Indian Ocean in hyperdrive

Craig Brokensha
Swellnet Analysis

Those who love all things bright and colourful will enjoy a quick scroll through the Indian Ocean WAMs for the coming fortnight.

One by one, blobs of purple and red are pulsing towards Western Australia and Indonesia in one of the most active storm periods seen in the last few years.

We've already got a large long-period south-west groundswell on the way for this Sunday, with the Rip Curl Padang Cup most likely being run, but the storm that generated this swell is nothing in comparison to what's forecast to develop over the coming two weeks.

Two successive amplifications of the Long Wave Trough (LWT) will move slowly across the southern Indian Ocean, the second being the real money maker, it's the stronger of the two and projecting well into the mid-latitudes.

Surface fronts and storms follow a similar path to the Long Wave Trough, and when it's amplified over a certain region we see these surface features strengthen and focus into the said region.

The storms actually take a path just west of where the LWT is amplified or subdued, as the surface weather lags the upper atmosphere which moves slowly eastward around the south pole.

An initial strong node is currently strengthening in the south-east Indian Ocean, resulting in a flurry of strengthening polar storms piggybacking each other south-west of Western Australia over the coming days. This will produce a large and active open ocean sea state for one final and very significant fetch of storm-force winds to move over, projected up and into the Great Australian Bight.

An XXL long-period groundswell will result for the southern Australian coastline this coming Tuesday, with Indonesia seeing an XL south-southwest groundswell on Thursday. Usually such swells are met with strong onshore winds across Western Australia, but in this case a strong high will quickly move in through Tuesday resulting in mostly light and variable winds across the state creating favourable conditions for those willing to tackle the monstrous conditions.

Margaret River looks to peak around 18-20ft, with larger waves at deepwater offshore reefs, and larger surf again on the more exposed southern coast. It's worth noting the Indonesian models are combining a couple of swells on Thursday and over-forecasting the size. Though in saying this, we're still due to see 12ft+ surf across exposed magnets under E/SE trades.

Now, the second stronger node of the Long Wave Trough will make its presence felt further north into the Indian Ocean and peak further west, resulting in the Southern Ocean storm track to protrude much further north than usual and with strength.

This will send back to back polar fronts close to Indonesia producing back to back XL groundswells in a run of swell not seen for at least a few years.

It's a little too early to dial down the specifics but we're looking at XL groundswell energy out of a south-west direction from early in the week starting the 23rd of July.

Confidence on such significant swells is high as the models have been consistent with the strong amplification of the LWT across the Indian Ocean.

Keep an eye on the Indonesian, Western – Southern Australian and Victorian forecaster notes over the coming fortnight for a clearer idea on the timing, size and local winds with each significant swell pulse.

16 Day Margaret River Forecast Graph
16 Day Margaret River WAMs
16 Day Uluwatu Forecast Graph
16 Day Uluwatu WAMs

Comments

mredhill's picture
mredhill's picture
mredhill commented Thursday, 12 Jul 2018 at 4:39pm

Craig, what likelihood of these, especially the second pulse, generating something solid into the Maldives region?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 12 Jul 2018 at 4:43pm

First swells no, but the second pulses for sure. The Southern Atolls will be large, and likely some swell also refracting back into the exposed magnets around the Male region.

mredhill's picture
mredhill's picture
mredhill commented Thursday, 12 Jul 2018 at 4:48pm

Thanks Craig, that's along the lines of what I thought. Unfortunately not going to be in the south but hopefully it'll make it's way through to the Male Atolls.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 8:49pm

Craig when you say second swell what dates are you referring too? North Male atolls struggle to get any groundswells west of south.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 9:01am

Yeah it's shifted around a bit now and the secondary swells don't look to get into north of the Southern Atolls.

brainiac's picture
brainiac's picture
brainiac commented Thursday, 12 Jul 2018 at 8:47pm

Need essentials get Laurie Towner to Kandui for this swell !!

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 4:18pm

Was thinking the same except I vote red bluff or the RIGHT!

deckstrus's picture
deckstrus's picture
deckstrus commented Thursday, 12 Jul 2018 at 9:31pm

dust off the guns boys...

The Fire's picture
The Fire's picture
The Fire commented Thursday, 12 Jul 2018 at 11:17pm

Question:

Where do you surf when its 10m @ 20 seconds and light sw in SA?

Hangin to see what decoudic data says on tuesday.

Peace maaaan..

mozzie's picture
mozzie's picture
mozzie commented Thursday, 12 Jul 2018 at 11:46pm

Depends on whether the swell is from the SSW or WSW

The ocean is my therapist...

The Fire's picture
The Fire's picture
The Fire commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 6:43pm

What if its just plain ol sw?

Peace maaaan..

mozzie's picture
mozzie's picture
mozzie commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 6:48pm

Almost the perfect scenario depending on direction of wind and tides. Do the miles to get the smiles...

The ocean is my therapist...

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 5:58am

Either Trigs, or Seaford. 

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 8:40am

First year with a proper full time, need to ask for leave off, job. Had the choice of taking the next four weeks off or wait until later in the year. I am really regretting my choice now.

Stu - if I pay for a subscription, does that guarantee an equally good run of swell in September?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 8:46am

Err....ha ha...no.

But hey, this next run of swell is a gimme; a lay down misere for every surfer in Indonesia. It's when the swells are unpredictable that you really want the model info, right?

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 4:23pm

@dandandan,
Welcome to the real world! Ain't it sweet?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 11:50am

Any W.A. fellas chasing this Indo Swell
Buy that 8'2 Jim Banks on gumtree at Cottesloe...a steal at $500

carpetman's picture
carpetman's picture
carpetman commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 12:12pm

After a shameful run of swell over there through June. Now I'm back at work and the forecast does this :(

curlcurl28's picture
curlcurl28's picture
curlcurl28 commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 12:49pm

Stu - Any chance there will be much West in the swell when it hits the Northern Playgrounds?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 1:30pm

Which swell Curly?

curlcurl28's picture
curlcurl28's picture
curlcurl28 commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 1:48pm

The swell hitting next Thursday and the one hitting week beginning 23rd July.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 2:00pm

Thursday's will have lots of south in it but also lots of size and be long-period in nature, so it will wrap into selected breaks.

The following swells will be a touch more west of south, but still south-southwest at this stage. Thursday is likely the biggest swell now.

So in short, no, not much west at all.

Horas's picture
Horas's picture
Horas commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 11:15pm

Lots of south you say? Beautiful,one of THE best ever luvs south although wind at this time of year is a worry but will have a crack anyway yeewww cheers

Horas

curlcurl28's picture
curlcurl28's picture
curlcurl28 commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 2:03pm

Cheers Craig.

groovie's picture
groovie's picture
groovie commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 4:11pm

Hey guys been in Indo(Bali) for several days now & it's been pretty woeful swell wise, going up to Medewi region for a few days nxt week (tues on), so keeping an eye on the swell charts & thinking Thurs will be out of control up there but does it back off a bit over the following days???

dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000 commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 8:02pm

I wanna see videos. Preferably between 3 minutes and 7 minutes long. Bitesized. I'm a busy man. No time for 15 minute vids. Of the best surfers surfing the best waves. Maybe some Ulus and Padang. And some heavy WA waves for good measure. With a drone too please

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 8:13pm

Anything else?

simba

deckstrus's picture
deckstrus's picture
deckstrus commented Friday, 13 Jul 2018 at 11:00pm

padang cup on standby for sunday
but bigger swell coming thurs
wonder if they will wait and hold it then?
or utilise best tides of both days?
costs more no doubt if they did that
but ideal scenario running on low tide @ peak of both swells

kookfactor's picture
kookfactor's picture
kookfactor commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 10:09am

Looks like howling onshore's in the SW for the big swell event. probably no where spared from a screamin WNW wind so even sheltered corners will be direct onshore's....blah. Gusts to 40 knots this morning.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 10:14am

Yeah it all changed over the weekend with that second severe low firing up and spoiling the party. Bummer!

Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 4:01pm

Craig, how do these conditions (tuesday/wednesday) translate for the waves in the NW?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 8:05pm

Great.

yogii's picture
yogii's picture
yogii commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 7:46pm

I arrive in Bali on Sunday - the 22nd! But been out of the water for most of the past 10 years and seriously out of shape...

Can anyone recommend where to head where it will be maybe 3-5 foot and not too many people?

I'm staying in Seminyak and will have a car...

Booka78's picture
Booka78's picture
Booka78 commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 12:29pm

Hi Yogil, You could try the right around at Padang Bai where the boat to Lombok leaves from. It's protected & apparently breaks on large swells.

Womble123's picture
Womble123's picture
Womble123 commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 4:34pm

I've been on the ferry back from Lombok coming in there and seen it at 4-6ft and perfect barrels - filthy water though.

nicko74's picture
nicko74's picture
nicko74 commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 9:12pm

Yogil , in the interest of your safety and other more experienced surfers it would be a safe bet to stay out of the water over the next week or so. Most of Bali's west and east coasts will have little to offer the inexperienced .

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 10:35pm

I second that! On swells like this, I wouldn't trust anything that looked 3-5 foot. There's every chance a wave much much larger than 3-5 foot will come through and catch you off guard.

If I was you Yogil, I'd head up the Bukit and try and snag a seat with a good view over Ulus and settle in for 5 hours of watching the big blue telly.

The Fire's picture
The Fire's picture
The Fire commented Monday, 16 Jul 2018 at 10:00pm

Wow.

Peace maaaan..

soggydog's picture
soggydog's picture
soggydog commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 10:31am

Albany bouy is 7.67m @ 18 sec, and NW winds. Dang work!!

Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 12:26pm

The footage will be interesting from the Right on this swell. I wonder whom the swell will be named after !

The Fire's picture
The Fire's picture
The Fire commented Tuesday, 17 Jul 2018 at 8:06pm

Who, do hoax swells, get named after? Just throwing it out there

Peace maaaan..

Latest News

Watch: Not quite the Fifty Year Storm at Bells Beach

Stu Nettle

But still a damn good free surf.

Crinkle cuts and the great Macaroni fin experiment

Stu Nettle

Science friction from the world's most mechanical reef.

Jack Robinson wins Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang

Finals days recap plus video highlights.

Watch: Dane Reynolds // Copacetic

Stu Nettle

Dane in excellent order.

Surfing without legropes like 'driving without brakes'

Bruce Mackenzie

Tough regulations mooted for surfing leggy-free in Byron, legal action explored.

Surfers tow dead whale out to sea to protect Angourie from Great White Sharks

Gemma Sapwell

Surfers have used a boat's anchor to drag a "monster" dead whale 50 metres out to sea to protect Angourie from great white sharks feeding on its carcass.

Watch: The Difference Between Oceans, Seas and Billabongs | Did You Know?

Ben Matson

We all know Australia is “girt by sea” … but if you want to be precise, it’s actually more girt by oceans.

Steph Gilmore win J'Bay, takes ratings lead

"I don't know why I never came here until now!" - Steph Gilmore

Latest Comments

tango in Watch: Dane Reynolds // Copacetic 57 sec ago 2
willywonty in Crinkle cuts and the great Macaroni fin experiment 16 min 1 sec ago 7
Nick Bone in Great weekend, more west swell next week 1 hour 25 min ago 2
ljkarma in The road to Firewire and beyond 2 hours 23 min ago 126
belly in Excellent run for the Surf Coast 3 hours 28 min ago 71
indo-dreaming in Jack Robinson wins Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang 3 hours 34 min ago 8