Don't you love it when your friends in Southern California complain about the weather?
"Man, it was 39 down at the Trestles this morning."
No kidding? That same day it was 39 in my bedroom.
And then you occasionally hear them moan that it's supposed to hit 90 degrees. I've been in Laguna Nigel when it hit 100 and you could barely feel it. Ask a Floridian what 100 degrees and 90 percent humidity is like.
As if the East Coast doesn't suffer enough with a temperamental ocean and a Northern Hemisphere weather pattern that sends most storms west to east, we also get weather extremes that can kill you. But the good news is there are far fewer characters with full-brim hats, webbed gloves and 7'6 resin tints in the line-up.
The East Coast is building into a third heatwave of a very young summer. New York is 98. The Outer Banks may only be 83 degrees today, but the heat index is 95. And it's supposed to get worse. This week, Chicago hit 103 degrees on several occasions, claiming several lives. Now, the brutality in the Midwest is about to bear down on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. No doubt, thousands of air conditioners running at once will knock more areas into blackouts.
And all of this has been compounded for surfers by the fact that the last two weeks have been near hopelessly flat. No summer northeast windswell, no Bermuda High trade swell, and no hurricanes churning offshore.
"We had a lackluster winter and then springtime made up for it. From about mid-April through June we had a great run of surf. We had three tropical systems that gave us waves really early. And I think people were pretty excited for a good summer," says Ocean City, N.J. pro, Jamie Moran, "But maybe that was a false start. I'm just praying that things get going again and we have a solid September."
The heat did kick off a series of dangerous storms. Winds in some parts of New Jersey hit 82 mph last week when the now famous "derecho" came through. But the wicked storms that rocked the East Coast did nothing for the surf. At least a little swell might be reason to hop in the ocean and cool off. Surf temps off Newport, R.I. are 70. Lewes, Delaware is near 80. Good luck cooling off around Wilmington, North Carolina, were the ocean is 87.
"It's super hot. I took a walk up to the beach before and I was almost hit in the face with a paddle ball right away," laughed Moran, "There are just tons of people trying to escape the heat."
Most East Coasters are trudging through, trying to make that summer coin. Surf camps, schools, and lessons are everywhere. Unfortunately, there's barely a hint of substantial swell on the horizon. And the worst news is that a quick look at thetropics shows absolutely no signs of hurricane development at this time. It could be a long summer. But don't get all bitter toward your West Coast friend. You may have to crash on his couch come August.