Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tropcial Update – Tropical Storm Kevin and Hurricane Jimena

Man I leave computer range for a couple of days and the whole tropical region has to get all squirrelly on me…(hmmm maybe I should leave more often…sort of like a human sacrifice). Anyhoo while I was gone we got not one, but two new tropical systems; Tropical Storm Kevin and Hurricane Jimena.

Right now TS Kevin is a relatively weak tropical storm with winds holding around 35 knots and few gusts around 40 knots, which puts him right over tropical depression strength. Since he is inside our swell window, and sort-of organized (showing some convection), I think that we will see some swell from Kevin…t also helps that his storm track is taking him almost directly at us. I am not expecting a lot of surf…just a weak pulse of S-SSW swell (180-190) that arrives on September 1st and sends some minor knee-chest high waves into exposed areas…the swell should linger for a couple of days but unless he gets a lot stronger we aren’t going to a ton of surf from him.

Hurricane Jimena looks a bit more bad-ass. Right now she is about 500-600 miles SE of the Tip of Baja and has already reached Category 2 strength, with core winds around 120-knots and gusts nearing 145-knots. Her current track is taking her WNW around 7-10 knots...and the hurricane models are forecasting her to recurve back into Southern Baja as she intensifies. (The NHC is likely to issue a Hurricane Watch in Southern Baja for Jimena later tonight or tomorrow).

Unfortunately for Southern California Jimena is not in our swell window…and is not forecast to reach it before making landfall.

She will however be a wave-maker for Southern Baja, parts of Northern Mainland Mexico, and even a few of those protected spots in the Gulf of California. Swell from Jimena will be filling in today and should continue to build over the next couple of days as she continues to intensify. Sizewise it is going to be well-overhead as it peaks, and potentially very dangerous (as well as potentially very stormy) since the storm will be moving into the area.

I think it would be quite risky to head into the area to try and get surf from Jimena…I would maybe stick it out for an extra day if I was already down at an exposed spot (unless authorities told me to leave of course), but heading down, and likely arriving as the hurricane does, won’t be the best call. Even if the hurricane doesn’t make landfall right on top of you, there are always heavy rains and flash floods that can be very dangerous.

The track for Jimena isn’t set in stone…cross your fingers that she drifts a bit more west and swings wide in her recurve.

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