A Few Waves + Rain This Weekend | SoCal Surf Outlook

Overview (3.10 – 312) The high-pressure system that’s been sitting off in the Pacific and dominating our weather pattern is finally starting to break down. What this means for us is a flatter jet stream will begin to develop as early as this weekend moving storms along a more west to east path instead of northwest to southeast.

With this pattern in place, we will experience ground swell directly from the west in the future. We also will likely see more rainy days as the jet leads atmospheric rivers into SoCal. The next rain event is already forecasted for Friday and Saturday mostly for areas north of LA although areas south will still likely see some rain. The southwest flow will bring in some warmer air making temperatures pretty comfortable this weekend.

As far as surf goes, the newly formed jet will bring a westerly ground swell into the area as early as Friday morning. Impressive sized waves are forecasted up and down the coast but unfortunately it will be raining from Orange County northward. The good news is that this westerly groundswell will stick around and maintain its strength through the weekend.

The rain will wrap up Saturday evening which should leave Sunday as our best day for surfing. Winds look to stay relatively calm through the weekend although somewhat breezy winds from the south could develop on Friday especially towards Ventura and Santa Barbara. All around winds don’t look to be too much of a problem this weekend!

Best Bets

-Sunday Morning will be real nice with at least a 4 ft ground swell for west facing beaches. Winds will be calm and the rain will have exited the area by this point.

-Sunday Afternoon we will warm up into the upper-60s and the ground swell maintains its strength with 4+ ft waves for west faces. Winds also stay light.

-Friday and Saturday will have similar sized waves but it will be rainy through Saturday morning. South of LA we could have some breaks in the rain providing for nice surfing opportunities.

See The 10-Day Forecast

FRIDAY MORNING

Rain is highly anticipated for much of the day on Friday with most of it concentrated to the north. Ventura County and Santa Barbara could see between 1-2 inches while areas south of LA will see significantly less. Temps will be chilly especially where its raining with many areas starting the day off in the 40s.

Winds look calm south of Orange County but we could see breezy conditions to the north from the southeast. Ground swell coming in from the west will be the main story for the weekend and it will already be in place throughout the area by Friday Morning. 5-6 ft waves are expected near San Diego with at least 4 ft swells on all other west facing beaches. Periods may be a little short (around 10 seconds) but all around it looks like good surfing weather if it’s not raining.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON

The rain will likely continue through the afternoon especially for areas to the north. We will probably see a break in the rain for San Diego but areas further northward will see rain all day. With the rain, temperatures will be kept in the 50s for highs while San Diego and areas that dry out will likely see the mid-60s.

The westerly ground surf is set to continue, possibly even intensify for Friday afternoon. All west facing beaches will see 4-5 ft waves at the minimum with higher waves to the south as always. Winds should stay light south of LA but windier conditions are possible to the north with speeds close to 15 mph from the southeast.

SATURDAY MORNING

By Saturday, the rain should begin to wrap up across the area although lingering light showers are still possible throughout the morning. Low to mid-50s are expected so it should be a few degrees warmer compared to Friday thanks to the WSW jet bringing in warmer air. Winds nearshore should be calm across the coast. If anything, an onshore breeze under 5 mph may develop in some locations.

The ground swell won’t lose much energy by the morning making for great surfing conditions especially where the rain has ended. We’re expecting 4 ft waves for west facing beaches with 5-6 ft heights near the border. Periods also improve around this time with a mix between 10 seconds and 14 seconds.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

A very light west wind is likely for the afternoon but speeds should stay under 5 mph across the area. This wind will help warm us up with everyone reaching the mid-60s! Most of the rain will be out of the area by this time frame but we cannot rule out a light shower or two throughout the afternoon.

The west ground swell will maintain its strength from the morning with 3-5 ft waves expected for west facing beaches. South facing beaches will have significantly smaller waves averaging 1-2 ft heights. Periods look like they will be mixed with most areas seeing 10 second lengths while a few randomly dispersed places will see 14 seconds.

SUNDAY MORNING

All of the rain will be out of the area for Sunday which will make this day the best by far. The ground swell will actually strengthen overnight to make for some huge waves. Venice beach could see 5-6 ft waves along with west facing beaches in Ventura County and near the Mexican Border. In general, all west facing beaches will have at least 4 ft waves at the minimum while south faces will see 1-2 ft heights.

Wave periods also improve across the board with everyone expected to have 12 second lengths. A very light breeze around 5 mph is expected to come in from the northwest and blow parallel to the shoreline. This will do very little to ruin an almost perfect surf day. Temps will be similar to Saturday morning with low to mid-50s expected.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

The afternoon swell looks just as nice as the morning with wave sizes staying consistent throughout the day.  The one downside for the afternoon is that winds might pick up a little from the west. This is more true to the north where 10-15 mph speeds are possible near Santa Barbara. Winds still shouldn’t be too big of an issue for most areas as speeds average less than 10 mph.

Mostly sunny skies are expected for the afternoon which will help our temperatures warm up into the mid to upper-60s. This really does look like a beautiful surf day. Periods will stay around 12 seconds up and down the coast making for one of the best days of 2023.

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