Rincon, Puerto Rico Surf Forecast – Aug 31, 2018

Possible Tropical Swell on the way for Surfing Puerto Rico.

Possible Tropical Swell on the way for Surfing Puerto Rico.

Though not officially a named storm yet, Possible Tropical Depression Six is getting organized off the coast of Africa and already bringing some heavy weather to the outer islands off the coast. It looks like the storm is bound to continue in it’s organization and strength. Whether or not this system becomes a wave-maker will depend on the route it takes near the end of next week and how far west it is able to move. As previously stated, I am not happy with the steering currents I’m seeing in general this hurricane season. Ideally this storm would be far enough north of Puerto Rico on its approach to not be a safety issue. In addition, if the storm tracks enough north to pull the winds south and travels enough far enough west, we would see a several day run of swell with offshore winds at the most exposed breaks. The steering currents are tending to favor a lower latitude path across the Atlantic which means the possible collision of the storm with our island or a storm that passes underneath us. Either scenario we get no surf and possible damage. We want this storm to climb latitude.

Where did our wind shear force field go?

wind shear tendancy for the Atlantic.The easiest way to explain the map above is that the green areas favor tropical development, the yellow is marginal, and red prevents and inhibits formation/growth. We had a solid barrier of red in front of this storm all week, but now it’s as if the ocean is giving it a free pass. If the steering currents keep it in low shear, we might end up with a powerful storm by next weekend. I hope not.

What do I actually think will happen?

My opinion is that this storm will track north into the shear and disipate/die long before it reaches Puerto Rico and there is nothing to worry about. Also we will probably get no swell from it. Be on the lookout for early cold-fronts instead. We stay flat for the foreseeable future. Why all the discussion above then? It’s about stating the possibilities regardless of what I think will happen. Also my opinion is just that – an opinion, not fact. I am not always right.

Today

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Wave Watch III from NOAA wave prediction model for surfing Puerto Rico.

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Tue

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Wave Watch III from NOAA wave prediction model for surfing Puerto Rico.

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Wed

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Wave Watch III from NOAA wave prediction model for surfing Puerto Rico.

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Thu

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Wave Watch III from NOAA wave prediction model for surfing Puerto Rico.

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Fri

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Wave Watch III from NOAA wave prediction model for surfing Puerto Rico.

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Sat

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Wave Watch III from NOAA wave prediction model for surfing Puerto Rico.

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Sun

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Wave Watch III from NOAA wave prediction model for surfing Puerto Rico.

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Mon

NOAA WaveWatch III Wave Model:

Wave Watch III from NOAA wave prediction model for surfing Puerto Rico.

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Atlantic Ocean Satellite Loop

Using Automated Forecast Tools:

Remember that no matter what a computer model tells you, what you see on the beach might be completely different. That's why i go take pictures of the beach every day. These tools help give an idea of what to expect, but weather prediction is not always exact especially the further out you try to forecast. Surf forecasting takes into account the general correlation between past weather data and resulting surf conditions. Another thing to keep in mind is the difference between actual swell height and the face height of the rideable wave it creates. For example. When the waves are forecast to have a 6ft swell at 13 seconds or higher with a NW angle we normally get waves that most people would call double over-head on sets. Swell angle is also important, especially for shorter period swell (9-11 seconds). For example 3ft at 11 seconds from the NW will make a bigger wave than 4ft at 9 seconds from the NE. Normally longer period swell (13+ seconds) will be more powerful and keep the surf size a little better even if the angle isn't a direct hit to Rincon. Generally any swell less than 9 seconds is super weak here in Rincon unless it has a lot of west in it. Also, most NE swell under 12 seconds is weak and mushy. 2ft at 8 seconds is generally small to flat. ENE swell will almost never make it into Rincon unless it was something like 10ft at 18 seconds from the ENE.