Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tropical Update: TS Dolores

We have another new tropical storm...TD 5E formed up late last night, and by midmorning here on Wednesday it had become Tropical Storm Dolores.

Currently TS Dolores is holding approximately 1200 miles SE of Southern California and about 700 miles SSW of the tip of Baja. She is moving WNW (310) around 10-11 knots and is expected to intensify into a strong Tropical Storm over the next 24 hours. Long-range forecasts are showing TS Dolores hitting colder water (and some wind shear) after that 24 hours...but conditions are shifting that may allow her to stay more intense for a longer-period, which would be much better for us wavewise.

At this point TS Dolores is already in SoCal’s SE swell window...and is doing a few “good-things” that help swell production.

1. She is intensifying...(you always want the storm to get stronger or at minimum, hold strength)

2. She is a decent sized storm with almost 200 miles of 34+ knot winds in the NE and SE side of the system (the side that produces swell for us.)

3. She is moving roughly NW-WNW at a moderate pace. (The closer she can get to moving directly at us the more energy she will send out.)

4. Finally she isn’t too far...1200 miles is a reasonable distance...not great...but not as bad as it could be.

I do wish the storm was a bit stronger...and moving a bit more to the NW...but as it is I am still expecting some swell from Dolores.

Baja Sur will get waves from this Tropical Storm...I expect some S-SSW swell (180-190) to start showing at the exposed Pacific Side spots around the 16-17th with wave heights in the chest-shoulder high range for many spots and some bigger sets at the standouts.

SoCal will see this swell start to show through the day on the 17th strengthening towards the evening. Based on today’s forecasts the peak of the swell will be through the 18-19th. The swell will be more SE-S (165-180) for our expect some shadowing at the start. Wave heights are going to be in the waist-chest high range at the average spots. Standout SE-S facing areas will be more consistently in the chest-shoulder high range with some bigger sets.

Naturally we could see some bigger waves for all areas if TS Dolores intensifies past the current forecasts.


Anonymous said...

thanks been waiting for waves heights on this system.. FUCK YEAH!

Anonymous said...

would the fact that Carlos has recently passed through the area to the south generate any kind of usable sea-state for better wave generation by Dolores?

Adam Wright said...

That is an excellent question.

In general I would say yes, it would add some useable sea-state...particularly if the following storm was building on the back of short-period swell that was already going the same direction.

With these two storms I don't think that the overlap happened very much.

Carlos was a bit more southerly in latitude, and more Southerly in swell direction, when he produced his swell, compared to where Dolores is.

These tropical storms are so small-scale compared to the big frontal systems that the trailing/backside quadrants of a TS/Hurricane are actually moving at perpendicular/opposite angles to the swell-producing sides of the storm...and all of these winds are packed into a super small area. You would be just as likely to get sea-state going the wrong way for the second system as you would getting something to capitalize on.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Adam. Really appreciate the blog. Keep up the good work!