Tuesday, May 31, 2011: Above is the Wavewatch III forecast model for the Dana Point buoy at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31st. It shows an increasing long-period South swell building throughout the day, with a swell-period of close to 20 seconds. This puts next week’s swell in the same range as the May 19th swell, during which the Dana Point buoy reported primary swell conditions in the 4 feet at 18 second range.
However, unlike the May 19th episode, the forecast does not show strong Northwest winds immediately preceding the swell. Expect light Southwest winds (4 knots) overnight into Tuesday morning, which will generate a small, short-period wind swell of 1.8 feet at 5.6 seconds (276°). By mid-afternoon on Tuesday, the winds are forecast to increase to the 8-12 knot range and turn straight West.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011: The South swell is forecast to build overnight before peaking on Wednesday at 4.7 feet at 18.1 seconds (186°). Once the swell peaks, it should maintain a steady swell direction of 186°.
Winds are forecast to maintain a steady 7-8 knot West flow Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, then steadily increase in strength to a 10-14 knot range during the afternoon. Above, you can see the local wind swell component matching this trend, as it peaks late Tuesday and steadily declines into Wednesday. Increasing West winds provide an afternoon wind swell reinforcement Wednesday evening, before again backing off overnight.
Thursday, June 2, 2011: By Wednesday evening the swell period begins to taper off, falling into the 16-second range. Primary swell conditions of 4.4 feet at 15.5 seconds are forecast for 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning, and the swell will continue its decline throughout the day. While off from the Wednesday peak, the swell will still possess a healthy amount of energy, but expect the biggest surf early.
The pattern of light West winds overnight into the morning, increasing in strength mid-day should continue on Thursday, with local wind swell again building throughout the afternoon.
Summary: Another strong Southern Hemi pulse will likely begin to show forerunners in the 20-second range as early as Monday, especially on the more sheltered, nearshore buoys such as Camp Pendleton.
The swell will steadily increase in size throughout Tuesday, providing solid 4-feet at 19-second energy by the evening, before peaking Wednesday. Given the strength of the swell, expect fun surf to continue through Thursday and possibly even Friday, as the energy fades into the weekend. Winds do the Westerly dance throughout the swell, increasing in strength mid-day through the late evening, then backing off overnight.
Tuesday evening will see some bombs as the raw swell builds, but strong West winds threaten to tatter any shape. All day Wednesday will be solid, with light West winds early, definitely the best bet if you’re looking to make the most of the size.
Note: This forecast is focused specifically on the Dana Point buoy. Surf heights and local wind conditions may vary greatly depending on your location. If you’re interested in other locations, we encourage you to request an invite for Buoy Alarm, or check out our Southern California regional buoy map.