Sunday, October 18, 2015

10 18 15 morning call

Fun on both shores yesterday.

This is a shot from Jimmie Hepp to document the windsurfing action at Hookipa.
We are 10 days away from the start of the AWT contest (October 28) and everybody is training and pushing hard.

There's no buoys today. I mean, the surfline page where I check the buoys is down (the whole website is down) and I consider useless checking the buoys on the NOAA website.
For example, below is the NOAA readings for the Barber Point buoy.
Look at the swell direction, for example: NW, W, S, SSW, WSW, where the hell is that swell coming from???
The reason is that, LIKE EACH SINGLE DAY OR MOMENT, there's multiple swells in the water and they chose to indicate only the biggest one, which kept changing.
Even worse if you try to read the swell height SwH. That number is the sum of the energy of all the above swell and it's extremely deceiving. I wish there was a SSW swell of 4.6f in the water like the 3.33am reading indicates!

Oh wait, in the meantime Surfline came back up and these are what they report. Check yourself the Barbers reading and see what I mean.

3.7ft @ 10s from 341° (NNW)
3.5ft @ 12s from 334° (NNW)
3.5ft @ 6s from 65° (ENE)
0.5ft @ 4s from 85° (E)

3.8ft @ 15s from 192° (SSW)           
2.7ft @ 10s from 303° (WNW)
2.1ft @ 11s from 281° (WNW)
1.8ft @ 6s from 114° (ESE)

Also, you can have a graph of each buoy and see the trends. Each swell has a different color (even though sometimes it changes along the way, but anybody with a couple of neurons left can figure it out). Check Friday for example. The orange swell was around 2.5f 14s when the new blue 20s period one started rising.
That kind of information would not be as clear at all if you just checked the NOAA table.

Anyway, after all this, I have to say that yesterday the waves in Lahaina seemed a little smaller than what the Surfline reading showed, so expect the same with today's healthy 3.8f 15s. The reason is that Barbers Point is on Oahu.
We get a lot of energy blocked by Kahoolawe and this might be the case. There used to be a buoy in Lanai that was more reliable, but what we really need is a buoy in Lahaina 100f offshore Breakwall. And one in Makena, if possible. With alarm texts to my phone, please.

So, there's still a healthy south swell. North shore went down a lot. Check the light blue line to compare the size to yesterday in the Pauwela graph below.

 Gonna have another moment of frustration, because once again the MC2km maps are not updated at the time I do this call. Yesterday their model predicted the strong wind just before the big rain hit the north shore and the light wind afterward. How the hell did they predict such a localized weather feature, it's a mystery to me.
Anyway, using windguru's models instead of MC2km feels a bit like using the NOAA buoys instead of the Surfline's breakdown. It gives you an idea, but it's not as precise and it's much less detailed.
That's all I have, you guys can read it yourself.

One NW fetch, one big S one. I can live with that.
The waves created by those fetches will arrive in about 3-4 and 7-8 days respectively and their size will depend on a bunch of factors, among which I feel like mentioning:
- history of the fetch (what it did in the past)
- size of the fetch
- intensity of the wind in the fetch
- conditions of the ocean (wind and current) they are going to meet along the way

In other words, it's extremely complicated to predict the size of a swell. The current WW3 model (the one that most website utilize) does a really good job overall.
The reason I always post what I call the wind map below, is so that you have an idea of what's coming ahead.

One more comment.
Blog reader: "GP, why you didn't write it was high tide in the morning?"
GP:"because the tides are easily accessible to everybody and every surfer going surfing should be aware of it".
Yes, it's high tide in the morning these days. You guys check the tides yourselves please, because I cannot add any value to that.

Guess I was in a explanation/bitching mood this morning. Time to go surf now.

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