Tagged: north carolina

Katia Continues Northwest, Swell Continues to Build

As of 11:00 a.m. AST on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 (NHC Advisory #34): Hurricane Katia is a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, and is currently moving northwest (310°) at 9 mph. Katia is not expected to make landfall, with a forecast track turning progressively more northerly through Thursday.

The next few days will see increasing moderate-period southeast swell from Katia across the East Coast, with conditions peaking later in the week before fading into the weekend.

Starting in Florida, the Cape Canaveral buoy is currently reporting swell conditions of 4 feet at 12 seconds and is forecast to build throughout the day, with the swell heights increasing to 7-9 feet on Wednesday. The swell direction becomes more easterly as Katia passes to the North, with swell heights quickly fading late Thursday into Friday.

The long-range forecast shows another east-southeast pulse for Sunday-Monday, the result of another tropical system currently forming in the East Atlantic. Keep an eye on the latest forecast to see how that swell develops.

Up the coast, the Cape Hatteras forecast is showing a large southeast swell building into Thursday with conditions expected to reach 21 feet at 14 seconds (114°) as Katia passes. This station is located 150 nautical miles offshore and much closer to Katia’s expected path, which explains the rapid intensification of both waves and winds on Thursday. Most notable is the change in wind direction, with rotates a complete 180° from east to west in a 48-hour span as Katia passes the buoy.

By contrast, the nearshore Diamond Shoals station forecast shows much more favorable conditions on Thursday, with an extra-large, moderate-period ESE swell of 15 feet at 14 seconds paired with north winds. While Wednesday looks onshore and blown, if the winds turn and fade a bit overnight, it could be huge and offshore by Thursday afternoon.

New York sees increasing southeast swell through Friday, which will provide contestable surf for the 2011 Quiksilver Pro New York. The main event is already underway, with round 1 currently in the water in Long Beach.

If the east winds remain light, it’s possible the event could finish by the weekend. Friday looks particularly good in the morning, with a peaking southeast swell of 11 feet at 14 seconds and favorable north winds. The swell fades really quickly though, dropping to 3 feet at 8 seconds by Saturday morning, and although there’s another southeast pulse in the long-range forecast, organizers probably won’t roll the dice on that swell unless the winds force them to.

Our call is the Quiksilver Pro New York runs through the week on the rising Katia swell and finishes with a bang on Friday.


Hurricane Irene Bears Down on East Coast

As of 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, August 26, 2011 (NHC Advisory #25): Maximum sustained winds from Hurricane Irene have decreased to 105 mph, with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 90 miles from the center. Irene is currently heading North (360°) at 14 mph, and this motion is expected to continue throughout the day.

While the intensity of Irene is slightly lower, little change in strength is expected over the next 12 to 24 hours. As it reaches the mid-Atlantic coast, a gradual decrease in intensity is expected. Hurricane Warnings and Watches have been issued across the Eastern seaboard, and are likely to be extended as far North as New England by this afternoon.

Hurricane Irene passed Buoy 41010 last night, producing significant wave heights of over 30-feet and wind gusts as high as 62 knots (71 mph). As it continues up the coast, it is forecast to pass Buoy 41013 (Frying Pan Shoals, NC), where wind speeds and wave heights are currently on the rise. As of 11:00 a.m. (EDT), Buoy 41013 (@buoy41013) reported wind gusts of 41 knots and significant wave heights of 14 feet and climbing.

Real-time observations from buoys within Irene’s forecasted path are available on Twitter at the following handles:

  • Buoy 41004 – Southeast of Charelston, SC (@buoy41004)
  • Buoy 41013 – Frying Pan Shoals, NC (@buoy41013)
  • Buoy 41110 – Masonboro Inlet, NC (@buoy41110)
  • Buoy 44100 – Duck FRF 26m, NC (@buoy44100)
  • Buoy 44014 – East of Virginia Beach, VA (@buoy44014)

Tune-in to your local National Weather Service bureau for the latest updates on Hurricane Irene and stay safe!


Hurricane Irene Turns North-Northwest

Hurricane Irene Advisory #21

As of 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday, August 25, 2011 (NHC Advisory #21): Hurricane Irene has turned North-Northwestward and is currently moving at a heading of 330° at 13 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph. This NNW track is expected to continue tonight, with Irene turning North by early Friday. Irene remains a major hurricane with Category 3 strength. Additional strengthening is possible today and tonight.

Buoy 41010 - Cape Canaveral, FL (Meteorological Observations)

As Hurricane Irene approaches, the Cape Canaveral offshore buoy (@buoy41010) has continued to report increasing wave and wind observations, with significant wave heights of 13.5 feet, and wind speeds of 25 knots (33 knot gusts) reported at 11:20 a.m. EDT. These conditions are forecast to intensify throughout Thursday and Friday, before subsiding into the weekend as the Hurricane continues North.

Looking further up the coast, the forecast for Masonboro Inlet, NC (@buoy41110) shows a building Southeast swell in the 8-10 feet at 15 seconds range for Friday, but with strengthening East winds. Things get really intense on Saturday, with 14-foot wave heights and 40+ knot winds rotating NE to NW throughout the day.

Further North, the Virgina Beach offshore (@buoy44014) forecast shows a solid South-Southeast pulse on Friday (5-9 feet at 12-seconds 150°), but increasing SSE winds are poised to blow it out. Both the surf and wind continue to intensify on Saturday into Sunday, with strong winds rotating direction from East-Southeast to West as Irene passes.

Stay tuned to the National Hurricane Center for the latest on Hurricane Irene, and stay safe out there!


Hurricane Irene Strengthens to Category 3

Hurricane Irene Advisory #17

As of 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 (NHC Advisory #17): Hurricane Irene is currently a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, and is moving NW (305°) at 12 mph. Some additional strengthening is forecast over the next 24-36 hours, with favorable sea surface temperatures (29° C) that may push Irene into Category 4 territory.

Hurricane Irene is expected to turn to the North-Northwest and then North on Thursday, with the core of the hurricane moving across the Southeastern and Central Bahamas today. The model guidance is in excellent agreement for the next 48-72 hours, but beyond that period there is some question whether or not Irene will continue NNE or turn back toward the North. The National Hurricane Center again warns that the 3-5 day forecast track is subject to error, and the official forecast track has been nudged slightly eastward.

Buoy 41010 - Wave Conditions on Wed, Aug 24, 2011 (10:30 EDT)

The latest wave condition reports from the Cape Canaveral offshore buoy show the initial impact of Irene starting to fill in, with significant wave heights double what they were at midnight, and expected to continue building through Thursday into Friday.

Follow @buoy41010 on Twitter for real-time wave and meteorological reports from the station. A map of the Florida regional buoys is also available.


Hurricane Irene Marching Towards Florida

As of 11:00 a.m. AST on Monday, August 22, 2011 (NHC Advisory #8): Hurricane watches and warnings are being issued as Irene moves WNW (300°) at 13 mph, packing maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. Irene is forecast to strengthen to a major hurricane over the next few days, with the official forecast expecting Category 3 strength as it moves across the central Bahamas.

Based on the latest guidance, the National Hurricane Center has shifted the official forecast track slightly East, lessening the threat to South Florida, but they stress that the 4-5 day estimates have average errors of 200-250 miles (based on the most recent 5-year averages). This places Irene about 200 miles East of the Southern tip of Florida on Thursday morning, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph.

Looking at the Wavewatch forecast for the Cape Canaveral offshore buoy, we can see storm-surf conditions peaking early Friday, with primary swell conditions in the 35 feet at 13 seconds range. Further up the coast, the Cape Hatteras and Texas Tower forecasts are also showing huge (20+ feet), moderate-period swell filling throughout the upcoming weekend.

Given the uncertainty of Irene’s track, things can change pretty quickly over the next few days. Also, the threat to the Southern states is very real, especially if Irene continues to strengthen and wanders further West. For the latest updates and information regarding the hurricane, stay tuned to the National Hurricane Center as well as your local meteorologist.


Hurricane Earl Flirts With The East Coast

Hurricane Earl is now a category 3 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 110 knots. The storm is forecast to continue North, but expected to remain just offshore of the Eastern seaboard. Immediate effects of the storm are being observed on the Southwestern Atlantic buoy (@buoy41043), with primary swell wave heights of 24.6 feet being reported as of 3 p.m. Eastern time.

The Cape Canaveral model (@buoy41010) shows a sharp increase in surf on Wednesday, with wave heights predicted to peak mid-day on Thursday (18.4 feet at 14.1 seconds 86°).

Looking further up the coast, surf on the Masonboro Inlet buoy (@buoy41110) is forecast to rise sharply from the Southeast on Thursday afternoon, peaking overnight (9.5 feet at 15.4 seconds 117°) then rapidly declining on Friday.

And a bit further North in New Jersey, wave heights on Buoy 44009 (26 NM Southeast of Cape May, NJ) are modeled to steadily increase Wednesday through Friday, providing some very contestable surf for the USBA Jenks Pro, which runs September 1st – 7th.


Hurricane Danielle & Tropical Depression 7

The outlook for the East Coast this weekend includes long-period energy courtesy of Hurricane Danielle, which currently has maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. The hurricane is projected to swing North over the weekend and not expected to make landfall.

Effects of Hurricane Danielle are visible in the East Coast buoy models, with 13-14 second swells modeled to hit up and down the coast over the weekend. The offshore Cape Canaveral buoy (@buoy41010) shows an East swell building Saturday through Sunday (6.2 feet at 14.1 seconds 98°), with the swell period peaking late Sunday.

The effects of Danielle’s shift in direction and projected Northerly track are evident in the model which shows an increase in swell height (10.2 feet), but a subsequent loss of swell organization (11.1 seconds), with the swell direction shifting a total of 38° over three days, from Saturday (ESE, 101°) through Monday (ENE, 68°).

Looking a bit further into the Cape Canaveral model, there are already signs of another long-period ESE swell building next week Tuesday-Wednesday as a result of Tropical Depression 7.

Up the coast, similar conditions exist on both the Masonboro Inlet model:

As well as Montauk Point, whose location and distance from Danielle allows for a longer fetch than Florida, resulting in longer swell periods, much less directional shift (only 4°, from 135° to 131°), and a more organized swell overall:

Keep an eye on these models as the week progresses and Tropical Depression 7 potentially becomes Hurricane Earl, producing another Atlantic swell next week.