Hilary Intensifies, Now a Hurricane

As of 8:00 a.m. PDT on Thursday, September 22, 2011 (NHC Advisory #6): Hurricane Hilary is currently moving WNW (295°) at 10 mph, with maximum sustained winds near 75 mph. Hilary’s track is forecast to continue along the southwest coast of Mexico, with additional strengthening expected over the next 48 hours.

After the next three days, the models diverge significantly with regional models showing recurvature, while some of the global models expect Hilary to continue moving WNW. The official forecast lies between these scenarios, which now places Hilary within the Southern California swell window early Tuesday morning.

In terms of surf, it’s difficult to say what the impact of Hurricane Hilary will be until she enters the swell window. Although Hilary is forecast to be on a weakening trend by then, if she maintains a slow pace and/or turns north, it could be enough to pump some moderate-period energy towards Southern California, with swell arriving by Thursday or Friday. The outlook will become a bit clearer by Sunday.