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Nor’easter rapidly intensifies, lifts north with hurricane-force winds end of week

  • Florida starts it off before strong winter weather, waves spread to the Northeast

  • A slower storm pattern is expected for at least the first half of February

  • Winter showed up in a big way on the East Coast this January, as the atmosphere aligned to send a steady stream of storms out of the southern states and up the Eastern Seaboard. Besides bringing snow, ice and the coldest temps in over a year, this run of winter storms delivered swell after swell to the East Coast. Some zones saw their best winter surf in two or three years. And it’s not over yet.

    Lead Forecaster Mike Watson breaks down the weekend nor’easter and upcoming surf.

    A nor’easter is due to lift up the coast this weekend, serving as the caboose to a month-long Western Atlantic storm train. Going off the latest projected storm track, it doesn’t look like this will be the best or most widespread swell maker of the bunch. Last week’s storm clearly won the month. But this nor’easter could be even more impressive, weather-wise, before we return to our typical La Nina pattern: above-average temps and below-average surf.

    January’s Best Swell | Eastbound Double Down 

    Confidence continues to increase that a coastal storm will bring significant winter impacts to parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including the I-95 major metro areas, Friday through the weekend. Heavy snow, strong winds, and coastal flooding are all possible. Stay tuned! pic.twitter.com/He1SosniY2

    — NWS Weather Prediction Center (@NWSWPC) January 26, 2022

    Mike Watson, Atlantic Lead Forecaster and our in-house climate guru, lets us know what’s ahead for this weekend and beyond:

    “Low pressure currently off the coast of Florida becomes the catalyst for our next winter low. The storm rapidly intensifies off the Carolinas on Friday, dragging a strong cold front through Florida as it lifts up the coast with hurricane-force winds on Saturday. Florida’s East Coast sees improving conditions from offshore winds as the storm takes shape and begins to lift north. In turn, the wind switch helps build windswell for the Gulf Coast as South Florida eyes high-quality NNW/N swell over the weekend.”

    Forecasts: North FL | Central FL | South FL | West FL

    “Significant weather impacts are expected — coastal flooding, strong winds, heavy snow — from the Carolinas to Maine as the storm lifts up the coast Friday night through Saturday night. Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks see plenty of surf, but the winds don’t look too favorable for most of this stretch. The Northeast takes the brunt of the storm, but the resulting surf won’t be as big or as good as what the region saw last week. Conditions should start to improve for the Mid-Atlantic, Long Island and Rhode Island on Saturday afternoon, but the weather could still make travel hazardous. Sunday is looking like the best day in the Northeast, as high pressure moves in after the storm clears the region. Surfers in Northern New England will wake up to well below-freezing, offshore winds and head-high to overhead surf that will trend down through the day.

    Forecasts: Wrightsville | Outer Banks | VB | Jersey | New York | Rhode Island | Maine

    “Meanwhile, in the Caribbean, a decent round of NW/NNW swell is due for the islands early next week. The strength of the swell and the size of the surf all depends on the storm’s track. It must stay far enough away from the coast to put its winds over water. If it tracks favorably, the models are notorious for low-balling swells on these kinds of setups.”

    Hang in there a little longer, the February outlook looks similar to our warm December and very different from the cold January. Some cold snaps are still expected but there shoould be more warmer-than-average days in between.

    Forecast: Rincon | North Coast PR | Barbados  •   Watch: Marias | Jobos | Soup Bowl

    “Get it while you can, though, because after this weekend’s storm we’ll see a pattern shift. We’re moving into a phase that’s not great for East Coast surf (positive NAO) and expect a slower cadence of storms taking a higher-latitude storm track to return — basically the opposite of what we saw this January. Few, if any, storms will send significant swells or deliver widespread surf. Rather, we’ll depend on localized weather systems and strong Atlantic high pressure (easterly trade swell) for any surf through the first half of February.”

    Stay tuned to your local forecast through the week for the latest updates on this storm.

    Projected winds for the Northeast U.S. on Saturday afternoon.

    Source : https://www.surfline.com/surf-news/another-big-cold-winter-storm-due-for-east-coast-surf/143362

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