Hurricane Dorian, one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded in the North Atlantic, bore down on the States' east coast over the weekend, sending a pulse of swell that lit up a whole range of locales across hundreds of miles, including spots in Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and more.
Those in the know have been on standby for weeks (see our live updates HERE) doing the daily three-times-an-hour forecast check while waiting for waves to fill in at all manners of nooks along the right coast. And although it was short-lived on Saturday, that barrel-loving community sure made the most of it.
Forecast: New Jersey Hurricane
And if you follow Brett Barley, aka, Cape Hatteras' premier tube hound, on Instagram, you'll see just how strong Dorian came in. “The eye's past and things have got out of control,” he says. “My heart is currently breaking for everyone on the south side right now. I've got no service, I can't reach them.”
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This was at my house, all safe and well here. BUT Ocracoke saw worst flooding ever, set a Record. Hatteras is rising, but no record status yet. Buxton still not too bad for now. - Update y’all once it’s all over... Safety wise, all should be well. But a LOT of help will be needed to clean this up. Heart breaking for those getting water in their homes.
Back in New Jersey and Timmy Torchia was on the ground as the remnants of Dorian hit on Saturday, capturing a few decent-sized drainers as they squeaked through in the morning.
Region guide: New Jersey forecast
Meanwhile, Shawn Casey (Aka Yewwville) was also up at the crack of dawn to capture a strike mission as Dorian shotgunned in. Of course, there were sand-bottomed tubes, close-outs and more than a few tubes ridden to near perfection. Exactly what you'd expect when a hurricane swell fills in.
Over in Rhode Island, lensman Andrew Fisher said: "Was best surf we've seen in quite some time. All of our reefs really benefited from the long period. We had offshores all morning for the south facing coast, then the wind swung west and it was offshore all afternoon for our east facing shoreline. Late morning was the strongest pulse and then gradually faded throughout the day. Small swell window, but everyone was stoked to get some."
MSW forecaster Tony Butt, was keeping an eye on Dorian on Saturday. He said: “Dorian was just over 400 miles southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia, steaming towards the northeast at 25 mph. It was still very much a hurricane on Saturday, but gradually weakening, with maximum sustained winds of about 90 mph. The National Hurricane Center did issue hurricane warnings for Nova Scotia.
“Dorian is already starting to lose the characteristics of a tropical cyclone, and will transform to a mid-latitude depression soon. It is expected to continue weakening as it travels over the colder waters of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and as it moves into an area of strong vertical shear.
"The system is being driven by strong southwest winds associated with a trough of low pressure. Dorian was due to deliver a short-lived pulse of massive surf in Nova Scotia on Sunday and Saturday evening, accompanied by hurricane-force winds.” Florida, too, got it good for a short-lived session.
But Dorian's path hasn't been without drama and while we can look back at the session that went down over the weekend, it's also important to recognise the destructive fore of the category 5 hurricane.
At the moment, at least 44 people were killed in the Bahamas, two people killed in the US and more than 70,000 people have been left homeless due to Dorian. Around 800 people were also left stranded due to flooding on Ocracoke island, off the coast of North Carolina. Disaster relief teams are on the ground but your help is still needed to get people back on their feet. You can go HERE for more details on how to pitch in.
Prior to this swell session on the weekend, it was all bad news. Waves for Water have mobilised to help out stricken communities in the Caribbean. As of right now, Dorian's winding down and it's now up to everyone to pull together to help those less fortunate through such a difficult time. Like hurricanes before it, Dorian will be remembered as one of the most destructive forces to ever lay eyes on the North Atlantic and by others as an all-time pulse of swell, setting off spots all along the coastline. If you're in the latter mindset, then it makes sense to help support for former. A horrible dichotomy, but sadly one that exists when chasing waves. Our thoughts are with everyone impacted.