Indo Swell Forecast, Thurs, 18 August 2011

18 Aug 2011 0 Share

Indonesia: Bali to Java
Forecast Issued 3.30pm, Thursday, 18 August, 2011.
Forecast by Ben Macartney.


Short Forecast

Friday
SSW swell 4 – 6ft+ exposed breaks early, easing into the afternoon. WIND: Early light winds tending ESE 15 – 20 knots.

Saturday
SSW swell 3 – 5ft exposed breaks, smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 15 – 20 knots.

Sunday

SSW swell 2 – 4ft exposed coasts, smaller elsewhere. WIND: Light early tending ESE 15 – 25 knots.

Monday
New SSW groundswell 2 – 4ft exposed breaks increasing to 4 – 5ft during the afternoon. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 15 – 20 knots.

Tuesday
SSW swell 4 - 6ft exposed breaks. WIND: Light and variable tending E/SE 15 – 25 knots.

Wednesday
SSW swell 3 - 4ft+ exposed coasts. WIND: Early light and variable tending E/SE 15 – 20 knots.

Phots from the last swell by Andrew Ford

Forecast Overview

A strong pulse of SSW groundswell lit up The Archipelago on Wednesday; topping out at a solid eight to ten foot across the most exposed reefs across the region, grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure.

The groundswell was the by-product of a large, complex extratropical low that developed over the south-eastern Indian Ocean last Friday. The low stalled over the region and intensified dramatically into the weekend; it’s central pressure dropping from 960 hPa on Saturday morning to 948hPa by Saturday night.

The storm retained phenomenal intensity as it hovered over the region on Sunday; maintaining a broad area of gale to storm force SSW winds across its western flank: a powerful wind fetch aimed directly at Indonesian coasts. In the wake of Wednesday’s and Thursday’s peak in size a further easing trend sets in through Friday and the weekend; easing from a still solid four to six feet across the most exposed breaks on Friday to three to four feet by Saturday.

The last of this energy should level off around the three foot mark from Sunday through early Monday ahead of a new pulse of SSW groundswell filling in during Monday afternoon.


Building trend in SSW groundswell early next week
The origin of the new swell is a far more modest Southern Ocean low that intensified beneath Madagascar last Sunday and Monday. Although relatively small in dimensions, the low was strong enough to generate a peak deepwater wave height of 20 to 25 feet across the region over this time frame. A resulting pulse of SSW groundswell travels across the Indian Ocean this weekend before making landfall across Indonesian shores later on Monday. This episode isn’t expected to amount to more than four to six feet at its peak on Tuesday ahead of a gradual decline into Wednesday. However, beyond that there’s still plenty of swell stacking up on the longer range horizon. In the wake of the aforementioned low moving out beneath Madagascar last weekend an active storm track developed across the far Southern Ocean, maintaining a broad area of zonal gales across the 50 to 60 degree latitudinal bands through the early part of the week. This activity is now propagating out into the south-eastern Indian Ocean, with a large, gale force SW fetch developing between a complex low off Western Australia and an intense high situated beneath Madagascar. This broad, slow moving fetch sets up a consistent run of mid period SSW groundswell across the region next week; maintaining wave heights at three to five feet on Wednesday 24 ahead of gradual easing trend into Friday 25.


New, large SSW groundswell looms on Friday 26/ Saturday 27 August
Beyond that, some recent long range model runs pick up another extratropical low developing deep beneath Sumatera over the weekend beginning Saturday 20 August. These projections currently anticipate a belt of strong SSW gales developing across the storm’s western flank on Sunday 21 and Monday 22.

The leading edge of the resulting groundswell should fill in throughout Friday 26 August ahead of the bulk of swell filling in on Saturday 27. At this stage this should see wave heights increasing from three to four feet on the Friday to a peak of five to six feet plus across exposed breaks on Saturday ahead of an easing trend setting in through Sunday 28 and Monday 29.

- Ben Macartney

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