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CDIP operates numerous wave measurement buoys in the waters of Southern California. These buoys measure the height of passing waves, the period or time between waves, the direction the waves are coming from, and the sea surface temperature. At right are the latest readings from buoys in the vicinity of the Channel Islands.
  • Hs: Significant wave height
  • Tp: Peak period
  • Dp: Peak direction
  • SST: Sea surface temperature
Latest Buoy Readings
WAVES AND SEA SURFACE TEMPS Date
(m/d)
Time
(PST)
Hs
(ft)
Tp
(s)
Dp
(deg)
SST
(F)
Stn # Station Name
067 SAN NICOLAS ISLAND, CA 04/27 19:33 12.07 9.09 297 52.9
203 SANTA CRUZ BASIN, CA 04/27 19:54 8.10 6.25 279 55.9
111 ANACAPA PASSAGE, CA 04/27 19:33 8.30 10.53 269 54.3
216 HARVEST SOUTHEAST, CA 04/27 19:33 12.43 9.09 305 51.1
071 HARVEST, CA 04/27 19:33 12.43 9.09 307 51.4

Southern California Swell Modeling

The Southern California Swell Model was developed by CDIP scientists to simulate wave conditions in the Southern California Bight. Using wave measurements from deep-water locations - generally from the Harvest (Pt. Conception) or San Nicolas Island buoys - the model simulates local conditions based on waves arriving from outside the Channel Islands. These waves have periods of 8 seconds or longer; waves generated by local winds have shorter periods and are not represented in the model. (For this reason, the wave heights in the table above - which include local wind seas - are often a bit larger than the swell heights shown in the model.)

The output of the swell model includes wave height graphs like the one at left.