Wednesday, October 12, 2016

10 12 16 morning call

Just a morning surf session for me yesterday, in the afternoon, despite the possibility of an epic sunset session, my body demanded a rest. I have a big day today, so I listened. I'm gonna try something I've never done before, stay tuned for tomorrow's call for the feedback of my first foiling experience ever.

Waves weren't that great in the morning, but the windsurfers in the afternoon enjoyed the new pulse of the swell. Photo from this gallery by Jimmie Hepp.

Significant buoy readings 4am
2.4ft @ 13s from 302° (WNW)
0.6ft @ 20s from 221° (SW)
The first reading is the wrap of the WNW swell, so we disregard it. But the 20s from 221 reading is something that we should elaborate on. Actually we'll let master forecaster Pat Caldwell do that for us: A storm-force system east of Tasmania 10/4 weakened as it move east. Gales behind a cold front pushed well NE towards the subtropics in the Tasman sea 10/5-6. As the system moved east of New Zealand, near gales to the E to NE of New Zealand aimed swell highest east of Hawaii.
Long-period forerunners from 208-220 degrees are expected late Wednesday. The event should be filled in on Thursday at heights near the active season, March to October, average. The event should hold about the same on Friday, then slowly trend down into Sunday.
Poor Pat doesn't have the help of pictures and graphics (I will never understand why), so here's the wind maps of the days he's talking about for you guys.
Dec 5th.
Dec 6th.
Dec 7th.


6.4ft @ 13s from 310° (WNW)                     
3.4ft @ 10s from 319° (NW
6.7ft @ 14s from 312° (NW)                      
2ft @ 9s from 327° (NW)
5.4ft @ 14s from 323° (NW)           
4.6ft @ 6s from 50° (NE)
1.6ft @ 9s from 344° (NNW)
Solid numbers at the NW affected buoys. The three graphs below show that this pulse has peaked yesterday at the NW buoy and during the night at the local buoys, so expect it to taper down all day locally. But not by much, as the gentle slope of the NW buoy suggests. Obviously I'm talking about the 14s new pulse. The first original swell is now down to 9s and small sizes.

For a quick look to the immediate future, I'm gonna use again the wonderful meteo poetry of uncle Pat, who confirms the angular spreading prediction I've done in the last couple of days.
A wide area of severe gales with pockets to storm force north of Hawaii have aimed mostly west to east, at targets NE of Hawaii. Seas have grown within 30-40 feet 10/11. The proximity of the broad area of high seas of about 1000 nm away is near enough to the angular spreading range for significant swell locally. The spreading aspect should give it more NNW to N swell direction locally.
Long period forerunners are due Wednesday afternoon, with the event building above average near sundown. The event should peak on Thursday from 325-350 degrees.

"So why don't you write clearly how big is it going to be?", I get asked often.
Because it depends on the spot you choose, is my answer. The buoys tell you what's in the water and that's the main thing you need to know. Each single spot has different characteristics and will respond differently to each single different swells. You need to build your knowledge base of observations and one day you'll know what 5.4f 14s from 323 at the Pauwela buoy means at all the different spots.

"Whatever, then I prefer to check the size on the websites that give the forecast spot by spot", one of my readers replied once.
Go ahead and good luck! Below are the Surfline spot forecasts for Thursday for Honolua Bay (left) and the Kahului harbor (right). The numbers read 6-7f faces at the Bay and 13-16f faces at the harbor.
Which is something that cracks me up first and makes me want to puke soon after.
Those forecasts are ABSOLUTELY AND COMPLETELY USELESS, imo. Thursday I will do my best to try to document how bad that prediction is by taking photos of the two spots.

So, is Surfline all bad? Not at all. I'm a subscriber, I pay my $70/year and I love it. But what I check is the Offshore Swells tab. Here's the Maui north shore page for your convenience. It will probably open on the Regional Forecast Dashboard tab. Ignore it, click the Offshore Swells tab and you'll see a graph like that. If you hover with the mouse over any arrow point, it will give you the details on size, period and direction of each single swell (here they do use one color per swell).
That is exactly how it's gonna look once the swells will hit the buoys. How big Hookipa is going to be Thursday with 10f 16s from 332 on Thursday? That's up to your knowledge, but that's an easy one: too big.

Current wind map shows the strong zonal (west to east) fetch going even more zonal than yesterday. Oregon coast about to get slammed. Couple of medium intensity fetches down south, but they won't last in place long, so the wave production will be limited.

Updated MC2km map at noon shows way too much wind for my taste. A 10-21 mph reading on the iWindsurf sensor at 5.45am unfortunately confirms that.

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