World Title Fires Up & The Pipe Forecast Looks Unreal

8 Dec 2015 1 Share

Matt McKay

Swell Forecaster

Billabong Pipe Masters Invitee Bruce Irons warms up, Photo by Andrew Christie

Billabong Pipe Masters Invitee Bruce Irons warms up, Photo by Andrew Christie

*All days and times are Hawaiian (HST)- NSW is 21 hrs ahead, whilst QLD is 20hrs ahead.

Yesterday we witnessed surfing history when Billy Kemper took out the inaugural Pe’ahi Challenge in huge waves. Whilst this was happening on Maui, the world’s best surfers took to macking Pipeline, preparing themselves for what is to come over this coming fortnight.

By now I’m sure you’ve all seen the dramatic rescue of Evan Gieselman; a sobering reminder of just how dangerous Pipeline can be. As the first major swell of season dissipates, our attention will now shift to the Billabong Pipe Masters waiting period (Dec 8-20) and the impending swell for the contest in the forecast below.

SEE ALSO: The Complete Aussie Summer Wetsuit Review

Wednesday's peak shown on NOAA's WaveWatch III model.

Wednesday's peak shown on NOAA's WaveWatch III model.

We have been tracking a deep low-pressure system that initialised off the coast of Japan several days ago. Since its establishment, this storm tracked ENE toward the Aleutian Islands and has skewed back toward the SE, a favourable synoptic situation for large wave propagation. Sustained wind speeds of 40-45 knots have been recorded along the south-western perimeter of this system, whipping up open ocean wave heights in excess of 30ft.

The result? Solid swell for at least the first four days of the contest.

The deep low pressure system responsible for this weeks solid swell. Source: NOAA

The deep low pressure system responsible for this weeks solid swell. Source: NOAA

PIPELINE FORECAST 8 - 20 DECEMBER

Tuesday December 8
Building NW groundswell. 4-5ft early increasing to 6-8ft+ (with larger sets possible) by dark. Wind: Moderate E

Wednesday December 9
Strong NW groundswell. There’s a good chance that Pipe will be maxing out early, with wave heights of around 20ft forecast. This swell is then expected to ease gradually throughout the day. Wind: Moderate ENE

Thursday December 10
Fading NW groundswell. 8-10ft easing by a foot or two throughout the day. Wind: Early light E, increasing throughout the day

Friday December 11
Fading NW groundswell. 6-8ft early, easing to 5-6ft by the late afternoon. Wind: Early light ESE, tending moderate E

Saturday December 12
Moderate NW swell. 3-4ft possibly building to 4-6ft as the day progresses. Wind: Light ESE

Sunday December 13
Small NW swell. 2-3ft all day. Wind: Light ESE, possibly turning N by the late afternoon

December 14-20
Small (1-2ft) waves are forecast from Monday December 14 through to Wednesday December 16. A new NW groundswell is expected to reach the shores by Thursday December 17, speculatively producing 4-6ft waves at Pipeline/ Backdoor.

At this stage, winds will be of moderate strength out of the east on Wednesday which is favourable for Pipe. Beyond this, the outlook for the rest of the waiting period isn’t looking good as storms within the North Pacific basin take a break. Of course, there is always scope for revision with these long range forecasts. If anything, changes within the next week I will update. In the meantime, enjoy this week’s spectacle.  

PIPELINE SWELL GALLERY DECEMBER

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Tags: surf , forecast , pipeline , world , title , matt , mckay (create Alert from these tags)

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