Ready for some heavy surf


For the umpteenth time this year, hazy, windy, foggy weekend and

sunny, pristine on Monday. It’s almost uncanny how that happens. Sure

enough, it cleared late Sunday afternoon, a clear, cool moonlit night


followed and dawn appeared clear as a bell with Ol’ Baldy visible

from Top of the World.

Midnight Sunday saw the moon cast a silver shimmer on the water.

Now it’s Tuesday -- same deal -- beautiful blue skies, gentle


southerly breezes, clean clear little NW waves, 70-degree water, way

up from Saturday’s 63-degree “little boy” water (when it’s that

chilly, you go in as a man and come out as a little boy). And of

course, it’s a week day! I swear, the sun must make a deal with the

locals. That’s why I work weekends!


As of Tuesday at noon, newly christened Isselle has been upgraded

to a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 78 mph and gusts up


to 88 mph. She’s in our surf window centered 300 miles SSW of the tip

of Baja, moving NW (315) at 9 mph.

It looks like she will affect our weather and surf by the time you

read this. All boards and bodies are patched up from the last banger,

so we’re ready for the next one.

For the fourth consecutive summer, L.A. proper recorded a cooler

than normal summer -- normal Hi-Lo is 86-66. They recorded an average

of 81.8 and 62.1 with only five days above normal and only two days


above 90. Not one night was above 68.

Water temps were below normal with an average temp of 67.9

compared to the normal of 69.8. Only 10 days reached 70 degrees and

none above 70.

Only two days with any storm activity in our mountains and

deserts, and that was Labor Day weekend.

But the surf gets at least a B+, as three back-to-back-to-back red

flag bombers hit from the end of August till Sept. 10.

I’ll go out on a limb (provided there’s not somebody behind me

with a chain saw) and call for slightly above normal rain for the

2002-03 season.

Normal is about 12.75 inches. I’m looking at 13-15 inches, well

above last season’s paltry 4.42 inches.

I do feel the drought being eased across the West with ample snow

in the Rockies this time around.

I don’t think the water temp will sink much below 58, a far cry

from the months of sub 55 temps we’ve had to endure the past four


And above average surf for both the North and West shores of the

Hawaiian Islands and the mainland. Stay tuned!

* DENNIS McTIGHE is a Laguna Beach resident. He earned a

bachelor’s degree in Earth Sciences from UCSD and was a USAF

weatherman at Hickman AFB, Hawaii.