Billabong Pro Tahiti - Forecast Update
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.
(Homepage image courtesy WSL)