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
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.