Linda's ready to roll

DENNIS McTIGHE

Every six years, when the storm named Linda shows up, she delivers.

Hurricane Linda was born last Thursday off Southern Mexico and

began tracking northwest while slowly gaining strength.

By Monday the 15th she entered the Southern California surf window

moving northwest at 10 knots with sustained winds of 90 mph gusting

to near 100 mph.

Today, Tuesday, she sits 300 miles west/southwest of the tip of

Baja -- she did all the right things to set the table for a healthy,

severe angle (165 degrees) south/southeast swell starting tonight and

lasting 'til probably Friday.

On Sept. 15, 1997, Linda was a category five with sustained winds

of 178 mph with unbelievable gusts up to 225 mph, making her the

strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane ever recorded. The resulting

swell turned Newport's 15th Street Point into Second Reef pipeline

with "Strider" stealing the show with a triple-overhead five-second

tube ride that made the cover of Surfer Magazine.

In 1991, Linda was the only storm to send us a swell that fraud

summer that saw a total of four days with sunshine.

In 1985, a banner year for Baja swells, she graced us with the

biggest south of that season.

In 1979, she hit us twice in the same week, moving northwest then

west then taking a sharp turn back to the north to finish her one-two

punch.

In 1973, she lighted up Malibu in late September with 8- to

10-foot bombs with a 98-degree Santana offshore howler.

And now again here in 2003, she's poised and ready to raise the

question, "Why can't we have the Brooks Street Classic on a Wednesday

instead of the shoulda, coulda, woulda weekend?"

You see, all of Linda's gifts over the decades have been received

during the weekday span of Monday through Friday. She always comes

through, but she takes weekends off.

Now it's the tri-annual Brooks Street.

Linda's over it!

* * *

Rest in peace and keep us in line, Duffy!

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

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

weather forecaster at Hickman Air Force Base, Hawaii.

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