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

Updated: November 21, 2015 - Surf forecast for the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast.

REWIND:  Small clean swell Sunday.  Didn't quite get to the size I was thinking...but Fun at the right spot.


Strong cold front pushing south and strong high pressure will build in for Thanksgiving week will bring gusty onshore winds and choppy surf all week. Get ready form Chopfest 3.0...Turkey style! I think the wind will stay offshore or at least sideshore Monday morning so before we start chopfest 3.0, there will be some nice chset high clean surf early Monday before the wind gets on it and tears it apart.


MONDAY:  North swell quickly builds in behind the front. There will be a brief time of offshore winds and clean conditions for the dawn patrollers for maybe a few hours before the wind turns onshore and blows it out. Then it'll quickly turn big, blownout and choppy.  Wind Picking up NNW to North to NE 25-35kts.  If you can find some protection it might be manageable later in the day.

TUESDAY-TURKEYDAY:  Wind slowly veers more east and stays around 25-30kts keeping the big windchop going all week long!

FRIDAY:  Wind coming down some but still pretty breezy with choppy chest-head high surf.

WEEKEND:  Still pretty choppy but waves fade some.  Not as crazy. 


GFS and Euro Now not really spinning up the low  along the old frontal boundary in the Atlantic.  That's why we don't jump on crazy model solutions right away!  Regardless, they do keep the front/trough out there pinching our pressure gradient and keeping gusty winds going out there.  They do still drift the trough back to the west which will keep our winds from veering too far east, and make it more northeast through the whole weekend until they finally start to settle down Monday the  30th. 

Farther out seeing a lot of good possibilities with a few fronts, a few lows, and some consistent surf going into December!


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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