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February 2019

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The Surf & Weather Forecast for

Southern California

February 12, 2019



There’s a small mix of background energy from both hemispheres in the water right now bringing some fun waves to a few magnets.  My recommendation is get it Tuesday before things get ugly.  The second half of this week is looking pretty gnarly, with a big storm hitting the West Coast and not doing much as far as delivering surf goes.  Could be some background NW swell working its way around Pt. Conception, but I wouldn’t count on it being very clean.  Read more for details.

Get the live Southern California Buoy Forecast graph here -

The combo energy should ease a little bit into the knee to chest high range at standouts Tuesday, could still be fun with some lighter winds in the morning.  The tide swing is looking pretty slow through the day though, so don’t expect it to help push the surf much.  Wednesday the winds are supposed to start picking up out of the E-SE.  For Santa Barbara that could mean breezy onshore winds and building wind swell, elsewhere it could mean more offshore with smaller trace swells in the water.

The stormy mix of swell could mean waist to head high surf along the exposed coast, possibly bigger, but its going to be a mess for most places, especially as winds shift more SW and the storm gets closer.  We’re looking at rain Wednesday and Thursday, heavy at times…

Keep an eye on shifting winds Thursday.  There could be a long enough break in some areas to catch some dumpy surf.  The models aren’t in great agreement though about what to do immediately after the storm, but they do converge on another storm arriving with a trough of low pressure over the weekend.

That one looks like it’s going to drop down from the Gulf of Alaska though, bringing cooler weather and increased wind swell through the weekend.  Surf will be up in the waist to head high+ range, but onshore winds will be adding texture and bump to the surface for most exposed spots.

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

Tuesday the 12th light offshore winds and small knee to chest high combo swell.  Looks pretty fun for a few select areas.

Wednesday the 13th the combo swell continues to ease as the next storm approaches.  This one creeps up from the WSW, and is going to draw breezy E-SE winds along the Southern California coast kicking up some wind swell in some areas.  Watch for rain to start through the day.

Thursday the 14th winds are expected to be onshore and breezy.  Surf will be mostly short period wind swell kicked up by the storm.  Rain could be heavy at times.

Friday the 15th in between day, with leftover swell, and possibly a break in the winds long enough to get a surf… or at least drive around checking every spot looking for the best one.

Saturday the 16th Another storm swings through, this time from the north.  Chances of rain are less, but still possible.  The mix of swell is going to continue bringing surfable size (maybe waist to head high), but conditions are looking questionable

Sunday the 17th Weather continues to look unsettled, with potential for gusty winds.  Wind swell could peak late (storm willing of course).

Monday the 18th lingering hangover from the weekends storms and swells.  There could be some easing onshores as low pressure pushes east, possibly starting to shift onshore.  Wave heights should be backing off into the knee to chest high+ range.


Tropical Overview

No tropical cyclones at this time


North Pacific Swell Forecast

Long range synoptic models are showing a quieter pattern following these next couple storms.  High pressure pushes into the Gulf of Alaska, and it looks like the MJO might be shifting.

There’s a small pulse of long-period WNW-NW that could fill in around the 19th/20th, but it will mostly be background energy, maybe make some waves in the knee to chest high range at standouts.  After that it could be mostly localized wind swell and then a period of quiet.  Stay tuned.

South Pacific Swell Forecast

Mostly quiet for now

Austin Gendron

Surf Forecaster



































































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