why are obx waves smaller in summer?
Those little knee-high rollers that pass for ocean waves in the summer? They’re perfect for families, and are part of a natural cycle according to Dr. Jeff Hanson, who does the surf forecasting for OBXSURFINFO.com. Hanson has studied waves his entire adult life, retiring after a full career at the Field Research Facility at Duck (the Duck Pier).
“I have been riding my bike to the beach lately. This morning I was greeted with a light offshore (southwest) breeze, near glassy conditions, a clear and cool ocean, a lone osprey quietly searching overhead, a regiment of pelicans skimming the troughs, and playful dolphins just offshore. And there were the summer fun waves – patiently ready for another day of play.
I am talking about the tranquil and faithful little swells that grace our beaches all summer long. They are typically knee to thigh high, 8-10 s in period and steadily arrive from the southeast. They are perfect for the kids, adults wanting to learn to surf, and even experienced riders just looking for some easy fun. What is up with these waves? Since the wind is blowing offshore, where do they come from? Let’s explore…”