Monday, August 24, 2009

Tropical Update – Tropical Storm Ignacio

Tropical Depression 12e strengthened into Tropical Storm Ignacio this evening.

TS Ignacio is currently located about 650 miles SW of the tip of Baja and is in the S-SSE swell window for Southern California. Right now Ignacio isn’t a huge storm…core wind speeds are holding around 40-knots with some 50-knot gusts...and the good parts of fetch, the ones that are aiming towards SoCal are about 50-60 miles across.

Still he is going to be intensifying, at least according to forecasts, and could become a fairly intense tropical storm…he is not expected to reach hurricane strength at this time. You can see the convection (the cloud rotation) around the low in this satellite photo…

The more convection we see, and the more Ignacio looks like a hurricane, the better it is for swell production.

Another good factor…is his storm track…current forecasts have him moving WNW (290-degrees) at about 10-knots. This WNW path is actually supposed to steepen as he intensifies, which means that the stronger parts of the storm will be better aligned toward SoCal and could potentially be better for setting up swell.

From a surf standpoint I think that we will get some waves from Ignacio…nothing huge…but enough to ride. It looks like the first S swell (180) will arrive from Ignacio on Thursday. Since there will still be plenty of Southern Hemi swell in the water I don’t know that we are going to really be able to tell that the tropical swell is showing. Based on today’s forecast it looks like any energy from Ignacio would peak as we head into Saturday, hopefully the tropical energy will help prop up wave heights from our fading Southern Hemi…and keep us in consistent, but playful sized (chest-shoulder high) surf through the upcoming weekend.

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