Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tropical Update – Tropical Storm Nora

A tropical disturbance that had been drifting about 600 miles SW of the tip of Baja began to organize late last night and has now strengthened into Tropical Storm Nora.

Currently TS Nora is weak-to-moderate tropical storm with core winds in the 35-40 knot range and gusts getting up around 45-50 knots. She is positioned about 900 miles due south of SoCal...and is moving slowly to the WNW (tracking at 300-degrees) at a slow speed of about 8-knots.

Forecast models are calling for Nora to intensify over the next 24 hours, reaching the “strong” tropical storm level and possibly becoming a hurricane. While this intensification is good news it sounds like it won’t last that long...while the models agree on the intensification they also agree that she will hit cooler water and some upper level wind shear shortly afterwards, which gives her a very short swell-making period. You can see her track taking her into cooler water on the chart below.

The good news is that NORA is already in our swell window and is positioned so that any swell she sends out will be a more “democratic” S swell rather than a shadowed SE swell. It also helps that she is moving slowly and has a slightly more WNW track.

The bad news is that overall she is still a pretty small storm right now...with her Tropical Storm strength winds only reaching out about 40-50 miles...and while that may increase as she strengthens it doesn’t look like it will get all that much bigger.

So after looking at today’s forecasts...I do think that we will get a few waves from Tropical Storm Nora but that they are going to be on the small side. I am looking for the new S swell (170-185) to start moving in with some tropical knee-waist high sets by late Thursday and holding into Friday. There is a chance that it will come in bigger if, and it is a big if, the storm strengthens significantly and holds together longer than the forecast models indicate...but personally I am not holding my breath.


Anonymous said...

Hey Adam, where are the waves coming from this afternoon? Everyone is calling for the swell to decline, but it's obviously a lot bigger than it's been the last few days.

CDIP and O-side buoys confirm the visual impression. I might have gone out if it didn't look so sick (in the true sense of the word).

I can deal somewhat with the afternoon onshores, but the red tides just adds a whole 'nother ick factor to the equation.

Anonymous said...

wheres the red tide?

Anonymous said...

There's red tide in HB for the last few days.