It looks like the largest surf will be hitting LA and Santa Barbara County.  Wave heights could be running chest high to overhead+ at standouts, while more typical breaks are in the waist to head high range.  For the less exposed spots and for parts farther south, wave heights will likely be in the knee to chest high range.  Again conditions are going to be very dependent on water quality, and how much onshore texture there is due to the storm.  Keep an eye on conditions, and keep in mind that you’re risking your health if you surf after a rain.

The surf will start to relax through the upcoming weekend although it looks like fairly consistent onshore flow will keep some texture and bump on the surface for most areas.

Here’s what to expect on a day-to-day basis this week:

Monday the 19th keeping an eye on extra southerly energy filling in, wave heights expected to hold in the knee to waist high+ range.

Tuesday the 20th A little extra s.hemi in the water and a storm starts to approach.  Standouts could see more consistent knee to waist high+ surf at standouts.

Wednesday the 21st westerly swell builds into the waist to head high+ range late.  Conditions could deteriorate with SW onshore winds.

Thursday the 22nd westerly swell mix holds.  Potential for standouts to see bigger sets.  Conditions looking a bit mixed up for the exposed coast.  Water quality to be an issue.

Friday the 23rd westerly swell mix works continues to bring waist to head high+ surf.  Winds turn more W-NW.

Saturday the 24th wind swell shifts more W-WNW and starts to ease as the region starts to dry out.

Sunday the 25th WNW swell mix eases.  Standouts expected to be running knee to chest high.

Tropical Overview

Nothing in the tropics


North Pacific Swell Forecast

The long-range models are looking pretty quiet.  There aren’t any swell makers on the horizon, but it is that time of year where things can rapidly change, so I will keep an eye on the North Pacific and let you know on Thursday how things are shaping up.  Stay tuned.

South Pacific Swell Forecast

Minimal swell coming out of the South Pacific at this time.

Next long-range forecast expected for Thursday the 22nd.  

Austin Gendron
Surf Forecaster


















































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