McWeather or Not


South Swell Time!

Dennis McTighe

The sunshine just keeps on comin’! A bit of crud in the mornings, but poof it’s gone by 10 or 11 leaving us with clear sunny skies all afternoon, quite a far cry from last summer when we couldn’t buy a sunny day. Skies are sunny and blue with no haze and gentle southerly breezes, which are bringing water temps back up to the middle 60’s. If we can just keep those stiff westerlies out of here, it’ll be back up to 70 degrees soon. Nights have been very comfortable as well with some lows in the high 50’s out in the canyon. Great for sleeping!

Days are beginning to shorten a bit. Today’s sunrise is at 6:08 a.m. and sunset occurs at 7:42 p.m. This month’s full moon happens this Friday and Saturday.

Lo and behold, we finally got a nice little Baja swell last Friday and Saturday. Friday was the quality day, compliments of Hurricane Eugene, which passed well to the south of Baja but his WNW forward direction was enough to fling a bit of his energy our way. We received some clean 3 to 5-foot peelers here in town with sunny skies and glassy conditions. Newport Point loves that 165 degree angle as it shined on Friday as well with excellent 4-6 foot barrels with little or no wind all day.

There’s a new tropical disturbance getting its act together off the coast of Southern Mexico. If it intensifies into a tropical storm its name will be Fernanda. Stay tuned.

Let’s travel back once more to the epic El Nino summer of ’83. September dawned with yet another powerful Southern Hemi with 90 degree temps at water’s edge and water temps now at 77 degrees. The heaviest action on this swell focused on Rockpile with a couple sets making it all the way in from outer fourth reef! That hardly ever happens. The swell lasted nearly a whole week! Things quieted down for a few days, a good thing allowing many bodies to rest up and many boards to get patched up and put back together. Rest came to an abrupt halt with the arrival of Hurricane Manuel.

Monday, Sept. 19, 1983, a blue banner day at Brooks Street, one of the best days McWeather has ever seen there. 8-10 foot bombs marching in at a ridiculous angle. A tropical heat wave with an air temp of 92 degrees and the water at 75 degrees with not a breath of wind all day! What school?! What a summer! See you next week when we’ll check out the El Nino summer of ’92. Aloha!

Dennis McTighe served as a meteorologist and NOAA forecaster. He earned an earth science degree from UC San Diego and has been keeping daily weather records since 1958.



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