Repeat of Tropical Storm Fred – Tiny, Baby Surf Possible
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. We have a tropical disturbance approaching that’s supposed to build in strength and get our hopes up for surf. Unfortunately, it’s looking like another Fred. Fred gave the north side of the island a waist to chest high wave for about 30 minutes at sunrise before dropping to knee high and leaving the entire island’s hopes and dreams unfulfilled. I hate the current steering currents. Every tropical wave passing straight over us is the least ideal for surf generation. Our only wishful thinking on this new disturbance is that it gains intensity enough to pull north of the island. A more northerly track would lead to a better chance for surf. In addition, the forward speed is supposed to slow in 2 to 3 days. We need that thing to go north. If it goes north of Puerto Rico it could sit in a swell window for sufficient time to give us something to ride.
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.