Billabong Pro Tahiti - Forecast Update

Craig Brokensha
Swellnet Analysis

We're only a few days off the start of the waiting period for the Billabong Pro Tahiti and the outlook is still grim.

Event organisers will be looking to milk everything out of a moderate S/SW groundswell due on day two and three of the waiting period, as from there things go a little pear shaped.

As pointed out in our Early Forecast last week, there'll be no classic Teahupoo this year, with the favourable synoptic setup failing to develop during the forecast window. This has been the case most of this year for Tahiti, with the progression of polar fronts up past New Zealand's East Coast failing to become established.

What we've seen instead are funky mid-latitude lows and cut-off storms, with one such system generating large but mid-period S/SW energy for the Trials today and tomorrow but with onshore winds.

This swell will ease into the end of the week, but the aforementioned S/SW groundswell is due on Saturday, the second day of the waiting period. This swell is currently being generated by a strong polar front sitting south-east of New Zealand, a little too far east than ideal for Teahupoo.

Inconsistent 4-5ft+ sets are due from this swell, with the front projecting north towards Tahiti while weakening, generating a similar sized reinforcing S'ly swell for Sunday. Gusty E'ly trades will create favourable conditions both days, and it'll be worth capitalising on these swells as a large blocking pattern is forecast to set in for the rest of the waiting period.

What we mean by this is that a series of large high pressure systems will setup across Teahupoo's prime swell window, with any potential storms being deflected away from Tahiti like pinballs off a bumper.

On top of this we'll see a high pressure ridge squeezed through the forecast period, resulting in strong E/SE trades and moderate amounts of E/SE trade-swell.

In fact, this trade-swell will be the dominant energy through the forecast period and how this gets into sheltered Teahupoo isn't fully known. More than likely, we’ll see raw, bumpy pointbreak-like surf running from deep down the reef, not the classic Teahupoo conditions we're used to.

We'll continue to monitor the forecast and provide running updates in the comments below.

16 day Teahupoo Forecast Graph
16 day Teahupoo Forecast WAMs

(Homepage image courtesy WSL)

Comments

Reefeater's picture
Reefeater's picture
Reefeater commented Tuesday, 8 Aug 2017 at 2:33pm

Overlapping heats may be required, if they are willing and able.

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Wednesday, 9 Aug 2017 at 3:21am

That tradeswell isnt even punching in the double digits for period? Peaks running down along the reef?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 9 Aug 2017 at 8:48am

Yeah it's very weak and will hardly get in with size at all. It's dire.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Wednesday, 9 Aug 2017 at 2:24pm

Bigger waves at Huntington....... Lol
Bigger waves at Huntington.....lol

derra83's picture
derra83's picture
derra83 commented Thursday, 10 Aug 2017 at 11:29am

The forecast looks great untill you see the direction.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 10 Aug 2017 at 12:09pm

Haha exactly.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 10 Aug 2017 at 12:12pm

Three consecutive days of model-estimated E/SE winds over 20kts (Mon/Tues/Wed). That means gusts will be considerably higher (30kts+). Not very pleasant.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Thursday, 10 Aug 2017 at 12:33pm

Which is why they need to run as much of the comp as they can Fri-Mon!!!

Reefeater's picture
Reefeater's picture
Reefeater commented Thursday, 10 Aug 2017 at 4:13pm

Looks like finished by monday all things eventuating as they appear now.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 10 Aug 2017 at 4:16pm

Not sure if they'll run Friday (Saturday our time) as the swell will be weak and easing out of the south. They may have to though..

Looks like Saturday/Sunday/Monday will be runners though with a bit more size and power to the secondary S'ly energy.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 11 Aug 2017 at 10:01am

Straight from the horse's mouth:

Reefeater's picture
Reefeater's picture
Reefeater commented Friday, 11 Aug 2017 at 1:22pm

You have to sift through the horses mouth though, usually filled with WSL/surline hay.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Saturday, 12 Aug 2017 at 6:30am

Fuck me they're desperate!!

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Saturday, 12 Aug 2017 at 7:26am

What reef said.

Zero conviction in KP's voice.

Watching the current conditions now, I really feel for the commentators. Having to verbally polish this turd.

braudulio's picture
braudulio's picture
braudulio commented Saturday, 12 Aug 2017 at 10:21am

At least the commentators don't have to paddle out there.

‘IF YOU UNDERSTAND, things are just as they are;
if you do not understand, THINGS ARE JUST AS THEY ARE.’

Herc's picture
Herc's picture
Herc commented Saturday, 12 Aug 2017 at 11:01am

No, because now, they have the secret to God. The final sickening blow. Commentating, well, blathering for their lives. Desperately performing. SOPHIE FOR GOD'S SAKE STEP IN, SLAP THEM!!! STOP THEM!!! DO SOMETHING!!! SAVE YOURSELF!!!

The list is just further and further away by the minute. Lebron must be quaking in his boots.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 15 Aug 2017 at 6:58am

Good to see the forecast come in as expected and good on Kieren for squeezing out the event in the only really surfable period of the event.