Forecaster Blog: Winter Gloom transforms to Offshore Goodness across the NSW Coast

19 Jun 2018 3

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | FORECASTER BLOG

Issued Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Cold, and dark rainy days featuring brisk south to southwest winds and a raw southerly swell don’t exactly qualify as dream winter surfing conditions along the NSW coast. Sure, there’s plenty of surf - but weighing up wave quality against this kind of inclemency leaves most of us rugged up indoors, more often not. In the short term these gloomy winter conditions are set persist under the influence of a complex Tasman low that will drift incrementally eastward over the next few days.

As the old saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. This also applies to Tasman lows. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Peter Tids.

As the old saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. This also applies to Tasman lows. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Peter Tids.

In the short term that’s a recipe for another cold day of large, ragged SSE swell blown out by fresh southerly winds on Wednesday. Thankfully, there’s some definitive light on the horizon later this week. As the low drifts across the top of New Zealand’s North Island on Wednesday and Thursday it sets up a new ESE fetch of relatively modest dimensions. While not overly impressive in terms of strength or size, this fetch is ideally placed to set up a fairly accessible mid-period ESE pulse that will build in beneath an easing SE swell on Thursday and Friday.

FOLLOW THE PROGRESSION OF THE SWELL ON THE WAVE TRACKER

The latest forecast MSLP chart for Wednesday morning shows the favourably positioned isobars extending west of New Zealand. Source: BOM.

The latest forecast MSLP chart for Wednesday morning shows the favourably positioned isobars extending west of New Zealand. Source: BOM.

This Wave Tracker image shows forecast surface winds of 25 to 35 knots setting up west of NZ on Wednesday. This corresponds with the above MSLP chart. Source: Wave Tracker.

This Wave Tracker image shows forecast surface winds of 25 to 35 knots setting up west of NZ on Wednesday. This corresponds with the above MSLP chart. Source: Wave Tracker.

The leading edge of this ESE pulse should begin to show beneath the SE swell on Thursday afternoon – and broadly speaking Thursday should be several notches up on the wave quality scale as lighter WSW to SW winds fall away to light and variable during the afternoon. However, by Friday morning conditions will be ideally suited to a wide range of NSW beaches, points and reefs as a 3 to 5ft ESE swell coincides with light westerly winds. In even better news, the tail end of the swell now looks like it will hold up into Saturday; making for an even cleaner morning of ESE swell in the 2 to 4ft range. For there’s some wiggle room still applies to these specifics, so stay tuned to the detailed forecast for clarification following the low’s development over the next 48 hours.

CW's 16 Day forecast chart: As this week's large round of S swell eases, direction trends SE to ESE as winds swing lighter offshore, culminating in a couple of good to excellent days on Friday and Saturday.

CW's 16 Day forecast chart: As this week's large round of S swell eases, direction trends SE to ESE as winds swing lighter offshore, culminating in a couple of good to excellent days on Friday and Saturday.


Tags: Forecaster Blog , Ben Macartney , Tasman Low (create Alert from these tags)

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