Prior to today a massive winter storm phenomenon had formed off of the coast of the Northeast. This occured when a cold front collided with a warmer air mass over the ocean to rapidly create cyclonic activity over the ocean. Think giant winter hurricane made of snow. These events can be hard to predict relative to surf, especially relative to South Florida surf with our limited swell window (thanks Bahamas!). As is sometimes the case, today started out on a gloomier note than planned, but hey, that’s meteorology for ya. Leading up to today a multitude of forecasting elements were pointing towards a 9am start time for some good surf to be coming through all along Southern Florida. After checking with various weather sources to cross-reference wind predictions and surf-heights, it looked like conditions would start coming together between 9-11am.
BOMBogenesis in Boca Raton
After waking up and looking at surf cams, I decided to take a ride to the local inlet which is usually a good spot to check as it’s a straight shot from my house and gives a good view of what is happening to the south and the north. Looking to the flags, it appeared that the wind was still onshore at the beach at about 5-7mph, which continued the chunky and lumpy conditions from yesterday’s heavy onshore flow. There were still waves to be had in the area, but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for, well not yet at least.
Upon leaving that spot, I met up with my friend Heather from TriSurf (check out her stuff!) who was also checking the surf nearby at Pavilion for the second time this morning. Surf there was breaking out a little further, but was still reminiscent of a washing machine on spin cycle. Not much of a change from the first beach I viewed. I left for a while to go an wait out the wind, figuring if it wasn’t offshore by 9, it had at least a couple of hours left before the switch and I had some work to do. Heather stayed back and snapped some shots, and ended up finding gannet (sea bird) which she ended up helping out later this evening since it hadn’t moved all day and appeared to be not acting correctly.
Tides Turn and Winds Prevail!
The higher tide at dawn this morning meant that water would be leaving the sandbars as the wind turned offshore today, and it ended up delivering for about an hour before the winds went to howling offshore. Right around 11:20 the winds took their turn to start coming from the NW as the front moved through, and the air became crisp, like 50 degrees crisp (BRRR). This change cleared up the bump on the water and created clean and hollow waves up and down the East Coast of Florida. Instagram feeds lit up that IT WAS ON! I pulled up on a beach that I hadn’t checked in the morning and found fun waist to stomach high A-frames with makeable barrels and turn sections with a minimal amount of people out due to the fake out from this morning. There were plenty of waves to go around, nobody was dropping in on eachother, and there was fun to be had by all.
The surf wouldn’t last long however, as with the dropping tide came howling offshore winds to both dampen the height of the surf. It’s almost as if as soon as it had arrived it had retreated back into the sea, but not for those of us who had the luxury of being able to be on it today. For those lucky few, it was a great day of waves to be had. Hopefully it was a good warm-up for tomorrow’s possible refraction action courtesy of bombogenesis swell from Winter Storm Grayson. Microwave your wetsuits tonight so they stay warm in the forecasted 40 degree air for most of the early morning. Or stay home cuddled in your beds and leave more barrels for us!
Unidentified getting a nice little finish up section this morning with the onshore winds.
A couple of peaks were shared by the crowd that was on this section of the sandbar this morning.
The inlet wave didn’t have as much size, but it was a little cleaner. Pick your poison.
Mid-morning surf check yielded good results. These guys showing how to make and miss a barrel.
Some would wall up like this for a turn or 2 before standing up on the inside sandbar.
And elsewhere, there’s always a perfect wave that goes unridden. “Insert yourself here,” it says.
See ya in the water tomorrow with this forecasted trajectory!
Bombogenesis Day 2! Thursday Jan 4th
A Swell Day 3 before High Tide
The surf streak continues thanks to Winter Storm Grayson!
Fun surf today at the inlet! If you don’t see yourself above and were there between 11-1pm, check out the Higher Tides Dropbox to see if we got a pic! Feel free to download and share with your friends. More in depth synopsis to come!