Monday, February 13, 2012

Surf Glossary: E

A circular movement of water, air, or wind that develops on the side of the main body of movement. Eddies will develop in areas adjacent to where the main body of movement is interrupted by projecting obstructions like points of land or islands. Southern California is a classic area for a near-shore south wind eddy system when strong northwesterly winds blow in the outer waters. Point Conception, the offshore islands, and low-pressure inland all contribute to the development of the eddy circulation.
El Nino
A warming of the ocean surface in the Eastern Pacific that begins off the western coast of South America. The warmer water can greatly enhance tropical cyclone development in the Central Eastern Pacific, as well as wintertime storms throughout the North Pacific due to the contrast between the warm water and cold air. The North Pacific jet stream and storm tracks shift further south which generates more wind, swell, and stormy conditions in California, while the areas further north experience milder weather.
A unit of measurement for the power in a wave. Usually in meters squared or centimeters squared.
A term used to describe how breaks within a region will pick up an incoming swell relative to whether they face the incoming swell or not. For example, if you have three breaks facing different directions: break #1 faces south. Break #2 faces southwest. Break #3 faces northwest. Now if we have a incoming S swell: Break #1 would be the best-exposed, #2 would be partially exposed and would most likely be consider average, it would get enough energy to break but not as much as the first beach. Break #3 would be facing away from the swell and would not break.
A term used to indicate that a tropical cyclone has lost its "tropical" characteristic-a warm core center that was the storm's primary energy source. Once "going extratropical" the remains of the tropical cyclone often merges with a cold "winter type" cyclone. The resulting effect of mixing the remnants of warm tropical air with cold air creates a "combustible" type of weather system, which often supercharges the storm with very intense wind speeds and extremely large waves. Extratropical storms usually happen in the fall when late season tropical cyclones converge with early winter storm systems. The storm in the movie "Perfect Storm" was a classic example of an October extratropical storm.
A relatively calm area found near the center of storms, primarily hurricanes and typhoons. Also termed as the "eye of the storm". In hurricanes or typhoons, the eye is either completely or partially surrounded by the eyewall cloud.
Eyewall/Wall Cloud
A deep, thick band of clouds that surround the eye or center of a tropical cyclone.

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