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

Updated: October 4, 2015 - Surf forecast for the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast.

REWIND:  Some early morning swell for the palm beaches this morning, reports of chest plus and clean at some central PBC spots. Quickly got fat with the tide. Treasure coast was the place to be with clean conditions and overhead surf.


Joaquin passed just west of Bermuda today.  A large fetch from the combination of Joaquin, a cold front, and strong high pressure ever Canada is producing a large fetch in our entire swell window.  This will send another larger, stronger swell our way starting Tuesday, peaking Wednesday morning, then tapering off Thursday and Friday.  It'll be another weeks worth of waves!!  What a killer end of summer beginning of fall!

Local winds look good too as the low off the Carolinas stays cut off there and we will continue with offshore winds.  Finally the pressure gradient slackens and we will get the seabreeze to kick back in in the afternoons starting late Wednesday.  Tuesday however if you are going upcoast, keep in mind a wind surge is forecast to move down the coast and may penetrate as far south as Jupiter late Tuesday. 


MONDAY:  Swell drops, especially PBC. Still pretty good upcoast treasure coast at waist to chest with shoulder high sets.   Wind WSW 15-20kts, staying clean all day.  Low 9am, high 3:30pm

TUESDAY: Longer period, more powerful swell fills in from the combo storm of Joaquin and the cold front/high pressure in Canada. Chest-shoulder high from central PBC northward. Upcoast will build to overhead. Mostly clean conditions but wind will turn onshore on the Treasure Coast, and possibly even northern Palm Beach county in the afternoon. Tides extra high from the surge of swell.  Wind West 10kts. But it turning onshore the farther north you head.   Smaller but cleaner the farther south you head. Low 10am, 430pm

WEDNESDAY:  Shoulder high with some head high sets and clean with good power central Palm Beach County northward.  Probably a strong south current.  Wind NW 10kts,turning SE onshore in the afternoon but should stay light. Could start out choppier with onshore in the morning on the treasure coast. We could also see some double ups also from a smaller more north angled swell. Might see it push farther south this time. low 11am, high 530pm

THURSDAY:  Chest to shoulder high and clean in the morning, then onshore wind in the afternoon making it semi-choppy.  Swell fades some in the afternoon too. high 6am, low noon, high 6pm.

FRIDAY:  Swell fades more, waist to maybe chest in the morning and clean with a SSW wind 10-15kts. Turning SSE in the afternoon putting a cross-bump on it.   High 7am, Low 1pm, high 730pm.

SATURDAY: We're done, get some rest and all the things you put off during the week done. If you still want to surf there will still be a clean wave in the morning upcoast about waist to stomach high. Wind turns onshore in the afternoon.


We've had quite the run of swell!! It does look like things will quiet down, only seeing some windchop possible going into mid October.  Stay tuned!



El nino is a strong el nino event at the moment. 


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 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.  And so far, the NAO has been consistently negative.  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 and a little bit of everything. Windchop, groundswell, refraction swells....We will see a lot of it all mixed in which will make it pretty consistent.

In general, it looks like winter cold will start slow, but waves will kick in late September/October....then 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 real good for surf this season!!


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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