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

Updated: February 13, 2015 - First, For those who haven't heard, My buddy is still missing in the Dominican Republic.  It's been two weeks now.  His board was still in the rental house, and some clothes.  He was last seen either at a surf shop in Cabarete or at the beach bar called Eze January 27th evening. Please if you know anyone down there share this information so everyone can be on the lookout for him. There is a massive search going on right now.  Although his board was found in the rental, nothing can be ruled out at this time.  He could be on land or in the water. With this amount of time that has gone by let's hope the water. All leads so far have been exhausted.

I appreciate anything you can do to get the word out.


Surf forecast for the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast.

REWIND: Amazing run of swell we had!  So many great photos too, I'll try to get a photo sesh up.  if you have any send me the album and I'll post a link.

Photo by Jeff Biege


Our nice run of clean swell has come to an end.  Now, mother nature is going to turn on the windchop machine on. After such nice waves it'll be tough to get motivated but waves are waves and we gotta take the good with the bad.

Cold front will move through late Saturday and the wind will pick up behind it. First NW but then quickly swing north, then NE on Sunday.  Surf will pick up late Saturday, possibly not that blown out by the end of the day as the wind will be more sideshore. Keep an eye on Sunday morning too. Models forecasting onshore winds but sometimes they turn the wind a little too quickly in these situations. The early bird may score.

Wind will turn onshore on Sunday and bring a choppy chest/shoulder high drifty wave. By Monday wind turns more straight east, even ESE so it may get a little better then with less drift.  Wind will quickly clock all the way around to the south/southwest on Tuesday cleaning up anything leftover. There could be a short time in the morning where it'll be clean and fun Tuesday, but it'll quickly drop during the day.


SUNDAY VALENTINES DAY:  Waist-chest high NE windchop.  Choppy and drifty. Wind ENE 20kts.

MONDAY PREZ DAY: Chest high+ windchop turning more east, then southeast through the day. Wind East, then southeast 20-25kts.

TUESDAY: Small, cleaner south swell in the morning. up to waist high then dropping fast to flat. Wind south, turning southwest 20kts. Bigger upcoast

WEDNESDAY:  Knee high or less north wave. Wind North 10-15kts. still some swell upcoast


Long range looks like our pattern has changed to more or an onshore pattern. We still get plenty of cold fronts but high pressure mainly to our north and quickly moving east after each frontal passage. So it looks like a couple week period of off and on windchop for us. Stay Tuned! 

Next Update:  SATURDAY. Check my IG and twitter accounts for current updates...



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. And the Atlantic completely opposite.

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, and even when they hug the coast they will tap into some arctic air and blow up into big mid-Atlantic snow storms which usually means strong NW winds for us and refraction swells!  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, just not much clean surf.

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 slow 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! 


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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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