#CHS Surf Forecast for Mid-March

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A good time to get the toes on the nose. Photo credit: Justin Morris for Follyhood
 
Our National Weather Service Marine Weather forecast calls for: “HIGH PRESSURE WILL GRADUALLY RETREAT SOUTH OF THE REGION TODAY. A COLD FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH AND STALL SOUTH OF THE AREA TONIGHT. A SERIES OF LOW PRESSURE SYSTEMS WILL MOVE ALONG THE FRONT AFFECTING THE AREA WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH EARLY NEXT WEEK."
 
We had a great run of south swell over the weekend (March 14–15), with choppy south wind swell cleaning up and dropping to longboard range for Monday (March 16).
 
We have a stalled frontal boundary moving just south of our beaches on Wednesday (March 17) of this week. A series of low-pressure systems will run along this frontal boundary, bringing mixed weather and some high-angled, northeast wind swell starting to build for Wednesday. Look for drifty waist- to stomach-high surf, with current running down the beach.
 
This swell rotates more easterly for Thursday—starting small/thigh-occ. waist—as waves begin to build overnight on Thursday into Friday. Winds are forecast to rotate from a more westerly direction on Friday as easterly mix swell in the stomach-high range cleans up and begins to drop off some for the weekend.
 
It’s looking like the weekend will shape up to be smaller, but there are signs that a serious nor’easter could be rumbling around one week out as a low approaches on the southern jet via the Gulf of Mexico on Monday into Tuesday (March 23–24). The swell should start as high-angled northeast wind swell, then rotate from the east during the middle part of next week (March 26).
 
El Nino is starting to show in the Pacific, awakening the southern jet stream. This should keep some storms tracking across the marine area along stalled frontal boundaries as high pressure stays anchored well out into the Atlantic.
 
This pattern is going to keep easterly mixed swell in our extended forecast through April (in a general sense, mind you).
 
Anyway, go surf. Summer doldrums are on the way.
 
-Bates Hagood. Ocean Surf Shop