Northern/Central California

Report Date: Sat. December 31, 2016 

Surf Synopsis
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Well, this is it, last forecast of 2016 and the last one I will be doing for Swellwatch.  If you wish to follow me going further, you’ll have to check me out on a different site.  There’s a solid mix of WNW-NW in the water right now that should continue over the next couple of days as another storm starts to work its way down the coast.  Surf will back off through the middle of next week as condition improve.  Read more for details.

Buoy Readings:
46059 California - 13 feet @ 11 seconds from 48 deg
46014 Pt Arena - 10 feet @ 11 seconds from 325 deg
46026 San Francisco – 8 feet @ 14 seconds from 277 deg
46042 Monterey - 11 feet @ 11 seconds from 302 deg
46028 Cape San Martin – 10 ft @ 11 seconds from 322 deg
46215 Diablo Canyon - 4 feet @ 11 seconds from 265 deg
46218 Harvest - 6 feet @ 11 seconds from 274 deg

The CDIP Buoy 157 (Monterey) is currently showing swell at 12 seconds from 315 out of the North Pacific and 0 seconds from 0 deg from the south.   

Standout west-facing breaks to the north should be seeing surf ranging from head high to well overhead high+.  Standout Central Coast breaks should be generally around chest high to overhead high+. Standout S-SW winter exposures are waist high to head high+. 

Water temps are running as follows: Pt Arena --, San Francisco 51, Monterey 54, Cape San Martin 56, Diablo Canyon 58 and Harvest 56.

Wind Outlook: 
Winds are for the most part looking light and variable/offshore right now, but are expected to turn more onshore on Sunday the 1st as NW winds strengthen following the exiting low.  Lighter to moderate onshore continue on Monday.  Another system approaches early to mid-next week, which could bring more southerly winds late Tuesday into Wednesday.

Weather Outlook: 
Cooler but dry weather by this evening.  A quick ridge will mean clear skies likely Sunday morning.  Low pressure over the PNW Sunday could swing a little rain into the northern parts of California, but Central California looks mostly dry through the start of next week, although a chance of showers remains in the forest for the northern parts of the region.  Better chance of rain by mid-next week as low pressure to the north and a zonal flow brings in a moisture plume Tuesday/Wednesday.

Swell Forecast and Schedule: 
The moderate to plus sized mixed swell from the WNW-NW (280-320) will be joined by short period energy Sunday and longer-period energy on Monday.  This additional energy should help maintain head high to well overhead surf at standouts, with a few areas seeing set waves going double overhead.  Wave heights will likely top out Sunday and Monday, but conditions are looking a bit more onshore, which will mean surface texture and more mixed up surf.  Conditions look like they will improve as the swell mix subsides through the middle of next week.  

Low pressures approaching late Tuesday/Wednesday is expected to bring with it some southerly wind swell peaking in the knee too he’s thigh range Wednesday and Thursday before easing more ahead of next weekend.  Conditions look questionable… mostly because the system is looking a little wishy washy right now, but if the low angles itself correctly there could be wind swell mixed with background energy from the North Pacific and SE winds (blowing offshore for a few areas).       

Beyond that blocking pattern in the NEPac is looking pretty brutal.  It’s going to keep any swell makers from forming through the remainder of the long-range forecast.  The means smaller surf likely through at least the end of next week, and probably the weekend.  If you want to keep following my forecasts, I will be writing for (  The format is a little different, but its fun.  I'm not sure if I will continue to update the current formatted report on GlobalSurfReports.  Definitely going to take a little bit of a break at least.  If you do decide to follow in Solspot, please leave some comments on the format and let me know what you think.  Anyways, I want to thank everyone for the support over the years.  You have all been absolutely great, and the feedback and emails I get are always appreciated, I hope you follow me over to Solspot and keep the stoke alive.  

Here's what to expect on a day-to-day basis this week:
Saturday the 31st, swell is expected to ease up a little bit, dropping surf down into the head high to well overhead+ range at standouts.  Conditions are cleaning up. 

Sunday the 1st Winds turn more onshore and will add some additional winds well to the mix.  It’s likely that the exposed coast will continue to see head high to well overhead+ surf, but with messier conditions. 

Monday the 2nd WNW-NWN swell mix continues with onshore WNW-NW winds likely along the coast.  Surf should continue running head high to well overhead+. 

Tuesday the 3rd, wave heights start to back off, with standouts running chest high to overhead+.  Conditions are expected to improve a little bit for the first half of the day.  Southerly winds start to pick up in the afternoon/evening. 

Wednesday the 4th, with additional southerly wind swell in the mix wave heights will be running knee to chest high+, potentially head high.

Thursday the 5th surf backs off into the knee to chest high range. 

Friday the 6th, wave heights continue to run knee to chest high with mostly a weak mix of background energy in the water.

That's it for today, be safe, and get in the water!