Latest reports are for solid swell hitting up and down the coast. Certainly right now Thursdays call for maxed out conditions in Florida didn't come to pass and instead we saw solid 6-8ft waves at most locations. Here's a full recap of the forecast and the latest readouts:
Central Florida - We said 11ft@16 seconds, updated to 9ft@16 seconds. Actual buoy data (41009) is showing 7.5ft@16 seconds. Clearly, so far, under Thursdays call. Nearshore buoys (41113) peaked at 5ft@18 seconds. Frustratingly it ended up nearer wednesdays readouts and of course similar to those coming in in the last 24 hours than the over call that was thursday shout. We definitely saw a little more than this and although 5ft@18 seconds is a SOLID SOLID swell event by any measurable standard the models, and our call from them (and everything else we could see) was too high.
Outer Banks - We said 15ft@16 seconds as the peak, although this was revised last night downward a bit. In reality latest buoy readings (41025) are 12ft@16 seconds. Although again this is a touch under the model readouts at it's comfortably in the ball park...
New Jersey Area - Again the models were, at their peak, showing around that 15ft@16 seconds mark. Current readouts are in the 10ft@16 seconds range with Bill still tracking south of this area and in the general direction we'll recap on this tomorrow.
Overall it looks like the Thurs/Fri model readouts saw more swell from this system than actually arrived in Florida. While as surfers this probably isn't a bad deal (bigger not always being better and great waves to be had) as forecasters of course we aim to get it dialled.
In terms of the continued situation there's still a low probability of Bill bringing Tropical Storm force winds to North Eastern states (with a storm warning in place for Cape Cod) and it's almost certain to bring storm force winds to Nova Scotia where there's already a small swell running the storm set to arrive about the same time as the peak of the swell.
Thanks to everyone who's sent in photos so far - remember you can win a range of great prizes simply for uploading and sharing your photos of Hurricane Bill Surf HERE
AS forecast the surprisingly dependable Hurricane Bill has kept to track and will almost certainly miss Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Instead these states are forecast to receive some of the biggest, clean, swells in recent memory. Reduced in size to a Cat 2 but still blowing strong, Bill is expected to turn eastwards perhaps missing Maine and only really interacting with the far north-eastern portion of the United States before spinning off into the Atlantic towards Northern Europe. Note: there is a possibility of further strengthening in the next 24 hours.
A swell event of this magnitude will not be hanging around for long however: Friday afternoon sees the arrival of swell from Central Florida northwards to the Outer Banks. Saturday will be so big to be almost out-of-control and Sunday should see the still solid surfable remnants dying off towards the evening. North of the Outer Banks the situation is less exact with several possible scenarios still waiting to be resolved.
There will be double-overhead swell and if you know where it will be working then grab your camera and submit your pics HERE. All pics will be automatically entered into a draw to win one of 10 prizes, inc a big wave board and Go Pro cameras.
Here's first contact for Hurricane bill at Encuentro on the Dominican Republic courtesy of the guys at Swellsurfcamp. Well overhead and a good indication of what the rest of the Eastern Seaboard can expect.
The second story is that the storm, previously forecast to stay clear of the coast, now shows some probability of making landfall or at least bringing storm force coastal winds from North Carolina northwards with a strong probability of making landfall in Nova Scotia.
Bill is still forecast to connect with Bermuda - predicted to be right in firing line with winds approaching hurricane force and 40ft seas and a considerable tidal surge. According to Bloomberg, Bermuda's acting Home Affairs Minister, Walter Roban, put troops on standby yesterday and said, "Stay off the roads, stay off the beaches and stay close to home. We all remember Hurricane Fabian," referring to the 2003 storm that left four people dead in Bermuda and caused an estimated $300 million in damage.
Even as far away as Europe, surfers should be getting excited and working out their excuses to drop everything. Bill is forecast to swerve east following a classic Cape Verde hurricane track and dissipate in the Atlantic. The current forecast is for it to continue with some force all the way through to Ireland.