Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tropical Update – Tropical Storm Enrique and Tropical Storm Felicia

You have to love the tropics...it goes from nothing to two named storms (three if you count TS Lana in the Central Pacific) in about 10 hours.

Unfortunately neither EPAC storm is all that great looking from a surf standpoint...oh we will see some swell from TS Enrique, but TS Felicia might be a little too far to the west to get much energy back towards SoCal.

Check out the charts from the National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Enrique


Tropical Storm Felicia


TS Enrique is much more probable as a swell-maker...but overall he doesn’t look all that good. As of this morning he is moving WNW (290) at about 14 knots and is expected to strengthen slightly as well as slow down his movement path. Current forecast models are calling the storm strength around 50-55 knots sustained in the core with gusts around 60 knots. His positioning is about 1100 miles SW of the tip of Baja and about 1700 miles S of Southern California right in the middle of our swell window.

There are a few things to like about TS Enrique...his position is good, wind speeds are increasing (which means that he will be able to maintain “wind on water”), and his movement path is ok. On the negative side...he isn’t that strong, he isn’t that large, and 14-knots is pretty fast when your effective fetch is only 30-50 miles across.

Keeping those things in mind, I think that we are going to see some background S swell from Enrique...some minor energy will start showing slowly throughout the day on Thursday and will likely peak overnight into Friday. I am expecting surf in the knee-waist high range for the average spots and possibly some chest high sets at the standouts. (I tend to stay on the conservative side sizewise on tropical swells like these...but if I see conditions/winds improve I will adjust the forecast).

TS Felicia is a bit further westward than TS Enrique...and is already veering westward (275-280) at about 16 knots. She is likely to become a hurricane in the next 12 hours but with her position well away from our area and her quick movement westward I am not expecting much, if any, surf from her. Likely she will be a problem for the Hawaiian Islands (the Big Island in particular) in a few days.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Adam- First of all thanks for your contribution, I appreciate the effort and have learned a lot thanks to your focus on the how and why behind the what. Are the reports still coming out of NOAA still trending towards a strong El Nino? I am crossing my fingers that our hurricane season will be a little more active going into fall and then NorPac storm gen moving into winter.

jhall said...

Yes please, late strong hurricanes meeting early NW winter swell.

My local break will thank you.


p.s. Moderate fall offshores also please.


Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

dude, my wife's name is Felicia . . . if we can figure out a way to annoy Hurricane Felicia I guarantee we'll get some fiesty surf . . . .