Swell of the century!

Good NW swell mid-week has been replaced by smaller but still fun surf today. For Friday the fun NW holds in the chest high range and the weather stays clean. For Saturday, we get another fun boost of NW swell for shoulder high waves. That lasts into Sunday. All in all a fun weekend of surf. Our water temps are still low 60’s and tides the next few days are mellow- 3.5′ at sunrise, down to 2.5′ mid-morning, back up to 3.5′ mid-afternoon and yep- you guessed it- down to 2.5′ at sunset. For a more detailed THE Surf Report, check out http://northcountysurf.blogspot.com/. 

Ok- by now you’ve heard about the ‘Swell of the Century’ headed our way for Monday- they may run the Maverick’s contest- break out your mini gun- blah blah blah. Well, the storm tonight is still in it’s early stages off Japan and is forecasted to peak in strength on Saturday with 50′ seas. Pretty solid- but not the biggest ever. On a serious note- it’s still going to be solid. Surf should start building on Monday and by sundown, expect to see double overhead+ sets at the best North County spots and 15’+ in SD. By Tuesday morning, the swell will be on it’s way out, but we’ll still see the odd 10′ set with double overhead sets in SD in the AM. One minor nuisance may be a weak cold front coming through on Monday evening which could bring a little SW wind bump. Wednesday looks to be shoulder high then another good swell arrives late Thursday/early Friday for overhead surf. Next weekend looks to be in the chest high range and then models show a smaller storm forming that should give us shoulder high+ waves again Christmas Eve. In summary- plenty big late Monday, solid swell late Thursday, and fun surf Christmas eve. A good way to end the year. 

Great weather this weekend with just a few high clouds above. A weak cold front moves by to our N on Monday and we may get a shot of showers in Southern California. High pressure sets up behind it and most of next week looks sunny and warm with mild Santa Anas until at least Christmas Eve. Make sure to keep track of the waves and weather at http://twitter.com/NorthCountySurf.

If you’re up for a challenge- late Monday. If you’re a mere mortal (like me)- late Thursday with good overhead surf. 

I’ve been reporting for the last decade or so that as global warming keeps ramping up, we tend to get more extreme weather events. So instead of a winter around here with nice steady rain every week or so, we get a deluge of 2″, then weeks of sunny weather. The journal of American Geophysical Union did a study recently that showed half of the world’s measured precipitation that falls in a year, amazingly falls in just 12 of those days. In laymen’s terms, something like Hurricane Harvey that dumped 40″ of rain in Houston, that’s a big reason for all that rain in just 12 days.

By century’s end, climate models project that this lopsided distribution of rain and snow is likely to become even more skewed, with half of annual precipitation falling in 11 days. Previous studies have shown that we can expect both an increase in extreme weather events and a smaller increase in average annual precipitation in the future as the climate warms, but researchers are still exploring the relationship between those two trends.

“This study shows how those two pieces fit together,” said Angeline Pendergrass, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the lead author of the new study. “What we found is that the expected increases happen when it’s already the wettest — the rainiest days get rainier.” The findings, which suggest that flooding and the damage associated with it could also increase, have implications for water managers, urban planners, and emergency responders. The research results are also a concern for agriculture, which is more productive when rainfall is spread more evenly over the growing season.

Scientists who study extreme precipitation — and how such events may change in the future — have used a variety of metrics to define what qualifies as “extreme.” Pendergrass noticed that in some cases the definitions were so broad that extreme precipitation events actually included the bulk of all precipitation. In those instances, “extreme precipitation” and “average precipitation” became essentially the same thing, making it difficult for scientists to understand from existing studies how the two would change independently as the climate warms.

Pendergrass wanted to find something even simpler and more intuitive that could be easily understood by both the public and other scientists. In the end, she chose to quantify the number of days it would take for half of a year’s precipitation to fall. The results surprised her. “I would have guessed the number would be larger — perhaps a month,” she said. “But when we looked at the median, or midpoint, from all the available observation stations, the number was just 12 days.”

For the analysis, scientists used data from 185 ground stations for the 16 years from 1999 through 2014, a period when measurements could be validated against data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. While the stations were dispersed globally, the majority were in North America, Eurasia, and Australia. To look forward, the scientists used simulations from 36 of the world’s leading climate models that had data for daily precipitation. Then they pinpointed what the climate model projections for the last 16 years of this century would translate to for the individual observation stations. They found that total annual precipitation at the observation stations increased slightly in the model runs, but the additional precipitation did not fall evenly. Instead, half of the extra rain and snow fell over just six days. This contributed to total precipitation also falling more unevenly than it does today, with half of a year’s total precipitation falling in just 11 days by 2100, compared to 12 in the current climate.

“While climate models generally project just a small increase in rain in general, we find this increase comes as a handful of events with much more rain and, therefore, could result in more negative impacts, including flooding,” Pendergrass said. “We need to take this into account when we think about how to prepare for the future.”

Population of Indonesia: 250 million. Number of surfers in this photo: 0. Where the heck is everybody?!
Keep Surfing,

Michael W. Glenn
Got My Own Fan Club!
The Surfer’s Surfer

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