Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Travel Update: Another SW’er for Central America and Mainland Mex

I was just looking at the SPAC charts and there is another string of SW swells (190-220), with one bigger pulse of SW right in the middle, heading to Central America and Mainland Mexico.

These swells start arriving in the area around the 9th…with one swell peaking on the 11-12th and another peaking on the 13-14th.

The first swell is already in the water…you can see the fetch nice and clear on the quikSCAT…



The second and third swells are forming over the next 48-72 hours, and I have seen them on the charts for a few days so I think they are fairly credible at this point. Check ‘em out on the Wavewatch-III swell period graphic.



Sizewise…the first pulse that arrives on the 9th looks good for chest-head high waves for most of the average areas…a few of the standouts will have some bigger sets but it won’t be huge or anything. Just a fun, warm water, early season swell.

The second and third swells (which really blend into a single big pulse of SW swell) start arriving on the 11th…but really peak more from the 12-14th and then trail off very slowly after that. These swells look good for consistent head high to overhead surf for most of the average spots. The top spots will have sets going a couple of feet overhead on the biggest waves…and the deepwater spots, like Puerto, will see some sets nearing double overhead (but probably not quite getting there).

Socal will see much, much, smaller versions of these swells arriving on the 11th and then again on the 14-16th. It will be closer to chest-shoulder high at the average spots around Socal…with some bigger waves showing in OC and parts of San Diego. Also if you look at the swell-period chart again…it looks like a little long-period WNW will be showing around that time too. So there is a chance at some playful waves…much smaller, colder, and less consistent playful waves…for those of us that can’t make the trip.

Hope some of you can sneak away…as always I love to see pictures and get reports if you do head down that way.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Travel Alert
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Bureau of Consular Affairs
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This information is current as of today, Wed Mar 04 17:35:26 2009.

Mexico

February 20, 2009


This Travel Alert updates security information for U.S. citizens traveling and living in Mexico. It supersedes the Travel Alert for Mexico dated October 15, 2008, and expires on August 20, 2009.

While millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year (including thousands who cross the land border every day for study, tourism or business), violence in the country has increased recently. It is imperative that travelers understand the risks of travel to Mexico, how best to avoid dangerous situations, and whom to contact if one becomes a crime victim. Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where prostitution and drug dealing might occur, can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable.

Crime and Violence Throughout Mexico

The greatest increase in violence has occurred near the U.S. border. However, U.S. citizens traveling throughout Mexico should exercise caution in unfamiliar areas and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Mexican and foreign bystanders have been injured or killed in violent attacks in cities across the country, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence in public places. In recent years, dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped across Mexico. Many of these cases remain unresolved. U.S. citizens who believe they are being targeted for kidnapping or other crimes should notify Mexican officials and the nearest American consulate or the Embassy as soon as possible, and should consider returning to the United States.

U.S. citizens should make every attempt to travel on main roads during daylight hours, particularly the toll ("cuota") roads, which generally are more secure. Occasionally, the U.S. Embassy and consulates advise their employees as well as private U.S. citizens to avoid certain areas, abstain from driving on certain roads because of dangerous conditions or criminal activity, or recommend driving during daylight hours only. When warranted, U.S. government employees are restricted from traveling to or within parts of Mexico without prior approval from their supervisors. When this happens, the Embassy or the affected consulate will alert the local U.S. citizen Warden network and post the information on their respective websites, indicating the nature of the concern and the expected time period for which the restriction will remain in place. U.S. citizen visitors are encouraged to stay in the well-known tourist areas of the cities. Travelers should leave their itinerary with a friend or family member not traveling with them, avoid traveling alone, and should check with their cellular provider prior to departure to confirm that their cell phone is capable of roaming on GSM or 3G international networks. Do not display expensive-looking jewelry, large amounts of money, or other valuable items.

Violence Along the U.S. - Mexico Border

Mexican drug cartels are engaged in an increasingly violent conflict - both among themselves and with Mexican security services - for control of narcotics trafficking routes along the U.S.-Mexico border. In order to combat violence, the government of Mexico has deployed troops in various parts of the country. U.S. citizens should cooperate fully with official checkpoints when traveling on Mexican highways.

Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades. Large firefights have taken place in many towns and cities across Mexico but most recently in northern Mexico, including Tijuana, Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez. During some of these incidents, U.S. citizens have been trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area. The U.S. Mission in Mexico currently restricts non-essential travel to the state of Durango and all parts of the state of Coahuila south of Mexican Highways 25 and 22 and the Alamos River for U.S. government employees assigned to Mexico. This restriction was implemented in light of the recent increase in assaults, murders, and kidnappings in those two states. The situation in northern Mexico remains fluid; the location and timing of future armed engagements cannot be predicted.

A number of areas along the border are experiencing rapid growth in the rates of many types of crime. Robberies, homicides, petty thefts, and carjackings have all increased over the last year across Mexico generally, with notable spikes in Tijuana and northern Baja California. Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana and Nogales are among the cities which have recently experienced public shootouts during daylight hours in shopping centers and other public venues. Criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles in border areas including Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, and Tijuana.

The situation in Ciudad Juarez is of special concern. Mexican authorities report that more than 1,800 people have been killed in the city since January 2008. Additionally, this city of 1.6 million people experienced more than 17,000 car thefts and 1,650 carjackings in 2008. U.S. citizens should pay close attention to their surroundings while traveling in Ciudad Juarez, avoid isolated locations during late night and early morning hours, and remain alert to news reports. A recent series of muggings near the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez targeted applicants for U.S. visas. Visa and other service seekers visiting the Consulate are encouraged to make arrangements to pay for those services using a non-cash method.

U.S. citizens are urged to be alert to safety and security concerns when visiting the border region. Criminals are armed with a wide array of sophisticated weapons. In some cases, assailants have worn full or partial police or military uniforms and have used vehicles that resemble police vehicles. While most crime victims are Mexican citizens, the uncertain security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well. U.S. citizen victims of crime in Mexico are urged to contact the consular section of the nearest U.S. consulate or Embassy for advice and assistance. Contact information is provided at the end of this message.

Demonstrations and Large Public Gatherings

Demonstrations occur frequently throughout Mexico and usually are peaceful. However, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate to violence unexpectedly. Violent demonstrations have resulted in deaths, including that of an American citizen in Oaxaca in 2006. In 2008, a Mexican Independence Day celebration was the target of a violent attack. During demonstrations or law enforcement operations, U.S. citizens are advised to remain in their homes or hotels, avoid large crowds, and avoid the downtown and surrounding areas. Since the timing and routes of scheduled marches and demonstrations are always subject to change, U.S. citizens should monitor local media sources for new developments and exercise extreme caution while within the vicinity of protests. The Mexican Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners, and such actions may result in detention and/or deportation. U.S. citizens are therefore advised to avoid participating in demonstrations or other activities that might be deemed political by Mexican authorities. As is always the case in any large gathering, U.S. citizens should remain alert to their surroundings.

Una Ola said...

As usual Adam, your insightful surf forecasts keep me in the loop. I often use your forecasting to help score the best waves for my guests.

If you want to see how this swell turns out check out my daily surf report for Playa Grande, Costa Rica next week.