McWeather or Not


Guillermo the Monster

For the past week we’ve been enduring June gloom in September here at the beach with little or no clearing over the past weekend, not a good way to start autumn at all with below normal air and water temps.

Today, Sept. 26, however, the sun made a cameo appearance promptly at 1:30 p.m. So we at least salvaged a good part of the afternoon with gentle breezes and a high temp of 71 degrees, still five degrees below normal for the date. Water temps are holding at a tolerable 66 degrees but the surf remains tiny to small ankle snappers, as has been the case most of this feeble September, one of the    flattest on record in what is supposed to be the busiest month for Baja swells. As of today, there’s a strong Category 3 Hurricane Hilary now in our swell window but she’s still moving west at 10 mph. The spinner is projected to veer more towards the northwest, the sooner the better.

There’s but quite a bit of red tide lately locally. That’s why we’re seeing a lot of squid on the beach. Fish and other sea life hate it. As do divers.

Today, there is exactly 12 hours of suntime with sunrise at 6:42 a.m and sunset at 6:42 p.m.

O.K. time to visit the El Nino summer of 1997. On July 27 tropical storm Guillermo was born about 300 miles south of Acapulco, Mexico, and began drifting slowly to the west at 6 mph. 24 hours later he was already a strong Category 2 hurricane and was rapidly intensifying. Traveling through a huge pool of hot 89 degree water, Guillermo reached Category 4 status by that afternoon, just two days after his inception. Still drifting slowly to the west at 7 mph he exploded into a strong Category 5 with sustained winds of 162 mph with gusts up to 175, making him the strongest hurricane in Eastern Pacific history. Still holding his strength with a central pressure of 912 millibars and a width of over 600 miles, a real monster, he turned to the WNW and entered our swell window while creeping forward at only 6 mph on Aug. 3. Guillermo’s first waves began to arrive Aug. 6. Lots more about Guillermo next week.

Stay tuned, Aloha!

Dennis McTighe served as a meteorologist at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii from 1969 to 1972, and was an NOAA forecaster  and earned a degree in Earth Sciences from UC San Diego and has been keeping daily weather records since 1958.

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