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May 2017

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The Surf & Weather Forecast for

Southern California

May 22, 2017



Small but playful mix of S-SSW (190-200) in the water this week.  We are expecting the weather to cool off along the coast, with an increase in marine layer and onshore flow.  Long-range models show potential for more southern hemi arriving next week.  Read more for details…..

Get the live Southern California Buoy Forecast graph here -

The main swell in the water right now is that S-SSW (185-205) mix. The energy should be peaking Monday, at around 3+ feet of deepwater swell. Standouts are running waist to chest high+ range possibly head high when the tide is working.  Right now the tide is high in the morning and then swampy in the late evening.  So best bet if you can score it is mid day.

The swell is supposed to ease a little bit through midweek, but overlapping background energy should at least be enough to maintain knee to chest high waves at standouts.  Conditions are expected to be a bit onshore. A trough dropping down the coast will cool temperatures a bit, and low pressure off the Southern California coast will keep the gradient weak to moderate (5 to 15 mph), but persistently onshore of the W-S.  That’s also going to mean a deeper marine layer presence as well.

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

Monday the 22nd southerly swell peak holds, with waist to chest high+ surf, possibly bigger.

Tuesday the 23rd surf at southerly exposures starts to back off slowly.  Standouts expected to be running waist to chest high.

Wednesday the 24th southern hemi eases more.  Standouts expected to run knee to chest high.

Thursday the 25th southern hemi mix continues to bring knee to chest high surf at standouts southerly exposures.

Friday the 26th southern hemi energy holds.

Saturday the 27th  wave heights could back off into the ankle to waist high range.

Sunday the 28th Mostly minimal surf in the ankle to waist high range.  There could be a little extra wind swell from the west, but likely ankle to knee high+ max.

Tropical Overview


North Pacific Swell Forecast

Nothing really going on in the North Pacific.  An Aleutian storm could generate a little bit of NW energy for mid next week, but it’s much too early to call at this point. Stay tuned for updates.

South Pacific Swell Forecast

SW (210-230) swell energy from the recent activity off the east coast of New Zealand should start arriving early next week. The fetch generated 30+ foot seas, but was somewhat far away at roughly over 5k miles. That’s going to mean wave heights on the smaller side (knee to waist high+, maybe chest high at standouts). It’s also going to be a short lived pulse, likely starting to back down by mid-next week.

Looking out further, we could be seeing some new S-SSW (185-195) arriving for the following weekend. It’s still much too early, but models are showing a trough of low pressure gets a little bit of a NE push, linking together a couple different fronts. Winds aren’t super strong or anything but the fetch is somewhat close to the region, and has a good trajectory, so it could produce some playful surf. We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out. More details next week.

Next long-range forecast expected for Thursday the 25th of May. 

Austin Gendron
Surf Forecaster




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March 29, 2017 * Morning Session * Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

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March 22, 2017 * Afternoon Session * Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

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March 21, 2017 * Afternoon Session * Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

March 21, 2017 * Morning Session * Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

March 20, 2017 * Afternoon Session * Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

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March 18, 2017 * Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

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