Posted on 7/22/2016

What's with the OBX Summer Surfing Waves?

Typical summer wave action on the Outer Banks. The fishing has not been bad at all. Typical summer wave action on the Outer Banks. The fishing has not been bad at all.

Somehow the legendary surf of the Outer Banks just doesn't seem to be happening this summer. Actually this summer isn't a lot different than any other summer . . . Outer Banks, summertime, big waves . . . just isn't going to happen.

Dr. Jeff Hanson has been studying waves just about his entire adult life, currently does the surf forecasting for, but before that he was part of the Field Research Facility  (FRF) at Duck—the Duck Pier. The Duck Pier, surprising as it may be, is considered the preeminent wave research facility worldwide.

He recently wrote an excellent blog for explaining what's happening, and for surfers hoping for some big wave action, take five or ten minutes to read the blog and lower your expectations.

Basically, what's happening is the great weather we're experiencing is at least partially a result of the Bermuda High, a somewhat stationary high pressure area that rotates clockwise creating classic trade wind patterns.

Those trade winds consistently create small waves—knee to waist high—at eight to ten second intervals, good to learn on or maybe a fun ride but not as exciting as the fall waves we experience.

The blog goes into a lot more detail, and surfers especially will probably find what Dr. Hanson has to say interesting. Particularly interesting is a chart of 35 years of wave action recorded by the FRF.

Great info and well written too.


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