It has been one incredible week of surf for Florida. The storm system, known as Riley, was born as low pressure that rapidly intensified off the Mid-Atlantic coast on Friday. With it came hurricane-force winds, 40ft seas, heavy rains and snow with wind gusts up to 70mph across much of the NE canceling over 15,000 flights – including ours.
Then the storm headed down the coast over the weekend, bottoming out at 973mb. Based on the forecasted heights on Surfline and Magic Seaweed, this swell matched and even exceeded all the projections. In fact, it was the strongest, non-tropical disturbance induced swells in over ten years.
March 2018 Swell: Breaking Records
In fact, buoy history in central Florida shows this was a week of waves that we have not seen in over ten years. We experienced a massive swell in March of 2008 with 9′ waves marked at 17s intervals. Then in February of 2016 we saw 10′ waves at 14s. But this swell marked waves of up to 14′ at 16 seconds.
The Canaveral buoy (#41009) off Central Florida equaled the forecast swell height and easily topped the two past comparative swells, ringing 14ft at 16secs on Monday night. In a search of available data, no comparable swell readings were found at the station over the past five years. Over the past decade, there have been events to generate similar readings in October 2012, August 2011, and September 2010 but these are most likely attributed to tropical sources, not winter/spring storms. – Surfline
LOLA animation of the powerful winter storm that delivered the massive swell over the past week.
For most of us in South Florida, this will be a week many will not forget. Share your images and videos with us by tagging @IslandWaterSports on your social media posts.
Here are a few that have come our way. We will be adding more over the next few days.:
🤷♂️ Florida? 🚁 @ivy_yin_
03-04-2018 📷 @pete_milnes
Today in a nut shell