Oversized Cloudbreak on target next week

Craig Brokensha
Swellnet Analysis

If you live anywhere in the south-east of Australia you'll know that, although it's spring, winter has reached out for one last blast. We've just been slammed by the coldest outbreak of the year with low level snow, gale-force winds, and surf - lots of surf - with South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania flooded by swell.

This weather event is being steered by a strong node of the Long Wave Trough sitting across the region - as was forecast in last week's article. The same forecast said that once the node moves east into the Tasman Sea we'll see the storm track moving into the swell window for the East Coast and Fiji.

This is happening right now with the swell and wind settling down across South Australia and Victoria, while at the same time the Australian East Coast is experiencing a building southerly swell.

The same swell will flow on towards Cloudbreak with large surf expected from this weekend.

Yesterday afternoon, the first of a series of strong frontal systems pushed into the Tasman Sea which will generate a large southwest groundswell for Cloudbreak this weekend. The swell will build Saturday and peak Sunday morning in the 6-8ft range.

When this frontal system moved off the Australian mainland the LWT wasn't yet in a great position for Fiji. The result will be a more straight on (westerly) swell direction with wider cleanup sets due through the weekend.

Consider it good training for what's to follow.

Because, come this evening, another significant polar front will move up from below Tasmania, then up through the Tasman Sea. The position of the LWT will ensure this swell is a more ideal direction.

This frontal progression will have two stages, with a secondary embedded low due to develop over the already active sea state tomorrow, projecting a fetch of severe-gale to storm-force winds towards Fiji.

This fetch will then broaden while expanding out through the Tasman Sea, resulting in a large, prolonged south-southwesterly groundswell.

Current estimates have the swell building strongly through Tuesday and reaching an oversized 10ft+ into the afternoon.

Owing to its breadth, there'll be a very slow easing trend, say down to 8-10ft on Wednesday then further into the end of the week.

Winds on Tuesday aren't ideal for Cloudbreak as a building high pressure ridge moves in from the west, bringing fresh south-southeastrly winds, but Wednesday looks excellent as the ridge continues to fill out, swinging winds lighter east-southeast.

The Australian East Coast will also see large powerful southerly groundswell energy on top of today's swell, coming up initially Saturday ahead of a larger more powerful swell Sunday.

Keep an eye on the East Coast forecasts and the comments section below for updates on the development of this oversized groundswell event.


Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 8 Sep 2017 at 12:19pm

We've got some great satellite observations of the embedded low, with a bunch of 50kt barbs in the East Coast's and Fiji's swell window.

Swell looks to be arriving earlier Tuesday now for Fiji and reaching an easy 10ft+ through the day.

southey's picture
southey's picture
southey commented Friday, 8 Sep 2017 at 9:01pm

Craig I think the models may undercook this a little . The area in which this embedded cut off is projecting up into and it's associated frontal reach , would have a serious amount of pre existing sea state given early in the weeks deep southern energy . Together with a bit of greater circle work and could be solid . Local winds should be okay .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython commented Friday, 8 Sep 2017 at 10:48pm

Its all about the winds really.

mick-free's picture
mick-free's picture
mick-free commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 7:02pm

There was a local trough Southey forecasted...wind guru has pretty strong forecasted winds at peak of swell, but wams look clear. Was looking at pulling trigger on this swell but got cold feet rather look at a few of these polar lows coming through soon.


udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 9:23am

Is it there ... Any reports yet ?
Edit : just saw Tim Bs insta ..frothing

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 10:34am

Tim B's Insta is showing a wave of Kohl Christenson from over five years ago.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 12:55pm

C'mon Udo how can a guy with a memory like yours not remember that wave from years ago!

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 1:16pm

Wave i looked at was unridden....frother posted Kohls just after my comment
i did mention Kohls wave a few weeks back.