No More Child’s Play

posted by / News / May 28, 2010

This outer sandbar in Palm Beach, FL is just waiting for hurricane season to get underway. Photo: DJ Struntz

This outer sandbar in Palm Beach, FL is just waiting for hurricane season to get underway. Photo: DJ Struntz

By Matt Walker

It shut off like a kill switch. From two storms to zilch. Bill. Danny. Done. No major US landfalls. (Although both struck Nova Scotia). No major US worries, except maybe from surfers who saw their tropical dreams disintegrate like a tropical wave under too much wind shear.

Which is exactly what happened. Come late September, El Nino — the same so called “child” who made California’s whole year one big play date — showed up and met every building storm head on, knocking down tropical waves like a pile of blocks and causing tantrums up and down the East Coast. (At least those same weather patterns made for an epic Caribbean winter.)

But El Nino’s already in the process of hiking its Pampers and hitting the road. Add some ‘above normal’ sea surface temperatures, and that leaves East Coast surfers with an even bigger pile of shit to worry about. In the words of Colorado State’s climate team “these two features will lead to favorable dynamic and thermodynamic conditions for hurricane formation and intensification.”

How intense? Depends on the source. Colorado State says 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 5 major (Category 3 or above.) NOAA — who only recently stated reading tropical tarot cards — plays loose as only a government agency can: “eight to 14 hurricanes would form. Scientists forecast that three to seven of those hurricanes would be major storms that reach Category 3 or higher – meaning they bring sustained winds of at least 111 mph.)”

Now, these guys always say “brace yourselves for a doozie.” But, history shows this time we have a reason to be concerned. Not just because the Gulf’s got a bazillion gallons of oil to smear across coastlines at just the hint of a hurricane. But because the last super wimp El Nino year was 1997 — and 1998 came back with a vengeance, totaling 14 named storms, 10 of which became hurricanes, and 3 of them majors. Two of those were named Georges — which wrecked the Caribbean and Gulf — and Mitch, which killed at least 11,000 people, mostly in Honduras and Nicaragua to become “the deadliest hurricane of modern times.” Meanwhile, Bonnie racked up a cool $1 billion in damage to North Carolina and Virginia.

Granted, nobody can totally predict how many storms and where they’ll strike. But we can tell you this: El Nino’s gone bye-bye; and Mid-Atlantic surfers are trunking it in May, way earlier than normal. So put away the tricycles and big wheels. Get all the loose toys out of the yard. And pick up your wave sticks. Cause the season starts June 1. And this year’s no child’s play.

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  • California Tribe

    Only difference is if that was CA some one would be stuffed in the barrel…why are they sitting on their ski?? Go back to shore and put your oversized baseball hat and chains back and eat some grouper

  • Matt

    Haha. That kook has no idea what hes talking about. What a donkey!!

  • The Man

    what is a 4 ft wave in florida relevant ? Did anyone see what Mark Healy was doing in Puerto Escondido last week ?

  • fl rep

    Dear cali tribe,
    While you’re busy sporting your sweet hotline fullsuit all year long and wearing booties when the water temp’s 65 degrees, fl is churning out more talent than your mom’s local strip club. Nothing like surfing lower trestles with 100 of your closest tools that have been surfing for 10 years and can barely ride line. Go cruise up north to hang out with flea and tweek out for a week or two, bring the last cali world champ too..

    that might take a while.

  • YEAH

    F the cali tribe.



  • pete

    can’t y’all let us have a little bit of fun? fuck easties have it hard, everyone hates us.

  • The Man

    does everyone forget that this a surf magazine, this is not vogue. east, west, but hawaii is still the best.

  • james


  • Canada kills you

    Come one come all experience the movie Idiocracy in real life!
    Come to Hawaii!

  • The Man

    did Florida get any waves yet ? just wondering because its been sunny, oil free, and waves everyday over here.

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