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The Surf & Weather Forecast for

Southern California

January 18, 2018



Another solid pulse of WNW (280-300) swell arrives late Thursday, and peaks Friday.  Conditions are expected to remain favorable through Friday morning.  A storm is due though, and could bring onshores through Saturday.  Weather improves, for early next week as swell backs off.  Read more for details.

Get the live Southern California Buoy Forecast graph here -

Quick update on the situation in Santa Barbara County 

… And it’s not expected to be lifted before the next swell, so surf at your own risk…

High pressure lingers through Friday morning as we wait for the next storm system to arrive.  In the meantime new long period WNW (280-300) fills in and builds to a 4-6 foot peak Friday with periods around 17 seconds.  That means surf in the head high to well overhead range at standouts, possibly bigger even at magnets.

As Friday’s storm moves through we could see some showers, and breezy westerly winds spreading across Southern California.  It’s not looking nearly as wet as the last system, but still should bring precipitation to a good part of the region.  Saturday things start to settle.  The surf eases into the chest to overhead+ range as weather clears on Saturday.  Wave heights will continue to ease into the knee to chest high range on Monday.  A couple smaller NW pulses will do their best to swing in around Pt. Conception helping maintain knee to waist high+-chest high through mid-next week with fair conditions.

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

Thursday the 18th Surf should ease into the waist to head high+ range at standouts.

Friday the 19th new mix o long period WNW-NW starts building as storm arrives.  The swell mix should mean head high to well overhead high+ surf at standouts through most of the day, building late.

Saturday the 20th The swell mix peaks, with standouts running chest to overhead high+, possibly a little bigger.  Conditions expected to improve.

Sunday the 21st surf eases into the waist to chest high+ range as conditions improve at standouts.

Monday the 22nd new long-period NW energy arrives, but its looking steep, and wave heights are likely to continue to ease into the knee to chest high range at standouts.

Tuesday the 23rd mixed leftover WNW and new NW energy should help maintain knee to chest high wave heights.

Wednesday the 24th playful NW continues to bring knee to chest high surf to standouts.

Tropical Overview

Nothing in the tropics


Long-range models go through a weird stale period, where the synoptic pattern stalls. There’s a trough in the Gulf of Alaska, but its mostly zonal and pretty far north… other than that a potentially potent storm, but again a short lived one near Japan mid next week…

The end result leaves something to be desired. I’m not 100% convinced that the models are set in stone, but I’ll have updates on Monday either way. Stay tuned.

South Pacific Swell Forecast

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

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

Austin Gendron
Surf Forecaster










































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