Indian Ocean Swell Alert - April 16, 2014

16 Apr 2014 1 Share

Issued 16 April 8am by Kathryn Jackson

  • Large scale storm in the southern Indian Ocean produces a significant SW swell event
  • West Australia swell peaks by sunrise Friday with 4m+ offshore wave heights and light SE winds
  • Long period groundswell disperses towards South Australia and Victoria through the weekend

WAVE TRACKER
Significant Swell: Australasia 

An extended fetch of 40 to 50 knot winds were streamlining across the low latitudes of the Indian Ocean over the last 48hrs. You would think its winter looking at the size of the fetch from this system, but that’s the great thing: it’s autumn. With the storm’s core remaining in the low latitudes, the impact of the cold front will pass south of WA Thursday and lead to fair to light SE winds as the swell peaks early Friday.

Looking back to the initial development of the low, the storm tracked a vast distance sourcing from 6000km away south of Africa last Sunday. By Monday night, the cold core of the system deepened to a 942mb low in the deep latitudes of the central Indian Ocean and enhanced a wide fetch and steady 40-50kt winds.

Along the northern portion of the low, the interaction of high pressure was able to widen a steady 40kt+ wind fetch Monday through Tuesday and waves experienced continuous growth over a near 4000km stretch across the southern Indian Ocean. Waves will be pushing up towards Australia in the next 36-48hrs before making landfall in WA Thursday night into Friday.  

This storm will be the most significant of the year thus for WA with wave model predictions topping 4.5-5m deepwater wave heights and 17-18 seconds from 220 degrees southwest. All signs lead to a significant swell event Friday with triple overhead surf peaking through the early morning hours just before sunrise. As well, because the front remains south of the region, local winds see a morning SE flow enhance conditions and offer good form Friday morning before potentially tending SW in the afternoon.

Looking further into the weekend, a longwave trough will pull the system northward into the Bight and a secondary cold front push northeast into SA and Vic late Friday. Behind the front, significant SW groundswell will follow in its wake and rise large wave heights across the Bight this weekend. We can expect long period energy hitting Bells the first weekend of the competition period.

Check out the Coastalwatch official Bells forecast to learn more about how the swell impact possible competitions this weekend.

7 DAY OFFSHORE SWELL CHART
Buoy SW_WA53 

Tags: Swell Alert , wa , western australia (create Alert from these tags)

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