How the Swells of Hurricane Isabel Impacted Southeast Florida BY RICHARD J . DAVIS AND CHARLES H . PAXTON uniqu e series of events occurred that sent large waves to the southeast coast of Florida. The Awaves generated by powerfu l Hurrican e Isabel brok e along a narro w 10-mi (16.1-km) stretch of beaches along southern Palm Beach County on 16 September 2003. This transforme d what would usu- ally have been a tranqui l late summe r beach day into a day of enormous , dangerous surf that local surfers an d beachgoers will remembe r for a lifetim e (Fig. 1). Withi n a few mile s nort h and south along th e coast, the surf was muc h smaller. Several days earlier, Hurri- cane Isabel was a category-5 stor m moving westward an d spinning at peak intensity hundred s of miles east-southeas t of the Bahama Islands. Hurricane Isabel's strong wind s produce d large ocean swells that FIG. I. Tw o large waves tha t propagated throug h the traveled west-northwest toward the Bahama Islands. Providenc e Channel on 16 Septembe r 2003 break at Althoug h observational data are lacking in
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Aug 1, 2005
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