you know, it wouldnt be so bad waiting a month+/- for waves if they would stick around for more than half a day. i've been thru a couple of multi-week flat spells on the central coast of CA (summertime) but then you are rewarded w/ 2 weeks of overhead southern hemi swell. and the winter... ahhhh. any changes foreseen before hurricane season starts again. i seem to recall spring being pretty fickle round here (at least the last coupla years).
The east coast is generally pretty much fickle all year round, but the winter is definitely the most unpredictable as far as annual patterns. This has definitely been a pretty lame couple of months or so. Were over-due for a good one.
In my experience in forecasting over the past 10 years, I would break it down like this:
Summer(June,July,August): Marked by small, but consistently rideable Bermuda High background SE swells. Also, weak-moderate sized, short lived S wind swell events. And the occasional, strong, punchy NE swell. August is a toss up - Can be one of the worst months or can be good depending on Tropical action.
Fall (September, October, November): Generally the most consistent time of the year. September usually offers great tropical activity. This can offer great days, but wind conditions are a toss up as the post frontal system offshore winds are still not in the regular trends. October/November usually provides some very good swell events. This can be a mix of late season tropical action and the transition into colder air temps allows the frontal systems to dip down to the south and bring some gulf moisture and strong coastal low pressure systems.
Winter: Hit or miss. Flat or Overhead. Strong offshore winds or strong coastal lows. South swells usually come strong, and leave fast. Nor'easter events can bring solid surf for many days, but wind conditions dont always work out for the best. And in winter time north of OBX, its not so easy to surf choppy stuff in the frigid waters. December is transition period between the Fall and Winter patterns.
Spring: Generally more consistent than Winter, but not nearly as consistent as Fall. Still hit or miss with swell events, but Nor'Easter events seem to be the most common, so these swells generally stick around a little longer. And dealing with not perfect wind conditions is a little easier with the warmer air temps.
that seems pretty accurate... i just seem to recall there being more nor'easters back in the day, and less of the pre-frontal south wind swell/alberta clipper 1/2 day swells the last coupla winters have produced. i gues these are good for the caribbean though. of course, i also seem to remember southside IRI having a legitimate peak off the jetty, not just the 'dump' down the beach. or maybe i just remember the good ol days a little better than they really were!
ya, i find it hard to differentiate what was our romanticized vision of how it used to be and how it actually compares to today. When i started surfing, I also used to think "northside" actually got good too. A lot of people say thats the truth, but who knows!
But, as far as weather patterns go. I find it really interesting/funny how short peoples memories are. It seems like every season, we have some anomalous pattern, and people think the world is coming to an end. Like for example, early this winter, it was abnormally warm for this time of year, so there was tons of talk of global warming, etc. etc. etc. But now that air temps are back to normal (or even colder than norm), not as many people think about it.
People will say, it never used to be like this and so on. But, by definition, weather changes. It always changes. Thats not to say there aren't pattern changes that are occuring over the past 20-100 years, such as global warming, but lets save that discussion for a rainy day.
it was pretty sick...offshores took control around 3am instead of originally forecasted later in the morning.
we caught it heavy around 5ft occ plus sets just a-framing around 11am. offshores not too big of a problem in south rodanthe sun was out all around get day. (i think we drove through the 'eye' of the low)