Photo Gallery: “Super Bowl Sunday’s Storm Surf” – Mickey McCarthy

Satellite image_NOAASuper Bowl Sunday aint’ all about football. It was a day the Outer Banks received a massive blow from a powerful low pressure system. Gusts of wind out of the North/Northeast were sustained at 40-50+ MPH along much of the coast. There were even some recordings of wind gusting to 65 MPH. The usual side effects soon followed with coastal flooding, high surf, water level rising 3-5 feet above normal and effecting both soundside and oceanside locations.   Kitty Hawk, Buxton and Ocracoke roads were impassable due to ocean overwash. The beaches were littered with nail infested lumber and the dune lines were put to the limit in most places.

The NOAA satellite image was taken about 1 AM on Monday when the coastal storm off North Carolina had taken a pronounced “comma” shape and looked almost like a hurricane.

To the hardcore surfers, this is usually a common sign when conditions get good. And when I mean good, I mean massive, heavy, dark, cold draining barrels. After the storm peaked on Sunday/Monday, the following day on Tuesday started to see some cleaner, more manageable conditions. It was easily 7-9 feet with some sets showing 15+ feet and glassy on the outside……. WAY outside.  Waves were easily breaking way past the piers which is about as big as this beach can handle. Some surfers were lucky and skilled enough to get out there on jet skis, while others man-paddled their way through the walls of whitewater. It’s safe to say that not many people made the decision to challenge these conditions but for those who did, scored some unusually larger than normal, clean surf on this rare Outer Banks event.  Thankfully, a few photographers were able to capture some of the action. ALL Photos courtesy of Mickey McCarthy

 

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