Rain Out, Combo Swell In | SoCal

5.5.23 – The rainy weather from this week should wrap up on Thursday leaving Friday cool but dry. In fact, this entire weekend looks nice with mostly sunny skies and mid-60s for highs in the afternoon. The closest area of low-pressure will be far away in the Gulf of Alaska this weekend keeping all the precipitation near its center and away from us.

We will however, receive a ground swell from the low that I mention which will dominate Friday and the first half of Saturday. Some Southern Hemi swell will also mix in on Friday and Saturday to produce some pretty decent sized waves. Friday looks like our biggest day with near 4 ft waves around the border but waves don’t back off too much until late Sunday.

The northwest ground swell is forecasted to weaken during the day Saturday leaving the southwest ground swell to dominate Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Our favored beaches look to have 3+ ft waves on Sunday despite the NW swell backing off. Periods stay between 14 and 16 seconds all weekend long.

Winds stay ideal for the majority of the weekend although there will be times when they may pick up. Particularly, Saturday and Sunday afternoons will see the windiest conditions with about a 10-mph onshore breeze developing both days. The good news is that the morning hours and really up until 2 p.m. looks relatively calm. See The 10-Day Forecast

Best Bets

  • Friday afternoon for areas south of OC will have nice northwest and southwest swells combine to produce some decent sized waves. 3-4 ft is expected, larger towards San Diego with periods over 14 seconds and light winds.
  • Saturday and Sunday mornings look almost as nice although waves will likely be a little smaller. The Swell looks just as clean though as the Southern Hemi swell takes over and winds stay light.
  • Ventura County towards Malibu should see pretty nice conditions in the same times mentioned above. The only difference is that waves will be about a foot smaller but just as clean.


This will probably turn out to be our best day as winds stay light and we see some decent sized waves from both the northwest and southwest ground swells. San Diego will likely see 4 ft waves, possibly even higher, throughout the day with areas north up to Orange County seeing 3 ft waves. Waves look smaller around LA between 1 and 2 ft with 3 ft waves possible for Ventura County. 

We’ll see these waves maintain strength through the day, possibly backing off a little by the evening. As mentioned in the overview, winds stay relatively calm through the day with a slight breeze picking up in the afternoon but speeds stay under 10 mph. Highs reach the mid-60s for everyone except Santa Barbara where it will be a little cooler in the low-60s.


We’ll gradually see the direction of waves veer from northwest to southwest through the day as the Southern Hemi swell takes over. All around, the first half of Saturday looks pretty similar to Friday with waves only slightly smaller. 3-4 ft waves are possible near San Diego with Ventura County and other areas south of Orange County seeing 3 ft waves. 

Through the afternoon our waves stay about the same size but the origin of those waves will change to from near Antarctica. Not much will be noticeably different in the swell other than a slight shift in wave direction in a few areas. Winds do look like they will pick up to around 10 mph onshore across all locations after 5 P.M. so you definitely want to go out before then.


The northwest swell backs off almost completely during the day Sunday leaving the southwest swell in its place. Waves do look like they should be smaller on Sunday with most places seeing 2-3 ft sized waves. The best spots look to be between Ventura and Santa Monica where 2-3 ft waves are likely and beaches south of Dana Point where 3 ft waves are forecasted. 

Waves continue to back off through Sunday so by the evening they will be slightly smaller than that of the morning. We’ll see winds pick up in the evening as well, similar to Saturday. All around, the morning and early afternoon look like good times to surf with light winds and otherwise decent weather with highs in the mid to upper-60s.

See The 10-Day Forecast


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