Hurricane Barbara has been upgraded to a major hurricane, or category 4, over the past few hours. The system's currently spinning out at sea, some 1,000 or so miles southwest of Baja's southern tip. But what does that all mean for your surf forecast?
Well, while the hurricane is on a less than ideal track, a fun medium-sized swell should be filling in for SoCal, North Baja and potential for South Baja too.
Barbara's on a west-northwesterly path, and should swing west towards Hawaii over the next few days, but it's thought its intensity will slow down by then.
“The system has rapidly deepened over the last 48 hours and has already hit Category Four on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph,” says MSW forecaster, Tony Butt.
“The storm could continue gaining strength for a while, due to warm sea-surface temperatures and not much vertical wind variation (this is called shear and tends to impede tropical storm formation). It is then expected to weaken during Wednesday and Thursday as the vertical shear increases and the system begins to track over cooler water.
“On its present trajectory, Barbara will end up east of the Hawaiian Islands by around the weekend, and could generate a small, long-period east swell. At the moment it is not expected to make landfall or cause any significant coastal problems. But keep an eye on the updates, as hurricanes are notoriously difficult to predict.”