Friday, January 10, 2014

Be Careful: 20-Foot Waves

Posted By on Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 4:19 PM

click to enlarge Sure, it looks gentle. But some 20-footers are coming. - PHOTO BY KEN MALCOMSON
  • Photo by Ken Malcomson
  • Sure, it looks gentle. But some 20-footers are coming.

OK, that’s it: We’re calling wrap-it wonder Christo to throw some CAUTION around that big wavy gray danger of a Pacific that’s constantly slavering at our doorstep.

Either that or we could simply heed the latest warning from NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard — this time, to beware the 20-foot waves coming our way over the weekend, according to a news release:

“… there is a threat of extreme wave conditions forecast for the entire weekend covering the Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte County Coasts. Any activities on or near the water are discouraged as wave conditions approaching 20 foot in height are expected.”

A synopsis on the National Weather Service's site explains what's happening out there:

A FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH THE WATERS LATE TONIGHT WITH SOUTH
WINDS INCREASING SIGNIFICANTLY AFTER MIDNIGHT BUILDING SHORT
PERIOD STEEP SEAS. WIND WILL PEAK SATURDAY MORNING THEN RAPIDLY
DECREASE BEHIND THE FRONT AND SHIFT TO NORTHERLY BY LATE SATURDAY
NIGHT. A LONG PERIOD WESTERLY SWELL GENERATED BY THE ACCOMPANYING
SURFACE LOW WILL MOVE INTO THE WATERS STARTING SATURDAY MORNING
AND BUILD TO NEAR 18-20 FT EARLY SUNDAY MORNING.

The U.S.G.S. recommends any ocean or oceanside wanderers check out the National Weather Service’s updated forecast online. The forecast as of 12:48 p.m. today, including the synopsis, is copied below:

COASTAL WATERS FORECAST

FZUS56 KEKA 102048
CWFEKA

COASTAL WATERS FORECAST FOR CALIFORNIA
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EUREKA CA
1248 PM PST FRI JAN 10 2014

PT ST GEORGE TO PT ARENA AND OUT 60 NM

PZZ400-110530-
1248 PM PST FRI JAN 10 2014

.SYNOPSIS FOR NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WATERS...
A FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH THE WATERS LATE TONIGHT WITH SOUTH
WINDS INCREASING SIGNIFICANTLY AFTER MIDNIGHT BUILDING SHORT
PERIOD STEEP SEAS. WIND WILL PEAK SATURDAY MORNING THEN RAPIDLY
DECREASE BEHIND THE FRONT AND SHIFT TO NORTHERLY BY LATE SATURDAY
NIGHT. A LONG PERIOD WESTERLY SWELL GENERATED BY THE ACCOMPANYING
SURFACE LOW WILL MOVE INTO THE WATERS STARTING SATURDAY MORNING
AND BUILD TO NEAR 18-20 FT EARLY SUNDAY MORNING.


PZZ450-110530-
PT ST GEORGE TO CAPE MENDOCINO OUT 10 NM-
1248 PM PST FRI JAN 10 2014

...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 AM PST SATURDAY...
...GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM PST SATURDAY THROUGH
SATURDAY MORNING...

.TONIGHT...S WINDS 5 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT. GUSTS UP

TO 30 KT. AROUND PT ST GEORGE...GUSTS UP TO 40 KT. WAVES S 8 FT
AT 7 SECONDS...AND NW 12 FT AT 15 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF
RAIN.
.SAT...SW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 15 KT. GUSTS UP
TO 30 KT. WAVES S 11 FT AT 8 SECONDS...AND W 13 FT AT
13 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
.SAT NIGHT...W WINDS 10 TO 15 KT...BECOMING NW UP TO 5 KT.
WAVES W 19 FT AT 16 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
.SUN...E WINDS 5 KT. WAVES W 18 FT AT 16 SECONDS.
.SUN NIGHT...NE WINDS 5 KT. WAVES W 12 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
.MON...NE WINDS 5 TO 15 KT. WAVES NE 3 FT AT 6 SECONDS...AND W
10 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
.TUE...NW WINDS UP TO 5 KT. WAVES NW 10 FT AT 16 SECONDS.
.WED...N WINDS UP TO 5 KT. WAVES W 7 FT AT 14 SECONDS.



PZZ470-110530-
PT ST GEORGE TO CAPE MENDOCINO 10 TO 60 NM-
1248 PM PST FRI JAN 10 2014

...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM PST THIS
EVENING...
...GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM PST THIS EVENING THROUGH
SATURDAY MORNING...

.TONIGHT...S WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. GUSTS UP TO 40 KT. WAVES SW
9 FT AT 7 SECONDS...AND NW 13 FT AT 15 SECONDS. RAIN.
.SAT...SW WINDS 20 TO 30 KT...EASING TO 15 TO 20 KT. GUSTS UP
TO 35 KT. WAVES W 19 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
.SAT NIGHT...W WINDS 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING NW 5 TO 10 KT.
WAVES NW 22 FT AT 16 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
.SUN...NW WINDS 5 KT. WAVES NW 19 FT AT 16 SECONDS.
.SUN NIGHT...N WINDS UP TO 5 KT. WAVES W 12 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
.MON...N WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. WAVES N 4 FT AT 6 SECONDS...AND NW
11 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
.TUE...NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES N 2 FT AT 5 SECONDS...AND NW
11 FT AT 15 SECONDS.

.WED...N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES NW 8 FT AT 14 SECONDS.


PZZ455-110530-
CAPE MENDOCINO TO PT ARENA OUT 10 NM-
1248 PM PST FRI JAN 10 2014

...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON...

.TONIGHT...S WINDS 5 TO 10 KT...RISING TO 10 TO 20 KT. AROUND
CAPE MENDOCINO...GUSTS UP TO 30 KT. WAVES S 4 FT AT 7 SECONDS...
AND NW 11 FT AT 14 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN.
.SAT...SW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING W 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES S
5 FT AT 8 SECONDS...AND W 12 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
.SAT NIGHT...NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES NW 19 FT AT 16 SECONDS.
CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
.SUN...N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES W 17 FT AT 16 SECONDS.
.SUN NIGHT...N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. WAVES N 3 FT AT 6 SECONDS...
AND W 11 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
.MON...NE WINDS 5 TO 15 KT. WAVES N 5 FT AT 7 SECONDS...AND W
10 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
.TUE...N WINDS UP TO 5 KT. WAVES N 2 FT AT 5 SECONDS...AND NW
10 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
.WED...N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES NW 7 FT AT 14 SECONDS.


PZZ475-110530-
CAPE MENDOCINO TO PT ARENA 10 TO 60 NM-
1248 PM PST FRI JAN 10 2014

...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON...

.TONIGHT...S WINDS 5 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT. WAVES S
6 FT AT 7 SECONDS...AND NW 12 FT AT 15 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE
OF RAIN.
.SAT...SW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING W 10 TO 15 KT. WAVES S

7 FT AT 8 SECONDS...AND NW 13 FT AT 13 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
.SAT NIGHT...NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. WAVES NW 20 FT AT
16 SECONDS. CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
.SUN...N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. WAVES NW 19 FT AT 16 SECONDS.
.SUN NIGHT...N WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. WAVES N 3 FT AT 6 SECONDS...
AND NW 12 FT AT 14 SECONDS.
.MON...N WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. WAVES N 6 FT AT 7 SECONDS...AND NW
11 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
.TUE...NW WINDS UP TO 5 KT. WAVES N 2 FT AT 5 SECONDS...AND NW
10 FT AT 15 SECONDS.
.WED...N WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. WAVES NW 7 FT AT 14 SECONDS.



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Heidi Walters

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Heidi Walters has been a staff writer with the North Coast Journal since 2005.

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