Dennis’ Tidbits


September 8, 2017

Turmoil in the east, tranquil in the west…a bit too tranquil…

The Atlantic Basin and the Gulf of Mexico are on steroids big time, while the Eastern Pacific is on Valiums.

We’re closing in on one of our flattest summers on record. Today was no different; Knee high for three year olds. Can’t buy even a three-foot wave. As far as Texas and soon to be Florida, well, the complaint dept. is closed. We’re so blessed that we don’t have to deal with all the devastation. Here I am bitching about a flat spell. Shame on me! 

Southern Cal has only had to deal with three tropical systems in the last 159 years.

Nights have been really balmy as of late with temps not sinking below the 68-70 mark but ocean temps have lost about five degrees thanks to some pretty stiff westerly winds lately.

Notable September Baja swells of the past…Of course the biggest Baja swell in memory was in September of 1939 when waves up to 20 ft. hit Laguna dismantling the old pier. 

In late September of 1963 a triple overhead Baja swell just happened to show up for the annual Huntington Beach contest at the Pier. The side current was like a river moving at 8 mph.  When it’s that big coming in at that severe angle there’s no choice but to shoot the pier. A lot of boards broke in half trying to navigate through the pilings but no surfers broke in half, thank God!

In September of 1966 a giant severe angle SSE monster put Newport Point at 15th St. on the map as Pipeline came to Newport thanks to Category 5 Kathleen off Baja’s tip. A handful of Hawaiian surfers were there and claimed it was just as heavy as the North Shore’s Pipeline except Newport has a sandy bottom compared to coral reef in Hawaii.

In September of 1972, Kathleen’s name came up again and sent a similar size swell. I might note here that the National Hurricane Center repeats the list of storms every six years so it was Kathleen’s turn again to show us her magic. A popular girl indeed!

The El Nino summer of 1983 was a very active Baja swell season but the capper was hurricane Manuel on Sept. 19th and 20th. Of course they were school days so I’m sure the truancy list was very long. It was hot and glassy both days with 90 degree air temps and 74 degree water. Only a few bookworms showed up that week. How smart can they be? Am I not a great role model?

On September 15, 1997 one of the biggest Baja swells of all time arrived on a Monday of course from Category 5 Linda who at the time held the record as the strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane with sustained winds of 185 mph with gusts up to 224. That record stood until October of 2015 when hurricane Patricia stole the crown with sustained winds of 200 mph with gusts as high as 232! She made landfall near Petacalco on Mexico’s Mainland.

There you have it. Enjoy the weekend and we’ll get together again next Tuesday,


Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

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Alexis Amaradio, Cameron Gillespie, Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

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