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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Thu, 21 September 2017

Hurricane Maria is moving into the perfect zone for epic big waves along the East Coast of the USA, writes Spike as he eyes the next storm in one of the strongest hurricane seasons in history.


EARLY DAYS: Maria clips the Domincan Republic before it starts moving north.

Wow. Everything about Maria indicates a sublime period of swell for the coast from Florida to the northeastern states of the US. Currently she's clipping the eastern extremity of the Dominican Republic, but thankfully the severity of her damage quickly decreases as she move away from land and into the sea.

Over the next three days, Maria tracks northwest, scraping across the northern area of the Bahamas, but far enough away to spare them another beating after Hurricanes Irma and Jose.

By early Sunday, she's east of Florida and churning out 12 metre storm seas at 12 second periods in a 130 degree direction. After Sunday, she slowly and steadily tracks almost due north, steering clear of Florida and the East Coast of the USA, but sitting far enough away for the swell to clean up a bit and to grind out some big wave conditions. She's looks set to stay off the coast until Friday, when she rapidly moves off into the deep ocean off eastern Canada.


PERFECT STORM: By Monday, Maria is positioned perfectly for the east coast.

Already this weekend will see 4-6' surf running up from Florida into Georgia, and Tennessee. Of course, there is still plenty of swell still hitting the coast north of Virginia from Hurrican Jose, who is only just fading from the scene today.

But come Monday and Tuesday, the swell picks up to 8-10'+ and it's firing all along the southern half of the US coast, picking up in the north, where it peaks at 10-15ft+ on Wednesday into Thursday off the New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts coast, but massive everywhere now.

According to Wikipedia, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is one of only six seasons to feature at least two Category 5 hurricanes (so far!): Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. Irma was the strongest hurricane ever recorded to form in the Atlantic Ocean outside of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, and in terms of maximum sustained winds, also the joint-strongest landfalling hurricane recorded in the basin.

Maria's landfall on Dominica makes 2017 only the second season on record, after 2007, to feature two hurricanes making landfall at Category 5 intensity.

The season officially began on June 1 and ends November 30.

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