Winter Storm Jonas Swell Gallery

January 26, 2016 • Swell Gallery

Well, after a mild, somewhat freakish start to winter — air temperatures in the 60s across New England on Christmas Day and water temperatures that didn’t even fall into the 50s in the Mid-Atlantic until the New Year — the East Coast finally got its first big nor’easter of the season last week, when Winter Storm Jonas rolled up. With several feet of snow burying many locations on the Eastern Seaboard, bitter, strong winds, and some flooding, particularly in New Jersey, this was one system that everyone felt. Luckily, everyone from the Caribbean to Canada reaped Jonas’ aquatic rewards too: days upon days of fun waves in the Gulf of Mexico, double-overhead man-eaters from North Carolina to the Delmarva Peninsula, a couple of epic days in New Jersey and New York, flashes of smaller perfection in the northern reaches of New England, and enough long-period swell to then light up Florida and Caribbean as the complex weather system raced across the Atlantic. And yes, in some spots, the weeks preceding Jonas were even better, minus all the hype. But if there’s one thing the East Coast does better than any other surf-stoked locale in the world, it’s the big winter swell with snow on the beach and barrels in the water. Against those criteria, Jonas was one for the ages — and he’s 30 shots that prove it.

  • Todd Elder on one of the biggest, nastiest waves photographed anywhere on the East Coast this weekend. Yes, Winter Storm Jonas delivered a jackpot. Photo: Alex Fisher
  • Stevie Pittman, a few thousand miles south and a few degrees warmer in Puerto Rico. Photo: Asher Nolan
  • Not New Jersey. Not New York. How about North Carolina? “It was snowing pretty hard at the Lighthouse on Saturday,” says Outer Banks photographer Jon Carter. “It was quite the sight to see!” Photo: Jon Carter
  • Funny how sunshine can change everything — once the snow cleared in New Jersey, a few lucky surfers were left with beautiful views like this, even as parts of the Garden State coast dealt with serious flooding. Photo: Kyle Gronostajski
  • Max Fatello, slip slidin' away in New Hampshire. “I shot mostly video on Saturday,” Max's dad, Ralph, said. “I'm embarrassed to say that I did not shoot on Sunday, though, when it got big, because the Patriots were playing. In hindsight, I should have been shooting.” Photo: Ralph Fatello
  • Ethan Dayton on an absolute bomb in Montauk, NY. Photo: James Katsipis
  • Ethan's good friend Nick Joeckel, meanwhile, headed way south for photographer Justin Burkle's wedding in the Caribbean. But the boys still got some work done. Photo: Justin Burkle
  • In South Jersey, Winter Storm Jonas did his own nasty work on the area's shorelines. Photo: Ryan Halbe
  • How fast would you be on it if you saw a wave like this breaking just offshore? Delmarva, downright delicious. Photo: Nick Tribuno
  • Up in New England, Drew Nolan was owning this session, according to photographer Jonathan Clancy. “Drew packed a few manly closeouts and made a bunch as well,” Clancy said. Photo: Jonathan Clancy
  • Barbados saw more swell than it knew what to do with this weekend, overwhelming some spots. But Dane Mackie just rounded the corner to a cleaner, more well-groomed left for this big boost. Photo: Mark Harris
  • New Jersey bomb, coming through. Photo: Greg Melega
  • Brad Beach isn't ready to let the Garden State win the size battle this time, though. “Brad Harrell and I scored some fun surf on Saturday in North Carolina,” he said. “You really had to paddle hard down the faces, but it made for some fun late drops!” Photo: Ricardo Jimenez
  • Cristian Riviera, Puerto Rican dreamscape. Photo: Asher Nolan
  • Up north — like waaaaay up north — this lefthand pointbreak blurred the line between whitewater and snowfall. Photo: Mike Bromley
  • Funny how one coastline can flash such drastically different faces. South Florida, as crystalline as can be. Photo: Dalton Smith
  • That's one way to ensure a dry hair paddle-out. Photo: Billy Ficke
  • For hundreds of years, New York has stood as a beacon of endless opportunity. That didn't change in the wake of Winter Storm Jonas. Photo: Evan Conway
  • Sal Martelli bobs and weaves through what photographer Tim Torchia called the wave of the day on Sunday in Monmouth County, NJ. Photo: Tim Torchia
  • “So good!” said Virginia Beach native Austin White on Saturday after his trip south to the Outer Banks. “A lot of empties but Harrison Whitaker and I got a few.” Photo: Harrison Whitaker
  • Mike Trubia, sunset backside grab-rail take two in Rhode Island. Photo: Dave Sieczkiewicz
  • Raven Lundy didn't need to grab on to anything inside this foamy Delmarva gaper. “It was a really fun run of waves while it lasted,” Raven said. “Probably the coldest I can remember, but I'm stoked and surfed out — good times, good memories, good friends!” Photo: Nick Gruber
  • If you haven't noticed, Asher Nolan has turned into one hell of a surf photographer. But he still knows how to get it done in front of the camera, too. Photo: Darren Muschett
  • A razor's edge beauty in South Jersey. Photo: Matt Ciancaglini
  • Conor Willem keeps his eyes on the light a few clicks north. Photo: Max Krumpholz
  • Speaking of light, Daytona Beach native Dustin Richardson chased this sunset all the way over to Florida's Gulf Coast in the run-up to Winter Storm Jonas' Eastern Seaboard arrival. Photo: Brian Thacker
  • The color palette was a little more monotonous in Maryland, but Austin Deppe's barrel was no less spectacular. Photo: Will Wall
  • Double take, Rhode Island style. Photo: Gus Potter
  • All roads lead to just the right spot for Tyler Thompson in New Jersey. Photo: Carter McCoy
  • “We got crushed with snow in New York, closing down roads and trains,” said photographer Joey Dwyer. “But that left a few lucky ones with empty peaks everywhere.” Here's hoping Jonas is just a prelude to the remainder of the winter season. Photo: Joey Dwyer

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