What’s one good sign that the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane season is off to a good start? When the first named system of the year, Tropical Storm Andrea, delivers good surf to everyone from Texas to New England while keeping the damage and destruction usually associated with a storm hugging the coast to a minimum.
Sure, Andrea, which went post-tropical late Friday after forming in the Gulf of Mexico on June 5th, caused major flooding and several small tornadoes up and down the Eastern Seaboard. According to the South Florida Water Management District, 14 inches of rain were reported in Miami Beach, while six inches fell in Long Beach, NY, which is still clawing toward normalcy after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. New York City and Philadelphia doubled their previous daily June rainfall records, while a flight departing Boston was struck by lightning, several traffic-related deaths were reported across the region, and countless weekend activities were cancelled because of Andrea’s weather.
But with the storm speeding off yesterday into frigid North Atlantic waters, most surfers will be left with only positive memories of Andrea: swell-of-the-year-style barrels on the Gulf Coast, user-friendly tropical punch in the Carolinas, excellent if fleeting conditions in New Jersey and New York, and fun, peaky bowls throughout New England. Yes, plenty of lineups were crowded with amateur storm chasers and itinerant big kahunas slobbering over the chance to selfie themselves scoring sick hurricane surf. But that’s to be expected with a swell that arrived on Saturday, attracting hordes of waveriders to Mid-Atlantic and Northeast coastal towns wide open for summertime business.
Thankfully, Tropical Storm Andrea will induce no psychological mindfreaks on East Coast surfers. No struggles to reconcile scoring epic waves with watching swaths of humanity succumb to natural disaster. No, just a fun four- to six-foot swell, a great way to start summer, and a fast-out-of-the-gate kickoff to the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season. We’ll take it — and keep up our vigilant watch for more.