The ingredients of the weather


Puerto Escondido Junior visited El Moro's Elevator Cove on the

morning of Tuesday, Feb. 11. The last time this happened was Feb. 3,

1998. The time before that was March 1, 1983. All three events are

products of Senor El Nino.

Here are the ingredients that have to gel to make it happen only

once a decade on the average:

A severe angle (165 degrees) south-southeast wind swell,

groundswell combo at 6 to 8 foot plus at seven- to 10-second

intervals, a 1.0 or lower tide and brisk easterly winds -- plus an

abnormally full sandbar.

Stand up barrels all the way to the El Morro Village entrance.

Picture a tropical storm sitting just off the middle of the Baja

Peninsula. That's what's going on today.

Hard to fathom, but we're actually experiencing rain with an

offshore flow coming from a high over Utah.

Since this strong upper level low is sneaking in from a totally

different direction than December's storms, it's intensity has not

diminished. The high pressure to the north and east of us remains

intact, so it's a reversal: The Bay Area is sunny and offshore while

it's dumping down here.

The deserts are having their share of water, too, with the

unorthodox direction from which this storm is approaching.

It's a warm one folks. The snow level is at 10,500 feet.

There is the potential for 3 to 5 inches of precipitation this

week. The same goes for northern Baja and southern Arizona. It's

looking like we might get nailed again early next week from the same


Hawaii got yet another 15- to 20-foot swell Tuesday, and it's a

west, so Pipeline's outer reefs are delighted to accommodate the

likes of the Irons Bros., Johnny Boy, Pancho Sullivan and the crew.

Regarding our water quality -- shame on you, Treasure Island!

See you next time.

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

bachelor's degree in earth sciences from UCSD and was a U.S. Air

Force weatherman at Hickman AFB, Hawaii.

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