WSL Finals Forecast Update
Talk about curveballs...
When last week's long range forecast was published, there were only hints of a possible tropical depression interfering with the local winds for the WSL Finals event at Trestles, but things have since escalated.
Hurricane Kay has formed off the Mexican coast and is forecast to strengthen while tracking parallel up and along the Baja Peninsula towards California.
For most of its life, the swell-generating fetch on the eastern flank of Kay won't be within the Trestles swell window, and only once it pushes west of Ensenada are we expected to see any decent fetch falling within the swell window.
Current estimates have this occurring as the hurricane weakens rapidly, with a weak fetch of sub-gale-force S/SW winds expected to produce a short-range, mid-period southerly swell up to 3-4 feet for Saturday.
Note: this is local time, as is all further timing. 8am in SoCal is 11pm AWST and 1am the next day AEST.
Local winds are reliant on Kay's track, which being a hurricane/cyclone is unpredictable, though they look to be favourable and offshore Saturday morning and variable into the afternoon. We'll keep a close eye on that.
As for wave quality, with the swell not having much period we can expect it to come in peaky and mixed, not focussing as well as long-period S/SW groundswells do, but then again it'll also increase consistency and present many sections for big punts and turns.
This puts Saturday as a possible run day. The swell that was flagged in the Long Range Forecast was...and still is, due to arrive from the S/SW on Thursday/Friday, and only due to come in at an inconsistent 3ft, with the occasional 4ft'er. Local winds on Thursday aren't great with morning offshore breeze due to give into a fresh S/SW change mid-late morning.
All day offshore breezes are expected Friday making this ideal for competition with the slow swell. Again, that's another possible run day.
Looking at the rest of the waiting period and the long-range S/SW groundswell due from the south-east of New Zealand has been downgraded a touch and looks to be more in the 3ft to possibly 4ft range next Thursday but with less favourable north-west winds (variable early). The downgrade will almost surely mean the WSL will have to pull the trigger early, so either for Friday's clean but inconsistent swell, or wait for the weak swell from Hurricane Kay on Saturday.