Friday Forecast Presented By …Lost: January 19

Regional Forecasts:

NorCal
SoCal
Northeast
Outer Banks
Florida

POWER RANKINGS: Jump in your private jet this weekend and head to the coast of your choice:

1. Nor-Cal: Finally living up to the hype. Solid surf this weekend and sunny offshore conditions. But don’t decipher this as being a ringing endorsement to move up there! You’re still dealing with water temps in the high 40’s/low 50’s, great whites, brutal storms, and Raider fans.

2. So-Cal: A little bit of swell, a little bit of north winds, but warmer days are ahead. Now if we could just put a quarter into the El Nino machine to kick this winter into high gear…

3. OBX: A little bit of swell, a little bit of north winds, but warmer days are ahead. Hey- it sounds just like Southern California. But without the freaks and more empty beaches of course.

Tie: Florida and the Northeast: Florida will be warm and flat. The Northeast will have waves but the weather will be frozen and nasty. Pick your poison.

ATHLETE UPDATE:
Let me tell you why it’s good to smile: Because if you smile and have a positive outlook in life, you’ll at least have a 50/50 chance of good things coming your way. On the flip side, if you don’t smile and are negative all the time, you’re pretty much guaranteed bad luck. What does this half to do with surfing? Just ask the Ho family of Hawaii. It’s impossible to find a picture of Michael and Derek Ho not smiling in the surf mags throughout the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. What luck did that land them? Both long careers on the WCT, Triple Crown titles, and north shore contest winnings. Even after surfing some brutally big days at Sunset and Pipe, they’d still run up the beach smiling. Exhausted, but smiling nonetheless. Their positive attitude has rubbed off on Michael’s smiling kids, Coco and Mason. Coco was just featured in TransWorld Surf Magazine as one of the ‘NEXT’ kids to watch and made the semi’s at the World Junior Championships earlier this month. Not bad for a 15 year old. And Lost teamrider Mason Ho has been on a roll lately too. This past summer he won a Macy’s E-Series event on Oahu and was the highest placing trialist at the US Open by making the round before the quarters. So Mason was invited to the World Junior Championships in Australia a few weeks ago and placed an impressive 3rd, losing to eventual winner Jordy Smith. That opportunity gave Mason the WQS Wild Card slot for 2007. What does that mean? Mason will now be automatically seeded at least into the round of 144 in all of the 2007 WQS events. So if he makes a couple rounds, and being seeded so highly, he’ll already be in the quarters, semis, or finals. Not too shabby. This now gives Mason an even greater chance of making the 2008 WCT tour -and judging from Mason’s performance at the 2006 US Open in Huntington Beach it’s not that far fetched a goal. Could you imagine if Mason was sitting in the middle of the pack of the WQS ratings with just the 3 Hawaii WQS events to go at the end of the year and only needing to be in the top 30 to make the WCT? I smell blood… Look for Mason to rattle a few cages on this year’s tour. Good luck Mason and keep smiling!

THE 411:
Now here’s a funny story: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last week said the 2006 average annual temperature for the contiguous U.S. was the warmest on record. What I can’t understand is that if global warming is kicking in, why did it snow in San Francisco and Malibu last week and absolutely unload in Denver a couple weeks ago?! Actually, the snow was probably an anomaly as the first seven months in 2006 were much warmer than average, including December, which ended as the fourth warmest December since records began in 1895. Think of the recent snow as a small fish in a big pond- it really doesn’t matter that much in the big scheme of things. Anyway, based on preliminary data, the 2006 annual average temperature was 55 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.2 degrees above the 20th century average. NOAA originally estimated in mid-December that the 2006 annual average temperature would likely be 2 degrees F above average, which would have made it the third warmest year on record. But upon further analysis of the final data for 2006 (in which the U.S. had an unusually warm December) caused the scientists to change their prediction and now make it the warmest year on record. The unusually warm temperatures though during much of the first half of the cold season (October-December) helped reduce residential energy needs for the nation as a whole; which of course is good for lowering our dependence on foreign oil to heat our homes. NOAA scientists determined that the nation’s residential energy demand was approximately 13.5 percent lower than what would have occurred under average climate conditions for the season. As far as records go, the monthly average temperature in Boston was 8 degrees F above average, and in Minneapolis-St Paul, the temperature was 17 degrees F above average for the last three weeks of December. Even in Denver, which had its third snowiest December on record and endured a major blizzard that brought the city to a standstill during the holiday travel season, the temperature for the month was 1.4 degrees F warmer than the 1971-2000 average. Five states had their warmest December on record (Minnesota, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire) and no state was colder than average in December. What’s really strange though is the unusually warm start to this winter with the rarity of Arctic outbreaks across the country and the continuing El Niño in the equatorial Pacific. A contributing factor to the unusually warm temperatures throughout 2006 also is the long-term warming trend, which has been linked to increases in greenhouse gases. This has made warmer-than-average conditions more common in the U.S. and other parts of the world. It is unclear how much of the recent anomalous warmth was due to greenhouse-gas-induced warming and how much was due to the El Niño-related circulation pattern. It is known that El Niño is playing a major role in this winter’s short-term warm period. U.S. and global annual temperatures are now approximately 1.0 degrees F warmer than at the start of the 20th century, and the rate of warming has accelerated over the past 30 years, increasing globally since the mid-1970s at a rate approximately three times faster than the century-scale trend. The past nine years have all been among the 25 warmest years on record for the contiguous U.S., a streak which is unprecedented in the historical record.

Keep Surfing,
Mike G.
Lost’s 1st Teamrider
Golden Globe Winner
Wearing a 7/6/5 Fullsuit This Weekend ‘Cause It’s Damn Cold