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Swell Call: Hurricane Bill

by on Monday 17th August, 2009   25135 Views

Keep up to date with all the latest from Hurricane Bill HERE

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UPDATED MON 17th 2pm UTC All eyes should be pinned on Tropical Storm Bill which for the near future looks good. Currently predicted to become a hurricane today or tomorrow and potentially with winds well in excess of 100mph it’s predicted to track north east skirting the East Coast and heading northwards before it’s remnants swing out east across the Atlantic. The swell models are all making this call (and although we’d expect significant undercalling for Florida) the swell according to the most recent NHC (National Hurricane Centre) report gives a swell height at its peak in the centre of the storm of 34ft. Expect solid surf from Friday onwards, hitting Southern Florida initially and the rest of the East Coast shortly thereafter… Tropical storm Ana is still in advance of Bill but as she moves onto a more southerly track her swell isn’t going to make for any meaningful surf on the East coast unlike .

What does this mean for me?

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The simple fact of forecasting hurricane swells is that often the model cannot pick up the true intensity of the wind and swell which is why specialist models run by the NHC are so useful. However, our swell models are forecasting mid-range swells with an extremely high period (in excess of 16 seconds) impacting first on the outlying Caribbean (Windward Islands) all the way up the Eastern Seaboard to Nova Scotia. Bear in mind that hurricanes have been known to switch course without warning so be prepared for change. But if the current forecast holds good expect the first real hurricane swell of the year for Florida and beyond.

And for Europe?

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For Atlantic surfers Bill is also following the ideal hurricane track, skirting the coast without ever making a meaningful landfall. Currently it’s forecast to swing 90 degrees before almost heading west back on itself. As the system leaves the warmer southern waters of the Atlantic its ferocity should dissipate leaving a long period swell winging its way across the Atlantic towards Europe. This is the forecast stretched to it’s current maximum - but we can say it looks promising.

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