Palm Beach Surf Forecast, Updated local surf forecast for SE Florida

Updated: November 29, 2015 - Surf forecast for the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast.

REWIND:  Choppy, drifty windchop for the past week.  I didn't catch anything that good but heard there were some better times and spots.


High pressure weakening and moving east as the next front approaches.  Wind will come down as it turns more southeast then south the next couple days.  Some ENE swell will continue Treasure Coast northward while PBC will have just a small windchop wave to start the work week.  Waves everywhere trending down as the week progresses.


MONDAY:  ENE swell chest-head high Treasure Coast northward with less wind on it.  Maybe even some offshores for the dawn patrollers.  Northern PBC waist to chest and semi-choppy with onshore winds 10-15kts.

TUESDAY:  Wind slowly veers more southeast and calms down to around 5-10kts. Knee-waist high northern PBC, Chest high treasure coast and cleaning up more with the light wind.  Little crossbump on it. with wind SE 5-10kts.

WEDNESDAY:  Small for PBC but a clean-up for the Treasure Coast northward.  Waist to chest and semi-clean with just a light SE wind 5-10kts.  Probably offshore in the morning. Could be pretty fun at the right spot upcoast.

THURSDAY:  Small for PBC, maybe a small NE swell pushing in at the right spot/tide. Still a waist high wave upcoast with a northeast wind 10kts, Possibly stronger depending on how far down the front gets.


GFS and Euro pushing a front through the state and stalling it around south Florida.  Previous model run kept it north of here, which would mean lighter local winds and cleaner surf. Latest runs bring in strong NE winds for another run at the windchop-a-thon.  Hoping for the former to happen!  This would build in sometime Saturday and run through at least Monday, maybe longer. 

Farther out....possibly seeing our first refraction swell mid-month as a nice blast of NW winds enter the east. It's about the time we do start seeing this so outlook looks good!

Stay tuned!



El nino is a strong el nino event at the moment. It's different than the 97-98 in that the warmest water is farther back west than right along the south American coast.

Good news is the winter should be above average for surf.   The winter season will see a lot of southern track storms, Cool and wet for Florida which means frequent storms rolling by, and frequent chances for swell.  However, the NAO will still be the key factor.  If it doesn't go negative this winter, that won't allow the full potential of the el nino and winter surf season to be realized here.  Having a negative NAO through the winter means all those big storms rolling through the south and east will move offshore, instead of just hugging the coast.  This of course will allow for good groundswell generation through the winter.  The past couple winters had mainly a positive NAO and look at where that got us. Although the NAO can't really be predicted more than two weeks out, It's looking like cooler than normal water temps in the north Atlantic(with warm water south of it) will help push the NAO negative more this winter than the last.  It still looks like this winter will be slow to kick in, as originally stated here.  Not much in the way of cold weather November and December, but then kicking in January-March.  But as we've seen already this season, we are still getting good runs of waves without the cold.

With the jet far south by January, this will keep winter storms moving quickly.  So we may see raging windchop one day, with a nice clean-up the next, then another one on the way.  In other words, consistency and a little bit of everything. Windchop, groundswell, refraction swells....We will see a lot of it all mixed in which will make for a pretty consistent winter surf season. 

Again, in general, it looks like winter cold will get a start, but really kick into gear January-March with below normal temps and above normal rainfall and cloud over expected for the southeast. Also el nino winters see more tornado activity in Florida January-April so we could see some nasty squall lines accompany each front that moves through.

After the winter, good waves might continue into the summer.... I've researched the past 5 or so el nino years and found the Summer after the el nino is very active in the tropics. Good for wave, bad for getting hit though.  Hopefully we'll get a bunch that stay out to sea and none that hit us! 

So all in all the extended forecast looks real good for surf  for the next year! 


For more updates, Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for in the field and on the go updates: @surfnweatherman




NAO:  (We're looking for it to be negative in the winter)

The Arctic Oscillation: (looking for negative in the winter)

The PNA (we are looking for this to be POSITIVE in the winter)


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James Wieland
Surf Forecaster
News Channel 5
West Palm Beach/
Treasure Coast


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