x

Hurricane Irene Warning

by on Tuesday 23rd August, 2011   43471 Views

Hurricane Irene—keep checking your local warnings. That’s the best assessment of our first major Atlantic Hurricane of the season. We’re always aware when talking of this kind of storm of the importance of understanding their destructive nature when getting excited about the surfing potential, with Irene already wreaking havoc and a strong possibility of East Coast landfall after its destructive jaunt through the Caribbean, the main theme here has to be one of caution, but nonetheless we’re a surf forecasting site so lets break down the possibilities.

Right now the ‘most probable’ track for Hurricane Irene is increasingly northward moving through the Bahamas and tracking just offshore of the Florida coast before impacting North Carolina as a major hurricane on Sunday. However it’s worth understanding both the variability of different forecast used to create this consensus and the potential margin for error in the ‘most probable’ track. The GFS wind model we use to drive our surf forecasts shows a much more rapidly curving path moving the storm away from the coast with the centre passing 65 miles from Cape Hatteras, where the HWRF hurricane model shows impact with South Carolina. The NHC themselves publish error figures of an average 200-250 miles after 4-5 days. The bad news is where previous possible paths might have brushed the coast and storms have, in recent times, been kept away from land by dominant high pressure systems, in this case the likelihood is impact and only a small proportion of models suggest the storm taking a track avoiding all landfall.

So from a surfing perspective from Florida through to North Carolina for later in the week the outlook is for potentially damaging winds and large storm surf. There will be a fairly lengthy window before the storms arrival when smaller long period swell from the initial stages of the storm will be seen for most East coast breaks. From Tuesday night the hurricane models suggest small longer period swell in the waist to chest high range should start to show on the outer banks, smaller further south and arriving a little later further north. New Jersey potentially sees similar conditions on Wednesday but with increasingly strong southerly winds (not related to this storm) throwing a wind sea into the mix that’ll all but obscure the longer range stuff come Wednesday afternoon. Beyond this significant surf and winds are likely for potentially the entire East Coast, we’ll keep our detailed 5 day hurricane swell models updated here.

Comments
Average rating of 3.6139 from 0 votes

43471 Visits -

Video El Buey Lights Up for Arica
10520

El Buey Lights Up for Arica

Big barrels and big drops at one of Chile's premier big waves spots

Video Flooding in Switzerand Generates a Ripable River Wave
3705

Flooding in Switzerand Generates a Ripable River Wave

Swiss surfers make the most of their environment and shred this powerful wave caused by a flooding river.

Feature Chris Burkard, Under the Magnifying Glass
2425

Chris Burkard, Under the Magnifying Glass

The first instalment of the Definition series takes a closer look at Californian Photographer Chris Burkard

Video Skeet Durham Makes an Unbelievable Drop at Nias
6928

Skeet Durham Makes an Unbelievable Drop at Nias

Skeet Durham nails a huge drop at Nias and is rewarded with a deep tube which he comes flying out of arms akimbo.

Video Noa Deane's Homage to 'The Old-Skool'
2434

Noa Deane's Homage to 'The Old-Skool'

Noa Deane and Shane Fletcher brings us this clip equipped with fast tunes and weird editing

Video Nathaniel Curran Ripping at Home
2379

Nathaniel Curran Ripping at Home

Kyle MacLennan follows Nathaniel Curran tearing apart his home breaks.