There is plenty of old lore about the weather in March, that if it comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. Well, the lion otherwise known as Winter Storm Riley became an intense nor’easter after undergoing bombogenesis off the coast of New England. Bombogenesis happens when the pressure of a storm drops more than 24 millibars (mbs) in less than 24 hours, and in Riley’s case, it dropped from 1000mbs to 974mbs (to save you the math, that would be 26mbs). The rapid drop in pressure generates strong winds, which then create swell. Along with pumping surf for the entire Atlantic Basin, Riley also brought coastal flooding, near-record breaking high tides, damaging winds and power outages throughout the Northeast and New England. Parts of Western New York also saw up to 40 inches of snow, making Riley a quintessential Winter Storm. Rawr.
W.S. Riley delivered solid, quality surf to from Maine all the way to the Caribbean, with even Puerto Rico seeing some of the biggest swells in years. The beginning of the swell brought blown out storm conditions to the Mid-Atlantic, with buoys nearing the 15ft @15s range, but delivered pristine conditions as the storm passed. New England thrived in well overhead surf with strong offshore winds and great conditions, but New York and New Jersey might have seen the best of Riley. Some extraordinarily long lefts — that we hear are now being dubbed ‘Newmbia’ — had New Jersey surfers frothing, and reporting triple or quadruple barrels on a single wave. As Brett Barley shared on his Instagram, “Got the longest barrel of my life on a 3′ wave, and I still can’t believe it. Thank You NJ”. New York also saw some all-time winter conditions with offshore winds and steady surf in the 4-6-8 foot range for at least 4 straight days. Needless to say, in about 6 days we received over 300 submissions to the contest, with some truly unbelievable shots and more coming in as we speak.
For Winter Storm Riley, YETI has offered up 3 50oz waterproof duffle bags filled with Clif Bar and NySea goodies, one prize for each region. The photos chosen for the Yeti packages were strictly based off one factor, the “wow factor” these are the photos that give you goosebumps when you look at them. We’d like to congratulate Nick Tribuno (Insta: @nicktribuno), Cody DeGroff (Insta: @cdegroff10), and John DeVivo (Insta: @nesta17) on being the recipients of said YETI swell packages. With so many truly awesome submissions, choosing a select few has been no easy task. Good job boys and good luck in the rest of the contest.
Winter Storm Skylar is up next and is currently a powerful nor’easter. As it pushes offshore, we should see building E/ESE swell with predominantly offshore winds for much of East Coast. There is still more than 2 weeks left in the contest waiting period and plenty of opportunities to get out there and get the shot! Remember to submit your entries to nysea.com/coldshot and make sure to vote for your favorites! Here is a smaller recap gallery of Winter Storm. For a full gallery head here.
Cover photo: Trevor Murphy (Insta: @tmurphy_photography)