Long Wave Trough to deliver swell for Tasmania and East Coast

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Analysis

Three weeks ago the East Coast received one of the largest south swells of the year, but, as has been typical for 2018, it was a solitary event. A few days after the swell hit the waves were again tiny, and aside from the occasional mid-range spike the East Coast has remained that way.

Heading into spring, a season notorious for periods of low energy, things weren’t looking good for Australia’s right coast surfers. Consecutive blocking highs were parking themselves in the Tasman Sea pushing low pressure systems south, and with an absence of trade swell to the north the result was surfing doldrums.

Fortunately however, East Surfers will find some reprieve next week when a fresh southerly swell pattern establishes itself.

As is often the case, the southerly pattern is a product of the Long Wave Trough (LWT) moving into place. Last weekend a node of the LWT directed storms towards southern WA, with a large swell making landfall across the SW, and this week, as the LWT has shifted east, South Oz and Victoria have received great waves.

Right now a node of the LWT is positioned near Tasmania with the first of a series of SW swells due to hit the island state tomorrow. The very first swell will have favourable winds for many of the south-facing waves, and you can read about that swell in this article. Larger swells will the Tasmania on Sunday and Tuesday though winds may be problematic.

Forecast position of the Long Wave Trough next Monday

This weekend the LWT will move yet further east, forming a low pressure corridor up into the Tasman Sea and surfers in the region will immediately see benefits.

On Monday a mid-range south swell will glance the East Coast, stronger in the south, though it’ll be accompanied by fresh southerly winds, rendering it less than ideal. However, a stronger swell will track up the coast mid-week, the product of a parent system that developed far to the SW of Tasmania and followed the Long Wave Trough into the Tasman Sea.

Like Monday’s swell it’ll only deliver a glancing blow, however the size and long-period nature (up over 15 seconds) will see south swell spots along the eastern seaboard come to life on Thursday. And though it’s still a week away, the long range forecast is predicting wind from the northern quadrant all day, further aiding those south-facing spots. See Swellnet's modelled Surf Forecast for size specifics, or even better read the Forecast Notes.

A day or so after each south swell brushes the East Coast, they'll also strike the west coast of New Zealand, plus the south facing Pacific coasts such as New Caledonia, Tonga, and Fiji. Again, you can read the specifics of that swell here.



Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Friday, 21 Sep 2018 at 9:48am

The lwt...
This is going to be interesting !

Shauny's picture
Shauny's picture
Shauny commented Friday, 21 Sep 2018 at 8:41pm

I'm a mexican from the south on me way up to the eastcoast for a surf trip next week. Havent surfed the east much at all and was going to go missioning anway but if anybody could give me a hint on where might be worth checking out with this incoming swell that'd be cool???? Cheers

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Friday, 21 Sep 2018 at 9:10pm

It will likely overpower staple east coast beachies, you'll need a suitable wind friendly reef or corner. Entirely different beast to Vic. Good luck.

Shauny's picture
Shauny's picture
Shauny commented Friday, 21 Sep 2018 at 9:32pm

Cheers belly

brainiac's picture
brainiac's picture
brainiac commented Saturday, 22 Sep 2018 at 8:21am

I’m up that way next week to Shauny Reading the forecast notes for the Illawarra and south coast makes note of how the swell will vary considerably from spot to spot. Good luck . Stick to south facing spots . That whole strip of south coast is a great to explore in swell like this.Don’t be a dick in the water show some respect to the locals and you might find a few more hot tips On what to hit. There are some fickle spots that will possibly come alive at the peak of the swell.

Shauny's picture
Shauny's picture
Shauny commented Saturday, 22 Sep 2018 at 8:31pm

No sweat brainiac.... cheers

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Sunday, 23 Sep 2018 at 6:35am

Southcoast NSW, otherwise known as Mexico?

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