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The Surf & Weather Forecast for

Southern California

December 4, 2018



A mix of medium-period W-WNW (275-295) energy arrives Tuesday/Wednesday and will be joined on Thursday by longer period WNW-NW (295-310).  The swell mix will peak Thursday/Friday before tapering off some over the weekend.  Looking further out we could see a solid WNW (280-300) arriving early next week.  Also just a heads up, but I will be traveling out of the country for the next few weeks on my honeymoon, and unfortunately will not be able to update the forecast.  If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me and I will try to take a look and give you an update, but no guarantees.  Thank you in advance.  Read more for details.

Get the live Southern California Buoy Forecast graph here -

Surfwise we’re going to see things pick up a little bit over the next 24 hours.  Wave heights are expected to build into the waist to chest high+ range with the pulse of medium period surf, and then could increase further to a peak of chest to head high+ at standouts through Friday, with size lingering through the weekend.

The key to this weeks swell mix is going to be the angles of the swells.  The first pulse on Tuesday and Wednesday is going to be more westerly, and in some cases may evens have some WSW in it.  That means more exposure for breaks in areas like Santa Barbara, and the North Bay… It could also mean some shadowing in areas not usually used to it this time of year.  One the reverse side of that though the long-period WNW-NW swell that fills in Thursday will sneak into a few different spots, and be able to sneak into some of the breaks that like the longer periods and can help build the swell on itself.

It should be noted that S-SE winds could pick up over the next day or so though, blowing out what swell there is.  Keep an eye on those winds though.  The low may sneak south, drawing some offshores Thursday.  We’re also expecting some showers and rain from this system as it moves through the region over the next couple days.  For the most part things should clear up by Friday though.

As the swell drops through the weekend, conditions look fairly typical, with lighter morning winds and light to moderate onshores in the afternoons.

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

Tuesday the 4th smaller leftovers expected.  Light winds in the morning, with a fairly high tide.

Wednesday the 5th new Westerly swell builds through the morning, bringing waist to chest high+ surf to the exposed coast, possibly bigger at standouts.  Keeping an eye on increased southerly winds and potential for rain through the day as the storm moves through the region.

Thursday the 6th likely wet weather and breezy southerly winds as W-WNW-NW swell mix builds, bringing waist high to head high+ surf to the regions exposed spots late in the day.  Keep an eye on the winds, they could shift offshore

Friday the 7th WNW-NW swell mix holds its peak through the morning before easing in the afternoon.  Conditions likely to still be pretty funky for a few areas further south, but could be improving depending on how the storm plays out.

Saturday the 8th The WNW-NW swell mix eases as conditions improve

Sunday the 9th smaller surf on tap

Monday the 3rd watching for larger pulse of W-WNW swell.

Tropical Overview

No tropical cyclones at this time


North Pacific Swell Forecast

I wont be around to follow up on this guy, but keep an eye on it.  As of right now, a low pressure system is supposed to drop out of the Gulf of Alaska over the weekend, and although not the strongest storm, it could still generate a decent fetch almost directly W-WNW (270-290) off Southern California.

The models seem a little excited about it, but I’m hesitant to say one way or another.  Based on the current forecast though there c0uld be a solid moderate to plus sized swell filling in early next week.  Keep an eye on the charts, and watch for any changes.  If the storm takes a more northerly path it will be a smaller less potent swell, if the storm swings into the region it could be similar to the recent swell we had last week.

South Pacific Swell Forecast

The Southern Hemisphere is looking quieter, with only small background swells being spun off of a couple zonal systems bouncing along the melting ice shelf.  Nothing too exciting to report there.

Austin Gendron

Surf Forecaster



































































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