Forecaster Blog: Tropical Cyclone Seasonal Update

22 Jan 2014 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

By Chief Swell Forecaster Ben Macartney, Wednesday 22 January 2014

The monsoon trough remains active over the northern Coral Sea into the end of January, potentially, triggering a renewed rising trend in easterly tradewind swell across southeast Queensland over the course of next week.


Source: BOM. Latest model runs from the BOM are very encouraging, but it's still a little early to be viewing this with any certainty.

Source: BOM. Latest model runs from the BOM are very encouraging, but it's still a little early to be viewing this with any certainty.

  • A tropical depression forecast to develop near the SolomonIslands is forecast to move south over the weekend and may reach cyclone-strength thresholds early in the week beginning Monday 27 January.
  • Over the same time frame a high pressure system straddling New Zealand maintains a broad easterly tradewind flow encompassing the northern Tasman Sea and southern Coral Sea.
  • A rising easterly swell may follow across southern Queensland and northern NSW over the course of next week.

In the wake of Tropical Cyclone June’s mid sized round of easterly swell there are new developments looming across our tropical swell window hinting at another substantial swell event over the course of next week. Latest guidance from the Bureau of Meteorology indicates an active phase in the Madden Julian Oscillation will continue to effect the western Pacific over the Coral Sea over the coming week and this should see further storm activity along the monsoon trough into the final week of January. Latest atmospheric computer modeled projections are in line with these developments, with all key models now picking up the gradual development of a tropical depression over the Coral Sea this weekend.

This coincides with a new high pressure system setting up over the Tasman Sea from Sunday onwards to set up a strengthening ESE tradewind flow across the northern Tasman and southern Coral Sea – in turn resulting in a rising trend in swell across southern Queensland and northern NSW coasts – probably becoming evident from Monday onwards. At this early stage the various computer models are still at odds regarding the precise location of the tropical depression and are also diverging on it’s forecast intensity. The more favourable outcomes have the system steadily intensifying over the central Tasman early to mid next week, setting up a strong increase in E swell for southern Queensland coasts around Wednesday 29/ Thursday 30 January.

Alternatively we may see a weaker tropical depression hovering in the vicinity of New Caledonia, setting up an extended run of low to mid range tradewind swell across the region over this time frame. This remains contingent on how the tropical depression evolves this will be closely monitored over the course of the week.

Source: BOM. If these surface wind projections prove accurate there will be waves aplenty across souteast Queensland coasts late January.

Source: BOM. If these surface wind projections prove accurate there will be waves aplenty across souteast Queensland coasts late January.

Source: ECMWF. There are some alternative projections picking up multiple tropical depressions forming both off Queensland and further out near New Caledonaia mid next week.

Source: ECMWF. There are some alternative projections picking up multiple tropical depressions forming both off Queensland and further out near New Caledonaia mid next week.


Tags: tropical cyclone , swell forecast (create Alert from these tags)

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