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

Updated: August 30, 2015 - Surf forecast for the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast.

REWIND:  Fun south windswell from Erika leftovers. Chest/shoulder high and chunky.  Late afternoon surfers were treated with the wind fading and going slightly offshore, cleaning up the surf! Hope you caught some.


What a crazy ride Erika took us on!  Not it's gone, wind has dropped off and waves will quickly fade. There should be some leftover surf in PBC although with the morning high tide, it might be mushy and weak. Upcoast is the better bet with more swell behind it and waist/stomach high.  Clean-ish in the morning, then dropping some in the afternoon with a seabreeze kicking in and putting some texture on it.

Weak high pressure builds in offshore bringing a light onshore flow the rest of the week, and flat surf.  Just a small fading swell upcoast that'll be gone by mid week.  So get it now while we have something!Tides will be extra high thanks to the full moon and a little surge from the storm.  High tide is around 10am




MONDAY: Wind settles down, SE 5-15mph.  Surf drops quickly so get it in the morning. knee-thigh high in the morning, dropping to knee or less by the afternoon.  Cleaner and not much of a drift. Upcoast will see solid waist high with some bigger sets. Clean with offshores in the morning then seabreeze chopping it up in the afternoon.

TUESDAY:  Flat for PBC.  knee-thigh-waist high swell upcoast. in central Florida. Light offshore wind in the morning, onshore in the afternoon.

WEDNESDAY: Flat down here, knee high east swell upcoast.


Our next system, FRED will become a hurricane and move through the Cape Verde islands.  After that it will weaken and dissipate in the middle of the Atlantic with no swell potential. 
Models wanting to spin up a broad low off the coast that if it gets strong enough, could send swell our way. There hasn't been much model run to run consistency so we'll have to wait and see.

Stay tuned!



I've been following this year's el Nino since it's been developing.  It is full blown now, even considered a strong el nino at the moment. 

Bad news is,  Not a lot of tropical activity so summer will be a bummer. Most things that will finally get going will be 'home grown' .... developing closer to the coast.  That could give a quick shot of swell, but will also make it stormy.  But that doesn't mean there will be nothing forming in the deep tropics.  We should get at least 5 storms that will move up from the tropics into Florida's swell window.  Also, El nino years the hurricane season shuts down early, like October... or sooner.

Good news is the winter should be above average for surf.  I think with the tropics shutting down early, You might think the winter will kick in early but a lot of times it stays stagnant for a month before winter starts to kick in. So October might be slow. 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 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. Although the NAO can't really be predicted more than two weeks out, I've heard talks about comparing previous years like this year and having a negative AO and NAO.  So we have that going for us.

With the jet far south, this will also keep winter storms moving quickly.  So we may see raging windchop one day, with a nice clean-up the next, then another one one the way.  In other words, consistency.

In general, it looks like winter will start slow, the really kick into gear January-March with well below normal temps and above normal rainfall expected for the southeast. Also el nino winters see more tornado activity in Florida January-April.

After the winter, 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.

So all in all the extended forecast looks good for surf, we're just going to have to wait....especially us here in south Florida. At least summer is half over for us, before you know it it'll be November and we will be getting good surf and good weather!


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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