As of 11:00 a.m. AST on Sunday, September 4, 2011 (NHC Advisory #26): Hurricane Katia has intensified to a Cateogry 2 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph. Katia is currently moving NW (305°) at 12 mph, with additional strengthening forecast for the next few days. It is possible that Katia could reach major hurricane strength by Monday.
Katia passed just south of Buoy 41044 this morning, which reported gusts of 93 knots (107 mph) at 9:50 a.m. AST. Significant wave heights of 32.5 feet were also reported at the station an hour earlier.
Looking at the Wavewatch models, the Cape Canaveral forecast shows a moderate-period ESE (108°) swell building throughout the week, with the swell direction turning east, then east-northeast by next weekend. Swell wave heights are forecast to peak on Thursday afternoon, with swell conditions of 8 feet at 15 seconds (East, 84°).
Further north, the forecast for Buoy 44025 (33 NM South of Islip, NY) shows a southeast swell building throughout the week, with solid moderate-period swell conditions on Thursday and Friday (7-8 feet at 13-14 seconds), good news for the 2011 Quiksilver Pro New York, which is already underway. In the event trials, Asher Nolan persevered in challenging conditions to move into the main event, where he will face Kelly Slater in the first round.
We’ve been experimenting with the National Hurricane Center’s GIS data, using their KML files in conjunction with Google Earth to track Hurricane Igor. It’s particularly interesting once you incorporate the NDBC KML files to create an overlay of the buoy network.
As you can see, Hurricane Igor passed almost directly over the South Atlantic buoy (@buoy41044), and is forecast to brush past the Atlantic (South) buoy (@buoy41049) as it turns North towards Bermuda. Currently, Buoy 41049 is reporting significant wave heights of 23 feet.
Look for surf to rise along the Eastern seaboard through the weekend, and be sure to check our Atlantic Southeast and Atlantic Northeast regional maps for the latest real-time conditions.
Could this be mere coincidence, or some greater forces at work!?
Looks like the South Atlantic buoy (@buoy41044) is about to get slammed with near 30-foot swell wave heights, which means significant wave heights will be even bigger. A peek at the offshore Cape Canaveral buoy (@buoy41010) model shows a similar pattern, with a solid East swell building through the weekend, rotating towards a more Northeasterly swell direction as it subsides.
The Masonboro Inlet (@buoy41110) model has the swell peaking Sunday morning at 6.2 feet at 16 seconds (ESE 114°), then quickly declining through Monday.
While the Montauk Point (@buoy44017) forecast peaks a few hours later at 9.8 feet at 15.3 seconds (SE 140°).