An Afternoon Walk In The Aftermath Of The Blizzard On Long Beach Island
In order to qualify as a blizzard a winter storm must have sustained winds of 35 mph, there must be blowing snow reducing visibility under a quarter of a mile and these two conditions must continue for at least three hours. I can personally confirm that the requirements of a blizzard were met Saturday morning on Long Beach Island New Jersey last weekend. I walked 1 1/2 miles in them. You can read more about my frigid experience in my previous blog post.
After returning from my walk I spent the rest of the day editing photographs and watching the storm from my window at the LBI Hotel in Ship Bottom. The snow diminished and the visibility improved during the afternoon hours. By 3 p.m. the snows had stopped. However, the temperatures dropped and strong winds continued, but now from a northwesterly direction. I heard the road crews clearing the streets outside of thee hotel and decided to venture out on the snow covered island. I found large snow drifts and piles of plowed snow outside of the hotel.
The side roads were still snow covered and icy but at least I was able to walk back down to the ocean without trudging through the high snow drifts on the sidewalks. About a foot of snow fell on the island. The snow had ended but it was cloudy and a much colder 12 degrees. A strong northwesterly wind of around 25 mph plummeted the wind chill to below zero.
I walked down E. 7th street past snow covered beach houses. There were no other folks out on my walk to the beach. The fierce wind and blowing snow discouraged folks from starting their snow removal efforts.
It was worth the effort. I got what I came for, snow at the shore. And there was a lot of it. The wind howled from atop the dunes as I gazed on the white snow covered beach. I heard the roar of the raging ocean in the distance. Here is a link to a video I uploaded to my YouTube channel I took from atop the dunes. https://youtube.com/shorts/7Vr_JSGJ2UI?feature=share
I decided to walk to the shoreline on the beach. I again struggled through the drifts that formed near the sand dunes . Near the shoreline the waves created a layer of ice at the high tide mark. I made it to the frozen sandy beach and watched the raging waves of the angry sea.
I was surprised to see sea gulls flying above and diving into the raging waves. They apparently were feeding on some poor fish or sea creatures tossed up by by churning of the ocean bottom caused by the waves. Here is a link to a video I uploaded to my YouTube channel of the waves crashing on the shore. https://youtube.com/shorts/GglMcbYAync?feature=share
It was difficult in the windy and frigid conditions but I took photos of some of the birds. The salt water spray from the crashing waves froze my face and exposed fingers. But I managed to take some photos of the herring gulls,
The wind was vicious here as it blew across the waters of the bay. Please notice that the waters were ice free and compare the photos of the waters from my hike the following morning which I will include in my next blog.
Once again I found seagulls flying, or trying to fly in the fierce winds blowing over the waters of the bay. The birds flights were almost stationary as they struggled to make headway into the wind. This was a herring gull,
and this a great black-backed gull.
Here is a link to a photo gallery with more pictures of the birds I saw on my hike. Long Beach Island afternoon hike birds January 29 2022.
After photographing the birds I continued my frigid walk and crossed Route 72, the only access road to the island, and into the neighborhood on the other side of the highway. It wasn’t a pleasure walk as the howling wind blew the powdery snow into my face.
Of course, I was hungry again and was pleased to learn the restaurant at the hotel had a limited. I ordered this delicious white pizza and spent my evening editing photographs and sharing my adventures with family and friends on social media. I fell asleep content that I had experienced the fury of the snow covered beach and ocean. This is a link to a photo gallery with more pictures from my afternoon hike after the blizzard . Long Beach Island afternoon hike January 29 2022.
It’s the Black Sea in a midnight gale. – It’s the unnatural combat of the four primal elements. – It’s a blasted heath. – It’s a Hyperborean winter scene. – It’s the breaking-up of the icebound stream of Time. – Author: Herman Melville