Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Storm Watch 2008 or AKA “My, isn’t that a big red blob?”

So I was looking at the charts today when I started to see a nasty little nugget way out in the long-range portion of the forecast.

Check out this NOAA image

This picture is showing significant wave heights in the North Pacific 114 hours (4-5 days) out in the forecast. The wave-heights are in meters, which mean that current forecasts are showing a storm with 30-foot plus seas developing very close to the California coast.

Needless to say that if this storm lives up to the current forecasts then we will see a very, very large W swell arriving early next week (Feb. 24-25th)

My take on this current forecast is this: I am not really ready to jump on the hype-machine just yet. But since the other forecast groups are likely to start freaking out I thought I would at least mention the system.

I am not really sold on this storm for several reasons. First, this storm is still several days from developing, which alone puts it into the “suspect” category. Add in the facts that the different weather models are not quite agreeing on anything (strength, positioning, or movement) about this storm makes it even less reliable. Then to top it off this particular type of storm, which looks like it is being influenced by extra-tropical moisture, are very unstable and hard for the models to predict.

Right now I am expecting a pretty decent sized W-WNW swell for the 24-25th, but I am not putting a lot of faith in it going much bigger than 8-10' at the standouts...and I think there will be some weather and possibly junky conditions coming along with it.

We will start getting much more reliable forecast data as we get to about 48-72 hours away from the storm forming.

Make sure to check back in a couple of days because I will have a better grasp on this swell and we will see if it lives up to forecasts.

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