The winds have already increased before the arrival of the upcoming cold front. Surf’s up on Monday right before dark; 5ft@6sec northwest swell will be filling in. It will be around chest high at the key, waist-chest high with longer rides at honeymoon with semi-offshore winds. We’ll have to watch for the precise north wind shift to see when honeymoon goes offshore. A cold blast of air is following this cold front. The water is already in the upper 50s, and the front will be bringing the water and air temps down again. Monday evening will be the warmest time to surf if you want to surf this next cold front, but also the choppiest. The first hour when the swell starts filling in is usually really fun! Tuesday morning the surf will continue. The winds will be offshore at certain spots. Tuesday morning looks like a fun little cleanup. The temperatures will be dropping into the fourties by Wednesday morning.
The pictures in this gallery were photographed over a period of three days, Jan 12-14, 2018. Some of the surfers from this Gallery are August, Yannis, Dave White, Hunter Kimbel, Reily, and Landon Perinno. You should also note some interesting things from this gallery:
Continue reading A Gallery from Honeymoon, Sand Key, and Clearwater Pass in January
Another strong front comes roaring through on Wednesday afternoon overnight into Thursday bringing more January/February cold weather. The surf comes up on Wednesday evening and first thing Thursday morning. Our dew points and humidity are extremely low today (51% in East Lake).
This cold front could bring our temperatures down near freezing on Thursday morning before dawn. Is this cold blast going to be enough to drop the water temperatures into the upper 40’s? It’s not uncommon to see the water fall into the 40s in February. After high pressure and cold air moved in during the last cold front I watched the water temperature drop from 59°F to 53° at the Clearwater Beach weather station. That’s six degrees almost overnight. Currently the water is at a chilly 54 degrees. If we see another 6 degree drop we’ll be looking at icy 48 degree water. Get out your 4 mil wetsuits, ’cause it’s cold!
Last winter the water barely cracked 70 degrees, with only one cold front bringing the water to 65°F. That was extremely unusual. It was a very strong el nino winter pattern where right up until the end of December it felt almost like summer. This winter it’s a, quote un quote, la nina pattern. Really it’s just the regular winter pattern. This winter there’s been a steady falling trend in the water temperature from early Fall through Winter. We’re now in the middle of January with water in the mid 50s. The chart below will show you how the water temperatures have steadily fluctuated on a cooling trend up to today.
In Florida every day is a beautiful day it seems. Years ago one of the local newspapers would give out free newspapers on days that weren’t bright and sunny days. Living in such a beautiful place, I need some cold gnarly weather to break up the monotony of everyday perfection and warmth, which is why this colder time of year is my absolute favorite time of year.
Just like the recent nor’easter, the cold front over northern Texas is headed for the Gulf of Mexico. Despite this system heading right for us, the trend for this upcoming cold front is actaully a warming trend, and the storm won’t be impacting the temperatures at all. This low will be entering into the gulf near Floribama, the Florida panhandle area, then continue on its southerly track through the gulf. I’m expecting the low to be completely gone by the time it nears the north-western tip of Cuba on Wednesday evening. As this storm moves through the gulf it’s likely to kick up a west swell in response to a tightening pressure gradient along the frontal boundary. What cooler air there is behind the cold front won’t be reaching the Florida coast. Expect slightly more humid south flow to be drawn towards us. The warming trend will continue through the surf on Tuesday afternoon. The water and air temperatures are warming, however the water will still be very cold. This low pressure cold front will be another fun little swell before the significant wavemaker next weekend.
Watch the high resolution copy! Click the arrow to see the free download option in the top right.