Hurricane Eugene has become the fifth hurricane of the 2011 Eastern Pacific season, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (NHC Advisory #7). The hurricane was located about 410 miles SW of Zihuatanejo, Mexico as of 2:00 p.m. (PDT) and moving WNW at 13 mph.
The current 5-day forecast puts Eugene just East of the Southern California swell window (160° bearing) at 11:00 p.m. (PDT) on Tuesday, August 2nd. The hurricane is expected to cross into the swell window early Wednesday morning with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (120 mph gusts).
If the current forecast holds up, Eugene will pack hurricane strength winds through Thursday, August 4th, making it the first hurricane this season to actually cross into the swell window. Adrian came close back in June, but ran out of gas right at 160°. (Above: Adrian’s best-track path plotted over Eugene’s forecast track & cone).
The latest Dana Point forecast is showing (1) a small, moderate-period South-Southeast swell arriving on Saturday (2 feet at 11 seconds, 167°). That swell is forecast to build, (2) turning more South as the swell peaks at 3 feet at 10 seconds (177°) Sunday afternoon. Notice that there is some long-period SSW (200°) swell also in the forecast, which should provide increasing combo-swell conditions on Sunday as that component peaks as well.
Definitely some good news for the 2011 US Open of Surfing, which is scheduled to hold their final rounds of competition on Sunday, especially for those surfers who make it into the 2 p.m. final and will likely see the largest surf of the event.
We’ll be back with a mid-week update on Eugene. Those of you who want to keep a closer eye on the storm, we suggest tuning in to the National Hurricane Center updates or following @NHC_Pacific.