This morning a furry little marmot woke up bleary-eyed and anxious as he prepared to crawl out of his burrow. The overweight woodchuck waddled out cautiously, and lo and behold, saw his silhouette in the grass. As legend would have it, this portent signifies six extra weeks of winter, and although groundhog "Phil" predicts six more weeks of cold, what does that mean for surfers?
"Whatever that rat creature says we'll run with," says WaveWatch forecaster Charlie Fox. "Assuming he knows something we don't, we can expect prolonged winter weather patterns—meaning invigorated jet streams and continued storminess, which should translate into six more weeks of swell."
Winter 2008/09 hasn't quite delivered you say? With the exception of our great hyped California swell we at SURFER would have to agree with you, but Fox believes that the groundhog's prediction means winter is holding out on us.
"If we can lengthen the winter patterns we can prolong the battle between cold air from the north and warm air from the south," says Fox. "Which means we lengthen the potential for powerful swell events."
It looks like the ocean is already heeding the call with a moderate swell event in store for Hawaii later this week and potentially some remnant power for California into the weekend. Unfortunately, the winds aren't looking favorable for us…but, hey, the groundhog's calling for a bigger swell window for 2009. I'm hoping he's right.