The North Pacific Awakens

It’s still not officially winter, but the North Pacific’s summer slumber is officially over. The first big swell of the 2011-2012 winter season is making its way towards the Pacific Northwest with enough size to test your summer training regimen.

Washington and Oregon will receive the brunt of the energy, with surf heights building rapidly throughout Wednesday and peaking in the 16 feet at 15 seconds range (WNW 283°).  shows the swell peaking 

The Stonewall Banks (@buoy46050) forecast also shows a large, moderate-period swell on Monday (10 feet at 12 seconds WNW 286°), which might provide a good opportunity to dust off the gun before Wednesday.

Further south, the Half Moon Bay forecast shows the swell peaking early Thursday morning in Northern California, with swell conditions of 12 feet at 15 seconds (WNW 301°). Long-period forerunners in the 17-second range are expected to appear in the real-time reports (@buoy46012) by Wednesday evening.

Hawaii will also see some action from this swell, however it will primarily be sideband energy, and thus wave heights will not be as big. The Waimea Bay forecast shows surf heights building through the day on Wednesday, reaching about 5 feet at 13 seconds (NNW 340°) by nightfall, then tapering off slowly into the weekend.