Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In motion on the ocean...

Bill's current wave heights 8-19-09

9:00 am WEDNESDAY 8-19-09 Today's headline is straight from Enya's "Anywhere Is" in the 1995 album Memory of Trees and fits perfectly within several venues:

1. If your cruise ship is sailing East Coast waters this weekend, ocean motion may cause a few problems while completing the 1-2 "fun days at sea" en route to or from the Carribbean. Look carefully at the Ocean Prediction Center's map above, you'll notice the wave heights in and around Bill presently. See that number in the right corner? That's not a typo.

2. Coastals* may be in motion heading to the ocean, but by Saturday the best-laid plans could screech to a halt once reaching the beach. Dr. Steve Lyons of the Weather Channel suggested last night that wave heights of along the Carolina coast and near mouth of the Chesapeake Bay will build to the 6-9 foot range on Saturday. According to NOAA's WaveWatch, by Sunday morning, waves along the Maryland, Delaware and Jersey coasts could exceed 12 feet. Maybe boardwalk restaurants should offer special menu pricing and front row seating for weekend wave watching.

In using NOAA WaveWatch, to see projection, click the pull-down menu at "info page" and select "North Atlantic hurricane (reg.)" and click "go." Then you can scroll forward in time using the right arrows.

From the Wakefield, VA National Weather Service's 4:25 AM 8-19-09 Discussion for MD/VA Coastal areas:
REGARDING RIP CURRENT DANGER...WL CONTINUE WITH LOW RISK TODAY. HOWEVER...INCREASED RISK LIKELY FOR (AT LEAST) FRIDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND AS SEAS CONTINUE TO BUILD. LONG PERIOD SWELL IN ASSOCIATION WITH HURRICANE BILL WL CONTINUE TO PROPAGATE/ARRIVE ALONG THE EASTERN SEABOARD THU/FRI...AND A HIGH RISK OF RIP CURRENTS LOOKS TO BE LIKELY THROUGH THE WEEKEND. TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE...A NEW MOON OCCURS ON THURSDAY...WHICH WILL ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO THE ELEVATED RIP CURRENT THREAT. IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON TRAVELING TO THE BEACHES LATEIN THE WEEK/THIS WEEKEND...REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HEED THE ADVICE OF THE LOCAL BEACH PATROL/LIFEGUARDS AND CHECK PRODUCT WBCSRFAKQ FOR THE LATEST THREAT AND SURF ZONE DETAILS.
* Today marks the introduction of this new Foot's Forecast term denoting those readers who count spending time at the beach of equal or greater importance as witnessing a heavy snowfall. Now all you powderhounds finally have an appropriate off-season identity. This is designed to provide you cover during those uncomfortable dinner-party moments in the summer when the topic of snow comes up, and while sweating on the portico sipping a mint julip, you fruitlessly explained to friends why just love heavy snow and cold weather. Example conversation:

Conditions: 94 F, humidity 86%, wind: calm. Location: Ocean city, MD beach at 120th street.

Friend: "It's been such a strange summer, I wonder if this means we'll have the same kind of bizarre weather this winter. I've heard there are some really strange people on the internet that, like, follow this stuff 24-7."

You: (using your stained right sleeve to wipe away forehead sweat) "Well, I don't know anyone like that, but for me personally, I enjoy super hot weather, as long as I'm at the beach when it happens. But I also really look forward to those long cold stretches in the dead middle of winter-- you know when the ground is all covered in a pristine blanket of crystal white snow -- and (excitedly) and the sun has just come up, casting this beautiful bright fan of light across the landscape. So I call myself a "coastal" because I love hot weather at the beach, and cold, snowy weather at home caused by big coastal storms. Makes sense, right?

Friend: (period of silent perplexed look) "Uh huh. (Gets up) So anyone need another drink?" (Leans down to you and says) "As for you..no more of that 'Ocean motion potion' bucko."

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