Thanksgiving Holiday Surf Outlook – Surfline

Best Thing About Thanksgiving Holidays weekend is the holiday weekend part. Four days, doubling the surf time for all of us. The second best thing about Thanksgiving weekend? There always seem to be waves around this time. And it is not a hazard.

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Lots of red (taller wave highs) over the Northern Hemisphere shows the Pacific and Atlantic becoming active at the end of November, just in time and as shown in November’s best bets.

At the end of each November, a major model change is well underway in the northern hemisphere. Stronger storms begin to sweep through the North Pacific, often sending Hawaii its first real swells of the winter season. These storms also send a solid swell to the west coast. In recent years this has led to great stormy conditions, but in some years the high pressure keeps the storms at bay, creating a clean and accessible surf.

Meanwhile, in the Atlantic, cold fronts are on the rise which usually translates into some fun surfing. And this month of November is no different. The high pressure behind these fronts brings cooler temperatures but also clear, sunny skies to complement the surf to the north; while in the south the surf is there but conditions could be less than ideal. Puerto Rico is actually your best bet for good surfing with decent conditions. (And okay, the perpetually hot water sweetens the deal a bit too.)

Pacific Forecast Director, Kevin Wallis, and Director of Atlantic Forecasts, Kurt korté, break it down:

West Coast and Hawaii

Strong swell waves from the northwest head towards Hawaii as the high pressure creates excellent conditions on the west coast.

Hawaii (Kauai | Oahu | Maui | Big Island)

A series of NW swells sets up a good wave of surfing with easterly trading for the islands during the Thanksgiving holiday. Thursday and Friday will be way over before the surf drops to a more tear-off size for the weekend. Conditions are generally favorable for most of the northern coasts with moderate to windy easterly trade winds.

Southern California (San Diego | Orange County | LA | Santa Barbara)

There won’t be any pumping, but there will be some fun waves to ride throughout the weekend, especially at the best winter spots in Ventura, parts of the South Bay and parts of the South Bay. ‘OC and San Diego. A series of modest NW swells gradually forming will overlap from Thursday to Sunday. Conditions also appear to be excellent, with high pressure on the state. Expect warm sunny weather and clean conditions for most areas throughout the weekend: light to locally moderate sea wind in the morning, low overland flow in the afternoon.

Northern and Central California (SF | Pacifica | Santa Cruz | SLO)

With high pressure over the western United States, expect good to excellent conditions in northern and central California Thursday through Sunday with mild sunny weather and light or offshore winds. A fun to medium NW swell produces head-up to overhead surf with noticeable spots that pass well above peak days.

NorCal Turkey Days often look like this. Photo: Jérémie Klein

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East Coast and Puerto Rico

A storm near the Canadian Maritimes sends easterly swells to the east coast and sends north swell waves to the Caribbean.

Northeast and Mid-Atlantic (New Jersey | New York | Rhode Island | Maine)

No shortage of easterly swells and NW / WNW winds during the bank holiday weekend in the Northeast. Cape Cod breaks across Maine will see the most size, while the surf looks small on Long Island. Winds are a problem there as well, but the right spot at the right tide should accommodate the larger boards. The mid-Atlantic is also small, but at least the mid-period easterly swell will be clear enough for the waves to have good shape.

Floating boards are the best choice for most breaks in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic this holiday weekend.

Outside and Southeast Banks (Virginia | Nags Head | Hatteras | Wrightsville | Folly)

Fun wave windows are expected on the Outer Banks over the holiday weekend. The NE / ENE swell will be accessible, mainly at waist height with larger sets at the strong points. Winds oscillate between W-NW, so areas with the cleanest surf will vary. Other than a rapid gale from the SW along the Crystal Coast on Friday morning, the outlook is rather poor for the southeast. The best breaks produce a few longboard waves around the best tides.

Florida (Jacksonville | New Smyrna | Satellite Beach | West Palm | Miami)

The early-week wind swell lingers over Thanksgiving as the offshore winds begin to ease. The best spots from north and central Florida to the Treasure Coast allow surfing at shoulder height with wider sets possible in the morning. The surf eased on Friday, but conditions improve with an early low tide setting up a fun morning surf. Northerly winds are a problem on Saturday but things should ease up again on Sunday for another decent NE / ENE swell day with favorable conditions in the morning.

Puerto Rico (Rincon | North Coast)

Lots of surfing in the water for the weekend as a mix of NNW / N / NE swells sets up a head-up to head-up surf race. Windy winds favor the most westerly breakers over the northwestern part of the island (including Rincon) from Thursday to Friday. A more typical trade wind pattern emerges for the weekend, the mornings offering the best conditions on most spots.

A surf filled vacation weekend in Puerto Rico with a range of fun and aerial surfing. Jabeth Correa. Photo: gonzo

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