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What could be a better early Christmas present than pumping surf?

December 19, 2018

Good afternoon everybody,


Breakwater Team here wishing you all a happy holiday season! It looks like Santa is sending the Northeast an early Christmas present…can you guess what that might be? Yup, pumping waves. What a better gift for all you boys and girls than some pre-Christmas surf?!


Starting Thursday night, a strong low pressure system in the Gulf states will kick up gale force southerly winds as it moves northeastward. South winds continue to blow into Saturday morning, then wind direction progressively turns more west as the system exits over Canada by the end of the weekend.


 First image: GFS wind predictions for Friday at noon (courtesy of

Second image: WW3 wave height and direction predictions for Saturday at noon (courtesy of

Third image: Buoy forecast predictions for wave height (courtesy of

Fourth image: Primary swell height and period predictions (courtesy of


The southerly fetch from this system is pretty big (spanning from about Florida to Maine on Friday). This, along with the wind strength, equals big surf for NY and RI. Both locations will see SE/SSE wind swell quickly increase Friday afternoon into Friday night, with over-head to several-feet-over-head surf in store for Saturday morning (peak buoy forecast of ~13 ft at 11 seconds out of the SSE). As winds swing more west by Saturday afternoon, various locations in the Northeast could see some potentially good to epic surf. Models then show swell dying relatively quickly and swell direction shifting more SSW by the end of the weekend. Sunday should have some fun shoulder-high leftovers at certain locations.


For our NY surfers, west winds aren’t the best for clean conditions, so it might be worth a road trip down to NJ, where winds will be directly offshore. For our RI surfers, clean conditions will be limited to certain locations (i.e. east facing breaks). Therefore, crowds can be anticipated, BUT there will certainly be plenty of surf for everyone.


NY Tides for Saturday:

1st Tide – High at 6:52 am

2nd Tide – Low at 1:14 pm

3rd Tide – High 7:20 pm


RI Tides for Saturday:

1st Tide – High at 6:57 am

2nd Tide – Low at 1:03 pm

3rd Tide – High at 7:25 pm


We are still a little far out from Saturday, and while both models show pretty good agreement on wave size and wind speed/direction, make sure you stay up to date with the latest changes in the forecast. We have our fingers crossed for some epic surf! Hope you all score.


Happy holidays,

The BW Team

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