SWELL ALERT: Big SE groundswell inbound across the NSW Coast

10 Oct 2019 1 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Issued Thursday, 10 October 2019

We’re now in the midst of an energetic run of sizeable, mid-period SSE swell across the NSW coast. And while the immediate outlook sees a gradual easing trend setting in on Friday, it’s becoming increasingly clear there’s a whole lot more to come in the way of SE groundswell across the entire East Coast over the weekend and early next week. The source of this extended run of swell is a vigorous low pressure system that developed over the southern Tasman Sea on Tuesday, before slipping away to the east/ southeast on Wednesday.

Monday is shaping up as one of the better October days you're likely to see across the NSW coast. Photo: Uploaded to CW by RGL.

Monday is shaping up as one of the better October days you're likely to see across the NSW coast. Photo: Uploaded to CW by RGL.

The later stages of the storm’s lifecycle point to good to excellent conditions over the course of the weekend and early next week, with the real sticking point being persistent onshore winds dominating conditions throughout Friday and the weekend. As mentioned, we can expect wave-energy to gradually scale down throughout Friday as swell direction trends to the southeast; in line with the low’s fairly swift eastward movement across the south-eastern Tasman Sea on Wednesday.

CHECK THE DETAILED SYDNEY AND SOUTH COAST FORECAST.

A deep low situated just west of NZ will remain quasi stationary over the region throughout Friday, setting up a large SE groundswell inbound this weekend. Source: BOM.

A deep low situated just west of NZ will remain quasi stationary over the region throughout Friday, setting up a large SE groundswell inbound this weekend. Source: BOM.

However, as the low  approaches New Zealand it’s widely forecast to stall within close proximity of the South Island, where it will remain quasi stationary into Thursday afternoon and throughout Friday. Throughout this period the low will support a broad SSE to SE fetch across its southwestern quadrant in conjunction with a high pressure system sliding in below Tasmania; exhibiting core wind-speeds of 30 to 35 knots. The extended duration of the fetch area holds excellent potential for a powerful, long-lasting run of SE groundswell – and this is clearly visible on latest virtual buoy readings, showing progressive upgrading to both wave height and period over the last 24 hours.

Signficant seas and swell of 5 to 6 metres over the southern Tasman Sea are aimed directly at the NSW coast on Friday. Source: Wave Tracker.

Signficant seas and swell of 5 to 6 metres over the southern Tasman Sea are aimed directly at the NSW coast on Friday. Source: Wave Tracker.

That presents high confidence for a renewed building trend in SE groundswell throughout Saturday, leading in a peak in size ranging anywhere from 6 to 8ft on Sunday morning. It’s worth keeping in mind that groundswells originating from this corner of our swell window often exceed expectations, so the above mentioned projections are considered conservative. Unfortunately, local winds are looking dicey all weekend. An emerging high pressure ridge supporting light to moderate south-easterlies across the region both on Saturday and Sunday - but it does look like early light inshore winds may open up reasonably good surface quality early on Sunday morning.

Of more certainty is a favourable WNW wind shift setting in early on Monday, setting up a full morning of good to epic conditions as the tail-end of the groundswell gradually subsides. That loosely points to clean 3 to 6ft conditions across exposed breaks, followed by another great day of 2 to 3ft leftovers on Tuesday. Stay tuned for another update on Friday as we fine-tune projected surf, local winds and arrival times.

Latest model runs have upgraded wave height and period. This image depicts the leading edge of the swell inbound at about 12 seconds on Sunday morning. Source: Wave Tracker.

Latest model runs have upgraded wave height and period. This image depicts the leading edge of the swell inbound at about 12 seconds on Sunday morning. Source: Wave Tracker.


Tags: Swell Alert , Ben Macartney , topnews (create Alert from these tags)

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