Report Date & Time: August 14, 2018 6:10 AM
By forecaster: Nathan Cool
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Today (Tuesday) we have moderate southern hemi ground swell in SoCal with lesser background NW wind swell. A bigger southern hemi ground swell is due Thursday, peaking Friday, lingering to a lesser degree into the weekend. Once that swell fades late in the weekend we may enter a lull for a couple of weeks. But as we all know, nothing stays quiet in the Pacific for long. Condition-wise: fair weather with slight warming in a couple of days; winds remain moderate; tide levels are recuperating; and water temps remain warmish.
This morning, periods were primarily running 15 seconds from 190-200°.
Most south facing breaks were running waist to chest high. Direct west facing breaks were running knee to waist.
Swell Forecast and Schedule
Buoys in the outer waters off SoCal were running 5-6'. Nearshore buoys were averaging 2.5'.
Tide levels are starting to recuperate from the recent swing. Today we have a -0.3' low around 6:30 AM, a 5' high around 12:30 PM, a 1.3' low around 6:30 PM, and a 5.2' high shortly after midnight.
Water temps were running 76-79° in most of SD. OC yesterday reported Huntington at 71°, Newport 72°, and San Clemente 76°. LA was varied with Cabrillo the coolest at 68°, Zuma was running 69-71°, Santa Monica reported 74°, and Hermosa recorded 76° late yesterday afternoon. Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard has been running 69-72° over the past 12 hours, and SB Harbor reported 72° this morning.
Swell-wise: Today we're seeing mostly southern hemi swell from a storm that broke off Antarctica south of French Polynesia late last week. Today is the last peak day for this swell, but something bigger will be here shortly.
Wednesday the 15th doesn't look much better size-wise with waist high surf from a storm off Easter Island last week. This is a precursor to a bigger swell, but for Wednesday look for just waist to at times chest high waves at south facing breaks, angled from 175° with periods 15 seconds.
Thursday the 16th (building day) into Friday the 17th (peak day) should see a better sized southern hemi swell in SoCal from a storm that broke off Antarctica south of Pitcairn last week. Swell from this should be angled from 180-185° with periods initially 16-18 seconds. Size should top out in the head high range at south facing breaks, although swell may be slightly smaller early Thursday morning as this swell fills in. Friday is the peak of this swell (head high at south facing breaks), which should linger to a lesser degree Saturday the 18th (chest to head high), and Sunday the 19th (chest+).
Thursday the 23rd was slated for moderate southern hemi ground swell from a storm southeast of Pitcairn, but the 36h+ models today have downgraded this storm into something weaker that would delay swell from arriving in SoCal until Friday the 24th, and with waist max waves.
So by Monday the 20th we may hit a lull for a while. Since it takes about 8 days for a southern hemi swell to reach us, and models going out one week don't show anything exciting right now, that region isn't looking promising for swell on the long range. The extended long range, tropical models show potential for some kind of tropical swell in SoCal by August 1st, but it's too early to make that kind of call today. I'll keep you posted.
Here's how the day-to-day is breaking down so far:
Wednesday the 15th looks about waist high at south facing breaks.
Thursday the 16th is expected to run chest to head high at south facing breaks.
Friday the 17th is expected to run head high at south facing breaks.
Saturday the 18th is expected to run chest to head high at south facing breaks.
Sunday the 19th is expected to run chest+ at south facing spots.
Monday the 20th looks about waist high at south facing breaks.
Tuesday the 21st looks about knee to waist high at south facing breaks.
Wednesday the 22nd, so far, looks similar.
Thursday the 23rd, so far, looks about knee to waist high at south facing breaks.
No major weather features are in store for the near term, although weak high pressure over the region now should gain a bit more strength Thursday through Saturday, before weakening again Sunday into early next week. Today and Wednesday look for AM marine layer with a mid to late AM burn-off and max beach temps in the low to mid 70s. Thursday through Saturday look for a slightly earlier burn-off (early to mid AM) with max beach temps in the mid 70s to possibly upper 70s at the warmest spots. Sunday should then cool a tick or two with a slightly thicker resurgence of marine layer.
Winds at 6:00 AM were light and variable most everywhere. Afternoon onshores are expected 9-13 mph. No major change is expected over the next few days.
Until my next report (Thursday), take care, be safe, and smile in the lineup!