Nor-Cal: You really can’t complain about the impending rain and wind this coming week- it is winter time around here. There are also hints in the Pacific that the weather systems are starting to turn towards a spring time pattern which means fast moving fronts followed by northwest winds; so everything’s on schedule for cold water temps soon. Great. Does Rip Curl make an 8/7/5 fullsuit with 8 mil booties, gloves, and a hood? Saturday starts off fairly nice then everything turns sour on Sunday as northwest winds and rain hit the region. Tuesday starts to clean up and then it’s back to showers on Wednesday and rain on Thursday. The storm departs on Friday with showers in the region.
So-Cal: El Nino is officially done (read The 411 today) but it doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet when it comes to rain. We actually have two systems lined up this week which will unfortunately make are two new swells forecasted swells bumpy. Today actually will be in the high 70’s around here and by Monday afternoon, temps plummet 20 degrees to the high 50’s as the storm drops rain and wind on the region. Last week’s storms turned out to be minor and this one could be also but at least look to get wet if you go outside. Tuesday and Wednesday clear out then another storm arrives on Thursday and departs the area on Friday. Best bets for surf this week to coincide with the best weather would be Sunday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon.
Nor-East: If the storm mid-week slowed you down, you’re in for more unfortunately. It is winter, right? Saturday starts off partly cloudy and then more snow and wind arrive on Sunday. Monday clears out and cold temps hit the region. Tuesday is clear and cold then Wednesday the region is hit with another storm lasting through Friday morning. Time to visit that time share in Cocoa Beach.
OBX: Typical weather this time of year- passing fronts, rain, wind, followed by cool days. Nothing major but it’s not exactly spring around here either. The weekend has partly cloudy skies and west to northwest breezes. Monday and Tuesday are slightly warmer in the advance of a front on Wednesday. Showers mid-week then clearing towards Friday. No complaints- it could be worse.
Florida: Not a bad week in the Sunshine State. Partly cloudy and breezy this weekend with clear cool weather early in the week. A slight chance of showers mid-week and that’s about it. Thursday and Friday turn out to be sunny and nice. If the surf does pick up mid-week as forecasted, the weather shouldn’t ruin the swell that much.
POWER RANKINGS: It doesn’t matter what coast you live on this week- the arriving swells will be met with weather unfortunately.
1. OBX: The OBX takes the cake this week with fun surf forecasted Monday afternoon through the weekend and only mild weather systems. Sure Northern and Southern California will be bigger in the coming week but the weather will be bigger also. It’s no fun to be sitting out at 10′ Blacks or 10′ Ocean Beach in San Fran when the rain is unloading on your head and the wind is blowing sideways at 25 mph. It’s hard enough to be dodging the sneaker sets let alone the weather isn’t on your side.
2. So-Cal: Good surf on tap this week and the rain won’t be as relentless as it is in Northern California.
3. No-Cal: A hand of big junky surf beats small surf and good weather any day. Take that to Vegas!
4. Florida: Small surf mid-week and small surff towards the weekend combined with seasonal weather isn’t that bad of a match. Basically rankings 1-4 are a good bet this week. Bummer for #5.
5. Nor-East: A little bit of surf is met with snow. Not cool.
THE 411: So what’s up with El Nino? A strong El Nino of course brings storms closer to California and holds hurricanes at bay in the East. The current El Nino did keep hurricanes at bay this summer in the East but it never helped storm production move closer to California this winter. Now that we’re 4 weeks away from spring, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says a transition from the current week El Nino will turn to neutral (normal) conditions by the March/May timeframe. Warm sea surface temps which help fuel El Nino conditions are starting to drop back to normal. It looks like the peak of the sea surface temps were back in November so the current trends in surface and subsurface water temps indicate the El Nino is weakening. Some areas around the world may still experience El Nino related effects during the next few weeks, primarily in the central tropical Pacific. There is considerable uncertainty in the forecast models after May, but I highly doubt El Nino will re-strengthen. So if you were hoping for bombing Mavericks this winter, you can stop entertaining those thoughts. The next update from NOAA will be March 8th.
ATHLETE UPDATE: I want to revisit a story on the front page of Transworldsurf.com in case you missed it. A study conducted by the University of Florida (UF) says shark attacks were up last year. Despite efforts to educate the public and protect beachgoers, Florida remains the shark attack capital of the world (not South Africa, Western Oz, or Northern California mind you- but sunny touristy Mickey Mouse loving Florida). There were 23 incidents in 2006 alone, up from 19 just a couple years ago. In comparison, worldwide there were 62 attacks. George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File housed at UF’s Florida Museum of Natural History says shark attacks peaked in 2000, when there were 79 incidents and 11 deaths. That means Florida has about 1/3 of the world’s shark attacks! Nuts! So are you wondering where to NOT surf in Florida? You think the pack at Sebastian is vicious with Slater and the boys? Try again. How about New Smyrna? We all know Cormican can paddle circles around unsuspecting out-of-towners and locals like WQS rippers Devon Tresher and Eric Geiselmann can pull tricks out their bags that make Copperfield look like an amateur, but that’s not the real problem with Smyrna. After looking at the data, Burgess says “Volusia County and particularly New Smyrna Beach is the hot spot. This area on a square mile basis has more attacks than anyplace else in the world.” Are you kidding?! And you thought long time local Joe Surbaugh’s bark was worse than his bite at the Inlet. Think again- it’s the men in the gray suits that really own the line up. Now I’m not really moving to Florida- hurricanes in the summer, gators on the golf course, and now the title of shark attack capital. So the next time you’re checking the surf at New Smyrna and you’re watching Pro Junior star Jesse Heilman paddle out, look to see if there’s a fin following behind him. At least it keeps the crowds down.
LOST PIC OF THE WEEK: Chatarra, Puerto Rico aka The Puerto Rican Pipeline.
Lost Employee of the Month
Roadie for the Police
ESA All-Star 86′-88′