Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tropical Update: Tropical Storm Linda becoming a hurricane

Tropical Storm Linda just got a little better looking

I have been watching Linda for a couple of days and her wave-making potential has been steadily increasing…so much so that we are actually seeing a little bit of tropical S-SW swell (190-210) already moving into our exposed breaks.

Linda has been sitting out in the NE tropical region…sort of hanging between our region and the Central Pacific tropical region. Initially forecasts had her jogging WNW slowly and then pushing westward further out towards Hawaii. But instead of moving she has hung almost completely still and strengthened, shrugging off some minor shear, and developing some nice feeder winds that stretch down into the ITCZ.

Now Linda is a strong Tropical Storm and is right on the verge of becoming a CAT-1 Hurricane. Her current wind speeds are holding around 60+ knots at the core with gusts to 70-knots at times. It looks like these will strengthen over the next 24 hours and push Linda into Hurricane Strength tonight and likely help her maintain those winds into midday tomorrow. Check out the QuikSCAT winds for the storm…

Surfwise what this means for us is some nice S-SW tropical swell (190-210) that fills in more on Thursday and will continue to push in some playful waves Friday through Sunday before we see a significant drop.

At this point I want to stay on the conservative side sizewise. I expect that the average SW facing spots will have surf in the waist-chest high range. Standout S-SW facing breaks, particularly spots that like the shorter-period S-SW swells, will be more consistently around chest high with some shoulder high sets mixing in. Chances are that we will see some bigger waves mixing on Friday/Saturday, depending on Linda actually reaching hurricane strength, but I don’t think we should count on them just yet.

Overall I think that these playful waves will be a nice filler for the gap in surf that we have been slogging through the last few days…nothing huge, but playful and at least rideable at the exposed areas.

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