Vic and NSW September 5 - 7, 2010. Fathers Day floods and gales.
So much promise, so little to show. If only the wind wasn’t so strong.
Howling northerlies combined with a 3-4ft south groundswell on Saturday September 4 limiting surfable options to a handful of sheltered northern corners.
By Saturday evening a secondary NE windswell was building over the top of the established Sth pulse challenging to become the dominant swell train.
A lot of crew rose pre dawn on Fathers Day Sunday September 5 pumped, anticipating potential perfection. A peaky combo of swells and offshore WNW winds were on the menu, generally a recipe for guaranteed fun.
Instead almost cyclonic strength offshores trashed the party.
The WNW gales left 80,000 southern NSW homes without power, parts of Victoria suffered their worst floods in over a decade and even the Birdsville races were cancelled for the first time in 128 years.
Winds in the Illawarra and South Coast regions reached up to 120km/h, whilst gusts up to 100km/h were recorded in Sydney.
The WNW winds were gale force by 7.00am ruling out surfing at most locations between Sydney and Ulludulla for much of the day.
Sunday promised so much, yet delivered so little. The offshore was just too strong, and by the time winds eased, so too did the swell..
On Monday morning a fresh 3-4ft south Spring suprise pushed up the coast, and the offshore WSW winds had eased back to a pleasant 10-20 knots.
The south swell hung around most of the week delivering plenty of quality waves, but the lingering underlying sentiment was disappointment. Sunday could of been epic if only the offshores weren’t as strong.
– Ben Horvath.
Floods in Victoria and damaging winds in NSW.Meteorological analysis of a nasty low pressure system | by Jeff Callaghan
On 3 September a low pressure system developed over South Australia and had a central pressure of 997hPa near Kangaroo Island at 1200UTC 3 September 2010. It then deepened below 990hPa and was centred near Robe in South Australia at 0000UTC 4 September 2010 (10am 4th Eastern Standard Time). By 1200UTC 4 September (top frame Figure 1) the low had centres below 986hPa near King Island in Bass Strait and another southeast of Hobart.
As the low crossed South Australia severe wind gusts reached 109km/h (59knots) at Cape Willoughby on Kangaroo Island. Severe wind gusts then affected Victoria with Falls Creek experiencing gusts to 137 km/h (74knots) during the afternoon and evening of 4 September.
Very heavy rain was falling over Northeastern Victoria over this period with Mount Buffalo recording 159mm in the 24 hours to 9am 5 September. Other major 24 hour totals were Whitlands 135mm, Mt Hotham 131mm and Upper Buckland 113mm. In adjacent Southern New South Wales Thredbo recorded 157mm over the same period.
The low consolidated into an elongated 981hPa centre southeast of Hobart at 10am 5 September (lower frame Figure 1) with an extensive area of southerly and southeasterly gales wrapping around the centre. Further north, westerly gales were hammering the New South Wales Coast with gusts to 127km/h (67knots) at Bellambi and 109km/h (59knots) at Wollongong at 9am 5 September.
The low moved towards the east northeast with a 989hPa centre and with an extensive area of south to southeast gales (top frame Figure 2). It then moved further east and weakened with its central pressure up to 999hPa (lower frame Figure 2).
Sydney buoy data initially showed a short period northeast swell arrive on the 4 September which was associated with a strong northeast wind field in the Tasman Sea on the far eastern flank of the developing low. A longer period south to southeast swell arrived on 6 September and exceeded a significant wave height of 2metres early on 7 September. The swell began arriving at all New South Wales buoys over the 6 and 7 September.
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