Hurricanes Hilary and Irwin are Whipping Up Waves

It is not great though, since neither of those hurricanes are major systems. Hurricane Hilary is expected to top out as a Cat 2 ‘cane, while Irwin never gets past Cat 1 strength. Size-wise, the systems are moderate scale, and track-wise both hurricanes are moving in a good but not great direction for sending waves our way.

Having the strongest winds are largest size, Hilary will crank out the most swell. Exposures in Baja Sur will benefit most from Hilary’s swell, while a smaller yet still substantial share of that surf will show at the better breaks in Baja Norte and SoCal. Irwin’s swell contribution will be more subtle, but those fun zone waves will get into more spots. 

Although looking increasingly less likely now, there is still some potential for Fujiwhara effect to come into play. The Fujiwhara effect describes how two cyclones begin to rotate counterclockwise around a common point when they get within 850 miles of each other. When cyclones are this close together, they also influence the development of each other, often with one stronger storm becoming dominant.

The effect continues until a larger weather system takes over, one cyclone weakens considerably, or the two cyclones merge. As long as Hilary continues to track closer to Irwin, the possibility of some Fujiwhara interaction remains. Which is another good reason to stay informed of any changes by checking out the frequent updates in our Surf Feed on the new Surfline and on the Surfline iOS app, and follow your Regional Forecast to find out what swell your spots might see this week.

Hurricane Hilary:
Hilary has maximum sustained winds of 90kts and is currently centered about 515 miles south of the tip of Baja. The Cat 2 ‘cane is moving WNW at 10kts, and is expected to hold that heading while strengthening a bit more mid week. Still tracking WNW, Hilary is due to begin weakening on Thursday, then continue to gradually lose steam through the rest of the week as environmental conditions become less favorable and Irwin’s influence persists. By Sunday Hilary is forecast to be  down graded to storm status.

Under that scenario, we’ll conservatively look for fun to moderate+ size SSE swell starting to show at select exposures in Southern Californiat on Friday then peaking over the weekend. Southern Baja, especially the Cabo zone, will see the lion’s share of Hilary’s swell and be biggest during the middle of the week.

Tropical Storm Irwin:
Irwin is about 830 miles southwest of Baja, slowly moving west at 6kts, and packing max sustained winds of 75kts. Irwin eases mid week and looks to drop to tropical storm strength by Thursday, while becoming basically stationary.  TS Irwin is then predicted to head towards the NNW while maintaining storm status through the weekend and possibly experiencing more influence from Hilary.

If Irwin follows that forecast, the system sends modest scale but fun zone S/SSW swell into good exposures of Baja through SoCal during the rest of this week and the start of next week.

Tropical Depression Greg:
Greg is fading 1185 miles east of South Point Hawaii and by Thursday Greg will just be a remnant low. Greg has sent some modest easterly tropical swell and enhanced trade swell to the Hawaiian Islands.

Google Alert – surf

Add Comment