Hurricane Matthew's story is one of three chapters. Some amazing Caribbean surf from the first. The second is one of destructive landfall and the inevitable human costs that come with it, the counter point to our positive surf story. The third, that we'll cover here, is a potential post-Caribbean stage that had looked to produce interesting surf for the US East Coast, but increasingly looks to have further human cost.
Hurricane Matthew is the first category five storm since Felix in 2007. With a clear run to build power through the Caribbean sea it's produced some solid surf: reports on the ground have Bocas Del Toro 6-8ft and grinding, with glassy conditions and spots that rarely work starting to fire. The next stage, however, is going to be brutal. Landfall warnings are in place for Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas.
Beyond this there was always early model indication of an Atlantic phase. This now seems an almost certainty after a run through the Bahamas. Yesterday the track consensus was a little east of the US coast, but overnight the consensus is coming closer to the UK and EU model which rolls Matthew right up the coast. From a surf perspective this both limits fetch and brings potentially hurricane force winds to the beach from Florida to North Carolina. While many surfers are used to waiting for the tail end of a passing system to score clean conditions, the winds here are at another level. If this scenario does hold then most locals will have other things on their minds.
This potential crash into the coast before the Outer Banks also limits swell for surfers further north. For every reason hopes now have to be that this one does change up and steer a little further out to sea but the trend over the last few updates has been for the worse.
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