Monday, July 6, 2009

Tropical Update – Tropical Storm Blanca

Well the second named tropical storm of the season spun up pretty fast here on Monday.

Newly formed Tropical Storm Blanca (I don't know if any of you watch that showtime show Weeds...but it is hard to hear "Blanca" without thinking about it)...pulled together about 900 Miles SE of Southern California (and about 400+ miles SSW of the tip of Cabo). Blanca is currently moving WNW (305-degrees) at about 8-10 knots.

Check out the NWS forecast for Blanca...

As of this afternoon the core of TS Blanca is already in the Southern California swell window. She has sustained winds around 40-45 knots with gusts near 60-knots in the NW and NE quadrants. As you can see the forecast has her shuffling off to the west and weakening as she hits colder water in the next couple of days.

Right now the storm has a couple of good things going for it and a couple of bad things.

On the good is fairly close to if it does send out swell we won’t have a ton of decay eroding the energy out. Also the WNW movement is a fairly good angle for isn’t directly at us but it keeps the “the intense” portion of the fetch closer to the side we want it to be on.

On the bad side, it isn’t all that intense...wind speeds aren’t great which will limit swell production. Also, she is going to hit cold water pretty quickly, which will kill the storm’s convection/rotation.

From a surf perspective I do expect a little SE swell from TS Blanca...she has good rotation, and ok winds, plus she is closer than a lot of storms get. I would look for a few chest-high+ waves at the SE facing spots, mostly in OC, around Wednesday/Thursday of this week...and if the storm can hold together (or get more intense) we could add some size to that.

Anyway that is what I have for now...I will update you if something changes.


Anonymous said...

AW won't the SW s. hemi be running higher drownding out this mostly knee to waist high pulse? Thanks for all you do, Coconutz!

Adam Wright said...

Generally swells from similar directions (even when the periods are different) don't really cancel each other out. So the SW'er shouldn't shut down the tropical energy...we might actually see some cross ups if you have a spot that is exposed to both.

The thing to keep in mind is the SE swell angle which is right around 160, most breaks don't have that exposure, so only a handful of spots will be able to see that energy anyways.

Usually it is when you have two short-period swells (windswell type periods in the 5-9 second range) where you see them knock each other down...there is a lot more friction in the short period swells and so they can get some traction on each other, it helps too that the swell sources are usually pretty close and can effect each other as well.

Hopefully that makes sense...basically I don't expect the SW'er to bleed out much of the tropical energy (not that I expect much surf from Blanca at this time anyways).