Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tropical Alert - Hurricane Norbert - Looking even better

The National Hurricane Center updated his positioning and forecast track and Norbert got even better looking this morning.

It looks like Norbert may have moved into the very SE portion of the SoCal swell window around midmorning here on Wednesday...and the extended forecast has him moving further westward and staying in our swell window longer than the previous updates.

Norbert has also intensified and is being classified as a "Major" hurricane with wind speeds holding steady in the CAT-3 range (100-knot sustained winds and 120-knot gusts). Looks like he could even get stronger as we move into Thursday (NRL has him reaching 120-knots sustained and 140-knot gusts...which, if you don't mind the expression, is pretty f-ing gnarly). Check out the latest NRL forecast.

From a swell making perspective it is Thursday into early Friday that is really going to make (or break) this swell. The forecast models are calling for the storm to intensify as it pushes almost directly towards SoCal.

Check it out...see the N-NNW track as the storm hooks into its recurve back into Baja Sur

Since Norbert moved into our swell window a bit earlier that I was anticipating I am going to push up the swell arrival times on this tropical SE swell (160-165). Right now it looks like the longer-period energy will start arriving later on Friday, mostly near the end of the day unless Norbert moved into our window a lot earlier than the satellites indicated. The peak of the swell will hit by Saturday around midday and then hold strong into Sunday before fading out.

There are still a couple of things I don't like about this storm... I wish it was a little further west in positioning (or was planning on moving more westward), just so that the swell angle wasn't so SE. The SE angle is going to really limit what areas will be able to pick it up. At this point I think that North Orange County will see the lionshare of the energy, with a smaller amount making it into North LA and a few other spots that have some limited exposure. I also wish that it was going to spend a little longer in our swell window before turning around to wreak Baja Sur...a couple of extra days in our window would have us in waves for days instead of turning of the swell rapidly as it moves back out of our window.

Anyway, and this is me being super conservative, I am now expecting shoulder-head high surf for most of the average SE facing spots. Top SE facing spots in N. Orange County will have overhead+ sets as this peaks.

Maybe Norbert will stop messing with me now and stick to a forecast track so that I don't have to send out many more updates. (I am sure I will be back talking about Stupid Norbert tomorrow).

look into my eye

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