Neptune’s Spear at Sunset (Dean 8/7/2020)

Dean’s 7-Day Wind/Wave Forecast

(Please note the following disclaimer): This surf forecast is often tweaked a bit- sometimes even radically changing  (up or down)- based on analysis of the latest forecast model runs that influence potential wave-generating weather systems. Consequently, the 4-7 day portion of the surf forecast should be taken with a grain (or two) of salt…

TUESDAY: Downright cold with “steam on the Atlantic” in the morning (30’s north areas) with wind NW/NNW 15-20 mph with waves starting out around 1/2-occ 1′ (++ south of the Cape) in highly angled “humps on the horizon” close to moderate period (6-8 sec) NNW/N swell, building in south Florida into early afternoon. High temperature will struggle to get much above 55(F) north of the Cape.

WEDNESDAY(2Dec): Brrr! Another cold morning (40F +/-2F) with wind lighter from the NW/N 8-16 mph with waves 1′ (+/-0.5′) in moderate period (8 sec) N/NNE swell. High temperature will only make it into the low 60’s, and surf temperature will plummet down to the mid-60’s.

THURSDAY: Wind NE/E 7-15 mph with waves up some during the day to 1-occ 1.5′ (+/-0.5′) in moderate period ENE swell.

FRIDAY:: Wind lightest early, then south 6-14 mph with waves 1-1.5′ (+/-0.5′) in moderate period (8 sec) east swell.

SATURDAY(5Dec): Wind SW/W 5-13 mph with waves 1-occ 1.5′ (+/-0.5′) in moderate period (8-9 sec) ESE swell.

SUNDAY: Cooler wind lightest from the north early, becoming NW later in the morning then increasing to 15-20 mph (gusty pm) with waves 1′ (+/-0.5′) in close period (6-7 sec) highly angled NNW wind swell.

MONDAY: Wind NW/NNW 9-18 mph with waves starting out at 1-occ 1.5′ in moderate period (8 sec) north swell, up some later in the afternoon in moderate to longer period (8-9 sec) NNE swell.

TUESDAY(8Dec): Wind backing NW/WNW and easing to 7-15 mph with waves 1-occ 2′ in long period (10-11 sec) NE ground swell.

Current Tropical/Coastal Weather

The obese Dame went Greek in September, and even though statistically activity is supposed to wind down dramatically in November, she has yet to bellow out her last chorus for the historic 2020 hurricane season as the Atlantic Basin continued to rip through the Greek alphabet. Following Eta’s departure in early November, another powerful Greek system, Category 5 Hurricane Iota formed in the western Caribbean Sea and became the second Major hurricane in 2 weeks to strike the same areas in central America that Cat 4 Eta devastated earlier in November:

Are we there yet- will the tropics finally turn off as we near the “official” November 30th end of the season? While the is a non-tropical low well out in the sub-tropical Atlantic with a coin’s toss of developing and being named “Kappa”, the medium-range GFS says the season is over locally, cleaning the slate by plowing a strong cold front through Florida December 1st, setting up a very cold first week in December with a stout NW/N wind. After a late week “warm up” to near normal temperatures,another front will follow bringing a re-enforcing shot of cold air later in the following weekend. These back-to-back blasts will drop surf temps a good 10F down into the mid-60’s.

While NE Florida may see an angled north swell or two behind the cold fronts, it might be a good time to take a surf trip to the Caribbean or Central America this week because the cold will be accompanied by a run of relatively small surf. However, there is some model grumbling that a multi-day, sieable NE ground swell could arrive by mid-December. stay tuned.

Please see the National Hurricane Center and Central Florida Hurricane Center for the latest tropical weather outlook.

Here’s the big picture to monitor for additional tropical systems in the Atlantic basin.

NWS Coastal Weather Forecast Links

St. Augustine to Flagler Beach

NWS Jacksonville Coastal Forecast

General Tropical/Coastal Weather Forecasts and Discussion

Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies are running 1-2 degrees C above normal in many parts of the Atlantic basin, increasing the potential for tropical cyclogenesis through the remainder of the hurricane season if other environmental  parameters remain favorable.

The Climate Predictions Center (CPC) issued the second update for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric  Administration’s Atlantic basin hurricane season: NOAA 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast.

Colorado State University (CSU) issued their 3rd update for the 2020 Atlantic basin hurricane season: CSU 2020 Hurricane Season Forecast.

Both NOAA and CSU have upped the ante, predicting a well above normal (possibly historical) active season with a total of up to 25 named storms, 12 becoming hurricanes with up to 6 reaching Major Hurricane status. WOW!!!!

Researchers in the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University (PSU)  also forecast an active season with the possibility of 20 named storms: PSU Forecast.

Here are links a pair of great sites which monitor and discuss tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Basin: Levi’s Tropical Tidbits blog and Central Florida Hurricane Center (CFHC)

Atlantic Ocean Buoy Swell Height (Current and Forecast)
NOAA’s Florida east coast offshore buoys for current conditions: St. Augustine , Fernandina Beach , Canaveral near shore and Canaveral east

7-day St. Augustine buoy sea height forecast (primary swell).

Florida Coastal Forecast Map (click on zone)

Marine Page for SE Georgia/NE Florida

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Upstream from Florida’s east coast in our ESE swell window, the NE Bahamas buoy #41047 documents sea conditions, and this chart illustrates swell trends:
5-day plot - Swell Height at 41047
This map illustrates sea height analysis/forecast for the Atlantic Ocean just north of the northern Bahamas off the southeast Florida coast:

map n/a

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To monitor real-time wind speed/direction, here is the 10-meter wind (knots) and sea level pressure (mb) map for Florida:
 
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This real-time sea height/period map has weather satellite overlay illustrating clouds associated with wave-generating weather systems:
This surface weather map illustrates surface pressure (mb), associated storm systems and fronts over the southeast US and near shore Atlantic Ocean:
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FLORIDA EAST COAST ATLANTIC SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE (C)
Atlantic Ocean SST’s off Florida’s east coast are receptive to tropical cyclogenesis.
GULF OF MEXICO SEAS SURFACE TEMPERATURE (C)

Sea surface temps in the GOMEX seasonally peaked in early September, and will remain conducive for cyclogenesis for tropical systems entering the southern Gulf of Mexico if atmospheric parameters of available moisture and light shear are cooperative.

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The NHC Atlantic Tropical Weather Discussion and the tropical western Atlantic satellite loop are good tools to monitor the Atlantic basin for activity.

Good links (updated regularly) to excellent private websites with forecast discussions monitoring tropical and non-tropical weather impacting Florida and the eastern US:  Central Florida Hurricane Center and WeatherBELL

Here is a link to the impact hurricane activity has on our coast: Florida beaches face sand shortage

El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Discussion

This section will be periodically evaluated and updated as Pacific Ocean sea temperature’s teleconnection (PNA) with Florida’s weather (and waves) dictates during the fall/winter/spring when the ENSO influences on frontal activity occurs. Here is the link to NOAA’s ENSO website to monitor the current and forecast for potential impacts.
OTHER LINKS
Here is a useful link to the 7-day loop of sea height in the Atlantic Ocean (global perspective):
Here are a good link containing offshore (real and virtual) buoy forecasts:
Here is the link to weather conditions (updated hourly) throughout the state (includes nearshore buoys): http://www.weather.gov/view/prodsByState.php?state=FL&prodtype=hourly
Here is the east coast wind/surface pressure loop to watch for lows forming off the southeast coast of the US: http://www.stormsurfing.com/cgi/display_alt.cgi?a=useast_slp
This is the loop of primary swell heights in the western Atlantic: http://www.stormsurfing.com/cgi/display.cgi?a=eus_swell and a closer look at the southeast US: http://magicseaweed.com/msw-surf-charts2.php?chart=21&res=750&type=swell&starttime
Here is a link with eastern seaboard buoy readings (current and forecasted) all grouped together for your viewing pleasure: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/links/hatsrprt.shtml
Here is the link to all of the nearshore buoys surrounding Florida to monitor wave height, wind speed/direction, and barometric pressure: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/maps/Florida.shtml
Link to phenomenal wave heights measured on offshore buoys: huge open-ocean waves
What may lurk beneath our toes in the surf? Great White shark Katherine’s traveled along Florida’s east coast last winter.  Here is the link to OCEARCH’s shark tracking page:  http://www.ocearch.org/#SharkTracker
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Questions, comments, cat-calls, kumquats and kudos (keep’em coming)…
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