Forecaster Blog: Margaret River Will Deliver

9 Apr 2015 3 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Issued 6.00pm Thursday, 9 April 2015.

If you’ve been a little underwhelmed by the size and quality of the surf during the first two instalments (The Quiksilver Pro and the just completed Rip Curl Pro) on the World Surf League, well, prepare to be overwhelmed my friends. Over the past few days there’s been a flurry of big-board organising underway amongst the world’s top pro-surfers in anticipation of a large SW groundswell forecast to arrive just in time for the opening day of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro on Wednesday 15 April. Now keep in mind this isn’t Bells Beach or Snapper Rocks, where a big swell generally equates to 6 to 8ft. This is Margaret River – a place where hardy, bearded locals sport quivers of pintails in the 7 to 10ft range. A place where men and women of the legal drinking age enjoy good quality, locally produced red and white wines and where a big swell can mean a 15 to 20ft long-period SW groundswell.

Margaret River may rise to its full potential for the start of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro on April 15.

Margaret River may rise to its full potential for the start of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro on April 15.

Based on consensus of several atmospheric computer models a series of large extratropical lows developing over the far southern Indian Ocean this weekend will generate not just one, but two big pulses of large SW groundswell during the first week of the waiting period. A first low pressure system forecast to intensify as it sweeps across the remote Kerguelen Islands on Saturday is the source of the first pulse that looks likely to peak on Wednesday 15 April in the 8 to 12ft range. The groundswell is of course storm-dependant so there’s plenty of scope for revisions to these estimates over the next few days.

CHECK OUT THE DETAILED WEST COAST FORECAST HERE.

Latest Wave Tracker projections capture the development of the back-to-back swells over the weekend and early next week.

Latest Wave Tracker projections capture the development of the back-to-back swells over the weekend and early next week.

This frame depicts peak wave period, with latest model runs anticipating the leading edge of the first pulse beginning to fill in throughout the morning of Wednesday 15 April.

This frame depicts peak wave period, with latest model runs anticipating the leading edge of the first pulse beginning to fill in throughout the morning of Wednesday 15 April.

Whether or not local winds cooperate with the swell’s arrival is yet to be seen, but at this point there are speculative indications we’ll see improving wave quality under light ESE winds throughout the morning. Beyond that, long range computer models are variously capturing the evolution of second, larger low pressure system – this time developing over polar latitudes spanning the 60S parallel. For the time being this prospective storm-system holds equally impressive, albeit more speculative wave potential; possibly giving rise to a second pulse of long period SW groundswell filling in throughout Friday 17 and Saturday 18 April. We’ll keep an eye on these storm-system’s as the evolve so stay tuned for updates over the course of the week.

WAVE TRACKER: FOLLOW THE EVOLUTION OF THE SWELL.

This image depicts forecast surface winds over the southern Indian Ocean on Monday 13 April, showing the two sources of SW groundswell forecast during the first week of the waiting period.

This image depicts forecast surface winds over the southern Indian Ocean on Monday 13 April, showing the two sources of SW groundswell forecast during the first week of the waiting period.


Tags: Drug Aware Margaret River Pro , surf forecast , topnews (create Alert from these tags)

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