Hurricane Idalia in WFL, Forecast File

Sick one!

Tuesday earlier…

Air Idalia, Kyle Applefield.

Idalia Swell Tuesday Evening. Photo: Heath.

Friday Sept 1st knee high.

Friday 6:30am WFL: Happy September!! There is still a small swell leftover today which could be loggable at best south swell spots. Tomorrow looks calm to 1ft and then flat gulf-side after that as offshore flow takes over for next week. Next weekend a storm is supposed to be close to the Caribbean. The GFS has it south bound and the EURO takes it up in the ATL. A little nervous this month… Speaking of the ATL, that ocean is going off and if you can catch a cheap flight to PR it’s really good and the locals are getting surfed out and no-one else is here. I surfed Aguada with a buddy yesterday out front of a river mouth and the waves were firing. Domes had 10 people out at lunch time with good head high surf. The Well may break on Sunday… Check the EC forecast if you can make it over there. The onshores may lay down at some point next week. Final thoughts- I saw the news and stuff but it’s hard to get a feel for the Idalia event from PR. Can you guys clue me in? How was it? Not worth the destruction? How was the damage where you were at? Thanks, nothing like an eye witness report. Have a good Friday maybe get a last log wave before it’s gone…

Wed 7am Head high to way OH at sharkys, my old spot. Winds are 30-40 with VAS conditions.

Wed 7am WFL: Thoughts and prayers to everyone dealing with Idalia this morning, those in the Big Bend and those dealing with the coastal flooding in WFL. Winds are tropical storm force at 30-40. They are forecast to drop back to 20plus by this afternoon. Buoy is 13ft at 11 seconds SW. You probably could find a wave late today if your into it. Models show it 8ft at 8 seconds and 20knt SW winds right before dark today. Tomorrow 5ft at 6-7seconds and 15knt SW winds, probably waist high range. Then the WFL Idalia event is over and that was tooo close for comfort and not as fun as it could have been, sorry to everyone who’s dealing with crappy WX today. I hate the days after… The training squalls and super windy, ugly, generator noise and exhaust, humid days as you try and put it back together, Irene, Sandy, Maria, Isaias, Fiona… Hang in there it will get better and the sun will come out and the NE trades will blow as Idalia is forecast to be an ocean storm for the next week. Last thoughts: Once again as bad as it is today it could have been much worse, agradecidos(thankful)… Geographically speaking why does IRB stick out into the gulf? Why is the Big Bend the Big Bend? this typical track has been going on for eons of time… How was the forecast? GFS nailed it… Thanks to Heath for the photos below:

Sick one!

Tuesday earlier…

Air Idalia, Kyle Applefield.

Idalia Swell Tuesday Evening. Photo: Heath.

SRQ south facer with a Tuesday early wave…

Tuesday 7am WFL checking as many cams and buoys as I could- it’s not really here yet (don’t be bummed) except best south facers are picking up a knee maybe thigh high line, normal beach is flat to 1ft. More coming… But the overall feeling this morning is this: THANK GOD!!!! This is going to pass offshore… Be careful, impacts are still going to be bad but at least it really does not look like a direct hit on WFL.
ETA: Late morning to lunch time, early afternoon some swell should work in in the waist to chest high range and building. SE winds at 20. Are the beaches open? The GFS has it staying far offshore all day and getting close tonight so if you could get to the beach there should be some rideable surf all day but be careful, surf at your own risk… Wave models show 10ft at 11 seconds SSW by 7pm tonight with 25knt SE winds.

Came from a different direction but stalled where Idalia is supposed to pass.

Monday WFL 6am DP: The following is just my opinion looking at the situation. Pay attention to local authorities when planning your Idalia strategy: Not sugar coating a sketchy situation but both model camps continue to keep the eye pretty far offshore(30-60miles) even though the track has been shifting right. Definitely listen to local authorities if your in an evac zone and check your supplies. Hopefully we all have a plan in place. You’ve got 48hrs till Idalia is on the door step. You came here for a surf update and checking all the buoys in the gulf not really any south pings as of Monday early. Winds are light ESE across the gulf. 42056 has been pumping south for 24hrs almost now but some of the south swell could be shadowed by Cuba. Keep an eye on it today. Super late today maybe some south lines show up. Tomorrow is hurricane swell and offshore winds at many beaches but deteriorating conditions as the day goes on and hopefully not prepping for a Major that slides right even though that remains a distinct possibility. Today, the models insist the gnarliest part of the Major Idalia stays offshore WFL but any slide to the right and it’s way too close. Honestly, reminds me of Elena in 1985 and damage could be similar. Any landfall N of Pinellas floods the Bay and a major would put a lot of surge inside TB so check with authorities on that. Wish we could just get some waves without the skecthy, stormy forecast but all signs point to a rough ride from Idalia and maybe a time to get ready for a solid hurricane and not a time to hunt for waves. Much more below…

Will the GFS stay on track and be accurate?
Everything being said I look at the 2 major models w/o bias and the GFS handled Franklin super accurate taking it from a west bound track way down the Caribbean Sea to a right turn out of nowhere, track over Hispaniola, right turn again, squalls hitting NW PR, then left and up while strengthening, all erratic turns and precip that the GFS called accurately out of nowhere. So 60hrs out on the models and the GFS insists Idalia stays offshore. Stay left, stay left, stay left is our mantra today….

Levi is about the only WX guy I follow- born hurricane guru, super educated and talks to us like adults…

About this year’s Hurricane Season: Hot water and El Nino- It figures pop-up hurricanes and strange/early/late season style of tracks would characterize this year as opposed to your classic Cape Verde to Hurricane Alley tracks that always go around WFL specifically Indian Rocks Beach… Look for more of the same until December.
My hurricane prep/plan after going thru Cat 4 Maria in 2017(I have PTSD from Maria, writing this for me but it may help) We have a big PVC cabinet in the back of our house filled with enough canned food and dry goods to last probably 2 weeks for a family of 5 and some to share… We have 30 gallons of drinking water and some rain water saved. I have enough boards to board up 60% of my windows and we have storm shutters now for our open balcony that flooded during Maria, a major weak spot. Cars and generators need to be full, spare gas tanks also. Get a buddy or 2 and pack everything away and board up… Usually we have 48-120hrs to get ready here in Puerto Rico.

Sunday Idalia WFL 8pm update- getting a little close for comfort. A slight shift right is not going to be good, check your prep and try and catch a wave before it gets stormy…
Monday 8/28: Calm to start watching for south lines later in the day.
Tuesday 8/29: South swell 3-4ft building to OH by late Tuesday, SE winds at 20.
Wednesday 8/30: Stormy head high plus with south winds at 30.
Thursday 8/31: 2-3ft choppy leftovers with SW winds at 10-20.
Friday 9/1: 1ft with SW winds.

NW PR Tuesday 7am: No real waves from Franklin yet…

20 thoughts on “Hurricane Idalia in WFL, Forecast File

  1. admin Post author

    did you catch any waves this late July event? tell us about it- fun? sucked? LMK

  2. ericito

    This last swell was sick! Nothing epic but fun short boardable waves a couple days in a row. I took the grom out a couple days in a row. Consensus up and down the coast seems to be ……DOPEY TOURISTS. dopey tourists telling surfers to move, leave, go home, get out of the water, even had the cops called on us surfing the other day.

    grown…. GROWN people called the cops on a 7 year old surfing. GTHeckO!!! This was in pinellas but i have heard venice was a clown show with tourists too. Im over tourists, over warm water, and over weekends. bring on the frigid blown out sideshore winter. I miss windy uninviting cold choppy waves with no one out or on the beach. rant over

  3. hd

    big bend landfall medium strength tropical storm. probably get some surge in the most vulnerable places…

  4. Fuggin

    Well they have it aimed at Big bend/panhandle right now so we know it’s not going there! After Ian last year I guess I’m still too broken-hearted to trust the NHC 5day. The 3 day I definitely have more confidence in so tomorrow pm I imagine they’ll have a better handle on it after it actually forms and they fly some planes in there. I’m hoping for a panhandle track like Ivan 2004 as that was the most solid surf I’ve seen in WFL. I wouldn’t be surprised if that track changes south towards Cedar Key or even further though. We have a couple days to get our boards waxed and storm prep in order. I’m calling late Mon possible swell showing up down south and building storm surf tue maybe clean at the right beach, wed just looking we’re gonna lose some sand and hopefully no property/lives with some leftovers thur/fri.

  5. hd

    more westerly center formed makin a more westerley track now. good agreement/cluster on the models showin a strong hurricane and way too close for comfort.

  6. hd

    friendly reminder that nhc/meteorologists have little grasp on forecasting tropical cyclones and to always prepare for the worst. all they do is feed you the data and regurgitate it. the real props are to the people that fly the planes and respond. we go from “oh just a medium strength tropical storm well west of us” to–potential/probable cat 2 or 3 with serious damage. all in a matter of 48 hours…prepare for the worst, hope for the best. good luck to all…

  7. UnderCoverKook

    Trying to plan some surf without getting my car washed away by the storm surge. Thinking Tuesday am/afternoon. You guys think that’s a safe bet to still get some surf?

  8. hd

    ull be fine, kook (lol). weds midnight is the no go time. that is if u can access the beaches…guarantee theyll close them tonight or tomorrow.

  9. hd

    goofus and euro much more west landfall consistently now so that should not change. may come out relatively unscathed where i am surgewise thank god but its still nerve wracking. pretty sure the barrier islands are closed off to residents since mandatory evac (anyone confirm?). maybe get a leftover session thursday at least or possibly late wednesday.

  10. hd

    pinellas sheriff not limiting access apparently according to website. still not gonna go surf as much as id like to. save my energy for surge watch tonight…godspeed.

  11. Fuggin

    Tue am was pretty fun at a popular SRQ county jetty but the evening sesh at a not to be mentioned spot was the goods! Solid overhead lines and super fat tide made the paddle not too far but still heavy. Stoked and sore, I’m hoping to find a little corner today that looks manageable but I’m sure its just a mess. Hope everyone to the North faired well as this beast slams FL’s armpit.

  12. hd

    house flooded with a couple feet of water. time to move! least im renting but the market here is insanely overpriced and i was grandfathered in pretty good at my old digs. such is life in florida…

  13. higgy baby

    i just got back to town last night, our flights got canceled and we were stuck in Grand Rapids for 2 days, i couldnt even find a board or a wet suit to surf lake Michigan, glad to here there were no deaths just a lot of clean up to do

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