G. Niblock on the L41 TipSUP Noserider. Photo: J. Chandler

Monday, January 7, 2008

Unstable Wx; Poor Sea Conditions

Rain showers punctuated by short duration high winds in the 40 - 50 mph range will dominate most of this week. The silver lining is that we will get a respite from the storms today (maybe even a few waves this afternoon), and we are headed for drier times by the end of the week and into the weekend.

Even better, some of the wave forecasters are now saying that a high pressure ridge is forming that will keep the winter storms moving across the NPAC well to the north of NorCal. Therefore, we could see some clean, strong long distance swells gracing our shores with high quality winter surf.

I caught a glimpse of a couple intrepid stand-up brothers paddling on the outside of one of the piers yesterday. Go fearless SUPers. (And they don't have to lay down in the somewhat sketchy looking water.) For a look at some real nearshore contamination though, check out two great SoCal surfing websites, JDub Singles and Daily Bread.

Back to NorCal, todays weather tracking images show the storm that is going to hit Tuesday both in NWS real-time satellite photos and in StormSurf's satellite based animation models. Combine just these two tools with the NWS forecast discussion and you can see exactly what is going on with the weather and wind which in turn creates the surf we enjoy. Fascinating, economical, and efficient.

(Interesting fact: At 45 degrees north or south latitude, the distance between longitudinal lines is about 50 miles. At the equator it's 70 miles, and at the north and south poll it is nil. You can use this figure to determine the length of fetch for a given wind event/storm, and how fast the storm is moving. More on lat/long here.)

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