Offshore Low Creates A Great Swell For Surfers

June 4th, 2014 at 6:16 pm by under Weather

If you are a surfer or bodyboarder the ENE swell felt more like a hurricane swell than a traditional swell, so what caused it?

From NASA Goes 14 (East)

From NASA Goes 14 (East)

This past weekend we had strong northeast winds that helped to develop the waves. Then by Monday an area of high pressure moved overhead which shut down that wind.  An offshore low, which wasn’t particularly strong, created a ENE swell for VB and the OBX. This area of low pressure basically stayed over the same area for a few days which created a nice fetch of waves for our area. In the video you can almost see how the spinning low almost resembles a hurricane. I had a chance to get out in the water on Monday in Croatan, and I observed 3-5ft waves during the incoming tide. If you were lucky enough to get to the OBX on Tuesday, conditions were good and fun for the surfers around the popular breaks.

Credit: Mickey McCarthy

Credit: Mickey McCarthy

Credit: Mickey McCarthy

Credit: Mickey McCarthy

As most of the surfers know, offshore winds are what they want for clean waves. You can see the pictures from Mickey McCarthy how clean the waves were on the OBX. The waves are quickly fading today and as of this point nothing exciting is expected to develop in the near term.

I will keep an eye on our local wavewatch model for any updates. Remember, during our newscasts we will show the area camera’s and give you the beach forecast. Finally, water temperatures are still getting warmer! For the VB Oceanfront we are at 66-68°. The OBX is 69-72°.

Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson

2 Responses to “Offshore Low Creates A Great Swell For Surfers”


    Last Monday the 2nd was the best morning for surfers. It was rated 3 dark blue starts a week ahead (see website). The swell/wave height/wind direction was perfect and the passing through LOW topped it off. I’ve never seen so many surfers out at Virginia Beach my entire life. This area is full of mariners and sufers because of the fishing and the NAVY. We watch the buoy report daily several times a day. If the weather report on TV would also include this information – which is easy to get- you would increase your number of viewers. As a surfer, I go to the following sites and the live wave cam several time a day:

    In one month’s span, there are only a few days the wave are good to surf. This is why we need to know when to hit the waves. For boaters, a lot of the time surface ships will not go out on sea trails if the waves are too rough. Another reason we need the info. On TV.

    WAVY sounds like waves. Is it possible to give the wave reports also in the weather forecast? The problem was that you guys didn’t know it was a good surf day until three days later. A surfer needs to know ahead of time when to take off work and hit the waves. This is why we watch Surf Line buoy reports daily. There are more surfers and boater is this area that you think.
    Thank you for listening,
    Gregory Halvorson

    1. Jeff Edmondson WAVY says:

      We do provide day forecasts for the beach. This was just a special blog to recap the event…that’s all. :)

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