Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tropical Update: Tropical Storm Guillermo

Tropical Storm Guillermo formed today and is already in our swell window.

Currently Guillermo is located about 600 mile WSW of the Tip of Baja and is located almost due South of Southern California. The National Hurricane Center has just barely classified Guillermo as a tropical storm, which means that the core winds are being estimated right at the 34-knot cutoff (any lower and it is classified as a tropical depression).

The forecasts have TS Guillermo strengthen slowly but steadily over the next couple of days…likely peaking in intensity on Friday. Today’s forecast does not have him reaching hurricane strength, but if conditions become more favorable it is a possibility.

From a surf perspective, if Guillermo can strengthen past the low-level tropical storm strength, it looks like we should get some waves from him. Like always, with these tropical systems, you have to weigh the good and the bad against each other.

On the good side…

1. Guillermo is well positioned – He is already in the swell window and any intensification that he can make will benefit swell production.
2. He is a decent sized storm – the effect NE/SE portions of the storm are expected to have TS strength winds across about 150-180 miles. He also has a lot of feeder winds coming up from the equator…all of which helps to extend the effective fetch.
3. He is moving slightly WNW (290-degrees) which isn’t all that bad considering his position.

On the bad side…

1. He is moving fast – forecasts are showing 15-17 knots in the storms movement. This is actually expected to accelerate a bit over the next couple of days.

2. His projected position in a couple of days – because of the fast movement it looks like a lot of his intensification is going to occur while he is further off to the west (closer to Hawaii). The extra distance…plus the shifting swell angle…won’t help extend the life of any swell we see.

On to the actual surf…based on today’s forecast it looks like we are going to see new SSE-S swell (170-180) filling in later on Friday. It won’t be much more than waist-high+ at the better S facing breaks since the storm is still pretty weak…but if we see better movement and intensification there could be some bigger waves as we head into Saturday.

I will keep you posted if I see any significant changes.

1 comment:

vegas mike said...

do you remember the last guillermo that rolled through back in 97

we need another hurricane like that.

had some of the best waves of my life in socal 1997-1998.