Possible Surf Alert Coming: Early Tropical Development (updated 5/6/2012)


Area of low pressure associated with backdoor front has now entered the Carolina waters. Depending on what this does could lead to Surf Alert or bust. Should have a complete update later today.


Morning Everyone, Back to back model runs over the last 72 hours continue to trend towards a surface low developing off the SE U.S. Coast. One thing to note is, as we transition into Tropical Season, models are less reliable now than when we are actually in it. Each model has it’s own tendencies and characteristics. The three models we rely on most are the GFS(Global Forecast System) the CMC(Canadian Meteorological Center) and the Navy NOGAPS. Reliability within the models are listed in that order with the GFS historically the most accurate between the three. One of the things we look for when looking at the back to back runs is some type of consensus in what they are showing. One might show you a full blown storm while the other may show a weak one. What we look for is, location location location We will give you an example today. Once in season and a storm actually develops, we will show you what each model forecast for that system and will switch from model maps to actual satellite imagery. Keep in mind it’s a forecast. And with all forecast they will and do change especially once you get outside of 72 hours.

Here’s a live look as of report time and an example of one of the sat. images we will utilize more as we get into Cane Season 2012. Looking at the image we see Low pressure set up in the NW Atlantic with High pressure off the SE U.S. Coast. Things are becoming more active. We just saw South Florida and the Bahamas receive there first tropical rains of the season a few days ago. Yesterday Pensacola over to Alabama got a taste as well and in the overnight hours and this morning convection has been firing over most of the Eastern GOMEX. a sure indicator that we are shifting towards tropical season.


Switching gears now lets look at the latest run of the GFS. Looking at the map we see three area’s of low pressure extending from the North Central Atlantic, Bermuda and one moving off the SC/GA coast. The one in the North Central Atlantic should set up our friends over at NGOR Surf Camp in Dakar, Senegal with a nice NW Swell. For us, the other two if the models hold true should produce a moderate sized NE swell.


As we get into Monday take note of the tight pressure gradient off the NE U.S. Coast thats NE winds 35-40kts and should be GALE conditions at that time. Also take note of some lower pressure off the Central Florida coast. Remember in general lower pressure at the surface allows the seas to rise and higher pressure pushes down. NE winds 10-15 kts North Florida waters.


Same thing to note on Tuesday. Long fetch now out of the NE, North of Bermuda. Near perfect conditions for our NE swell window for Florida. Low pressure dipping down to the Bahamas. This is twice in a week models have hinted at development here. A true sign it’s becoming more active.


This next image is the CMC for Tuesday. Notice the difference? What it does show us is, between the two, (GFS and CMC) they are similar. This gives us confidence that they are thinking the same way but not exact. So as we get into this time frame next week we will watch the satellite loops in real time for location location location.


And here’s the Navy NOGAPS depicting an intense North Atlantic Storm


Back to GFS now for Wednesday and it’s showing a intense Atlantic storm as well. This should send a huge swell for P.R. and the Caribbean. Wait and See. As we say this is way way outside of 72 hours and a lot can change.


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