Fiji forecast

reecen's picture
reecen started the topic in Monday, 27 May 2013 at 7:38pm

What is the long range forecast for Fiji?
Looks like a solid swell hitting just before the comp, what are the weather gypsies predicting for the contest waiting period?

stunet's picture
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stunet Monday, 27 May 2013 at 7:52pm
reecen's picture
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reecen Monday, 27 May 2013 at 8:00pm

Cheers,
Looking forward to it.
The prospect of not automatically heading to Restaurants when it gets solid makes the forecast so much more interesting this year.

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stunet Monday, 27 May 2013 at 8:17pm

Our perception of those two waves - Cloudbreak and Restaurants - has really changed in the last few years, hasn't it? It used to be that the swell would get big and the focus would automatically go to Restaurants. Indeed, it's why the pros rarely travelled to Fiji with anything bigger than a 6'8". Yet following the September 2011 swell (at least I think it can be traced to that swell) the idea of Cloudbreak as a legitimate big wave came to light and it's changed the focus in Fiji.

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southey Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 12:16am

Stu ,

Not overly sure which model i looked at just previous to logging on here , buy it may have been GFS . Which was mooting something a little BIGGER than you guys have so far suggested out of this first Pre contest swell peak .
From the small amount of time i spent looking at it , ( there was wide differences in between atleast two seperate Models ) struggling to deal or pinpoint what sort of Influence a NW infeed might have to the exact system that will produce these swells .
One really showed the cold pool trailing it rapidly intensifying / extreme pressure gradient as it passed Tassie . I reckon its watch this Space . TWT.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 9:43am

Southey, for this swell event we're basing our estimated figures on our internal model which has been performing pretty well in Fiji over the last few months (as per the sporadic reports we receive from there).

However, looking at the latest satellite passes from yesterday, we might see a few bigger waves in the 10-12ft range but I reckon a call of "peaking either side of 10ft" is still a reasonable figure.

Craig's picture
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Craig Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 10:34am

I have similar thoughts to Ben, but what other punters may have missed is that if looking purely at combined swell Wave Watch forecasts for the Fiji region you'd see 4.4m @ 15 seconds but this contains a lot of windswell.

The raw data is actually 3.7m of SSW groundswell @ 15 seconds mixed in with 2.4m of SE windswell @ 8 seconds on Thursday.

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lolo Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 12:25pm

Pretty hard to see this Thursday swell amounting to much. Plenty of size but the forecast has the trades blowing at 30 knots. If there's enough east in the wind it might get decent but I wouldn't be counting on it.

Plenty of swell looks to be backing it up though late in the first week of the waiting period though. I cant see them getting in the water until Thurs (6th) at the earliest. Might be surfable for the first day but then looks dreadful for a while.

reecen's picture
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reecen Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 1:46pm

@ Stu, yeah it makes you wonder how many glamour big sessions were missed when the comp moved to restaurants in the past.
Restaurants looks like an unbelieveable wave but I reckon it is a little boring to watch on a webcast.
Cloudbreak is just so much more fun to watch big or small

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thermalben Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 4:49pm

The Fijian National Weather Forecasting Centre have issued a "Damaging Heavy Swell Warning". However they attribute the swell to something unexpected...

e wrote:

A Damaging Heavy Swell Warning remains in force for: Low lying coastal areas of Southern and Western Viti-Levu [from Korovou to Suva to Sigatoka to Nadi], Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Lomaiviti, Southern Lau, Yasawa and Mamanuca group. Local waters of Yasawa and Mamanuca, Southwest Viti Levu and Southern Lau, Koro Sea and Kadavu and Vatu-I-Ra passages.

Situation: An intense high pressure system to the far southwest of Fiji is slowly moving eastwards. It is expected to direct heavy southerly swells over Fiji by Wednesday.

Damaging heavy swells may lead to sea flooding of low lying coastal areas of Southern and Western Viti-Levu [Korovou to Suva to Sigatoka to Nadi], Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Lomaiviti, Southern Lau and Yasawa and Mamanuca group.

Forecast:
TOTAL WAVE HEIGHT OVER OPEN WATERS
Tuesday 28th: 2.0m to 3.0m
Wednesday 29th: 5.0m to 6.0m
Thursday 30th: 5.0m to 6.0m

(source: http://www.met.gov.fj/aifs_prods/20015.txt)

Technically, there a high pressure system as noted, but usually one would attribute the swell to the vigorous fronts and low pressure systems moving through the lower Tasman Sea and over New Zealand.

Still, this is the first "Damaging Heavy Swell Warning" I've seen from the Fiji Met Office, so hats off to them (this is advice #7, which suggests they've had warnings out for a couple of days now).

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southey Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 5:26pm

I really shouldn't post after a long day following a Big W/End . .....

I did note that the lines west of NZ had tightened a little for the swell currently in the Water . As you guys have said , its a closer system with not as much Southern ocean " Pre Energy " to get it into the High teens low twenties Period .

The other reference was to a system that might have them questioning the End of the Waiting Period . ( ie ; next Thursdays image from Access G ). A 930 'ish Southern Ocean Low that if given the right Supporting Tasman feature/influence , Deliver some real Goods ?

thermalben's picture
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thermalben Wednesday, 29 May 2013 at 9:12am

The Fiji Weather Service are expecting 5-6m wave heights for the next three days (as per their latest bulletin, #13).

e wrote:

Forecast: TOTAL WAVE HEIGHT OVER OPEN WATERS
Wednesday 29th: 5.0m to 6.0m
Thursday 30th: 5.0m to 6.0m
Friday 31st: 5.0m to 6.0m

Whilst I think the height of this swell is somewhat overstated (probably 3-4m of long period swell with 2m of short period wind chop), it is somewhat at odds with computer model forecasts. Our internal model has 5-6ft surf at Cloudbreak all day today, building to 10ft+ tomorrow, then easing to 6ft+ Friday (wave heights in 'surfers feet').

Even if our model has undercalled the forecast heights, there is still a definitive trend with Thursday being significantly larger than Wednesday or Friday. As such I think the Fiji Weather Service are probably being overly cautious with a three day outlook of 5-6m wave heights (over open waters).

Will be interesting to see what transpires today and tomorrow.

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thermalben Wednesday, 29 May 2013 at 9:15am

And the wind outlook for the next few days?

e wrote:

Southeast winds 25 to 30 knots, gusting to 40 knots.

I can't see there being a lot of action happening at Cloudbreak over the coming days. Restaurants should be unreal though.

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roubydouby Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 11:41am

Just out of curiosity, how common/rare are swell events like we saw last year at Cloudbreak?

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thermalben Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 11:47am

Good question roubydouby. By my (very rough) estimate we'd get on average a size of that size once every couple of years, but last year's event was much more rare because of the light winds (so, I'd be thinking it was probably a one in 5-10 year event). It'll be worth us doing some hindcast modelling on this in the future so we can have a better idea.

There's fascinating reading on this very topic in this article with Jon Roseman: http://www.swellnet.com.au/news/3633-recalling-big-cloudbreak-with-jon-r...

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goofyfoot Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 8:28pm

Howdy all, for those of you that have been to Fiji, specifically Cloudbreak, how have you found the Swellnet modelled forecast?
I’m assuming it’s pretty good but some feedback would be interesting.

Also - chances of scoring good Cloudbreak over two weeks in June.
Yay or nay?
From what I’ve read it’s a yay but you never know

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Craig Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 8:38pm

The Cloudbreak forecast is generally always undercalled, not just us but all over sites as well.

The wave model doesn't verify those long-range swell from below Tassie and under the Tasman Sea very well.

So a 1m swell @16s swell would be in the 5-6ft range.

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goofyfoot Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 8:56pm

Thanks for the explanation Craig.

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southernraw Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 11:15pm

Can verify that.
Surfed the other Cloudbreak a little further south on a 1.6m swell at 16 plus seconds and it was easily pulling in 8foot plus sets with the occasional 10foot stepladders.
Proper jaw dropping 10foot.
300m straight drop off into the Pacific Ocean from the takeoff spot.
Can't see sets coming.
Just a little bit of movement.
Its hectic.

southernraw's picture
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southernraw Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 11:22pm

BTW Goofy, the Swellnet forecasts were the difference between me scoring and not scoring.
For the 6 months i was there they were the number 1 go to, and no other sites came even slightly close.
Same as here in WA..where the playing field is much much bigger.
Once you work out the slight deviations and work with your own maps, they're spot on.
Cheers SN!

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southernraw Monday, 6 Mar 2023 at 11:38pm

Fiji rarely goes flat.
It's very similar to the Vicco coast in it's swell exposure. Facing straight S/ SW it's open to everything. It's more about the wind.
The winds can be horrific on the wrong stretch of coast.
You'll get one or two decent swells a week.
The trades blow consistently through June.
And Cloudbreak is at a primo location for those trades.
I'd imagine it won't be a matter of not enough swell but too much at that time of year...especially now we're coming back into a more traditional Southern Ocean storm season post La....cough cough...can't even say it's fucken name.
But lots of reefs there to handle too much swell.

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Island Bay Tuesday, 7 Mar 2023 at 8:09am
southernraw wrote:

Can verify that.
Surfed the other Cloudbreak a little further south on a 1.6m swell at 16 plus seconds and it was easily pulling in 8foot plus sets with the occasional 10foot stepladders.
Proper jaw dropping 10foot.
300m straight drop off into the Pacific Ocean from the takeoff spot.
Can't see sets coming.
Just a little bit of movement.
Its hectic.

One of the freakier spots I've surfed. Paddle 30 metres out from the lineup and the ocean goes black. So so deep.

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Wednesday, 14 Jun 2023 at 2:14pm
Craig wrote:

The Cloudbreak forecast is generally always undercalled, not just us but all over sites as well.

The wave model doesn't verify those long-range swell from below Tassie and under the Tasman Sea very well.

So a 1m swell @16s swell would be in the 5-6ft range.

This comment has proven to be spot on Craig.
2 to 3 foot on the models yesterday and it was 8 foot and today was 6 foot out there and 3 foot on the models forecast.
I think it was a 19 second period yesterday

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Bnkref Wednesday, 14 Jun 2023 at 5:03pm

A mate had a similar experience. Forecast looked lacklustre when we went across but CB was very solid (one day with 8-10ft clean ups) and he scored some of the other spots too.

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freeride76 Wednesday, 14 Jun 2023 at 6:22pm

Cloudbreak seems extra-ordinary at transforming period into size.

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goofyfoot Wednesday, 14 Jun 2023 at 6:44pm

It’s a pretty full on wave isn’t it.
Not every wave is perfect by any means.
Some you are just locked in to a speeding tube of death with no exit and some are like waves you dream of.

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Craig Wednesday, 14 Jun 2023 at 6:50pm

Nice GF, yeah it's 2x generally GF, if not 3x on those super-long period numbers. It's more so the models not picking up the correct size through the Tasman and then Coral Seas. Though it is also the magnet to kill all magnets.

Get some crackers?

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Nick Bone Wednesday, 14 Jun 2023 at 6:54pm

Same at Puerto years ago 2011/12z Had to use Buoyweather and generally had same size forecast but the period was the thing to look for. All the difference

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goofyfoot Wednesday, 14 Jun 2023 at 6:56pm

Got a few waves but nothing amazing tbh.
I was actually pretty nervous out there. Havent surfed fast hollow solid waves for a long time and with Oz and Hawaiian pros out there plus a smattering of guys keen to get their fill I was a bit on edge.
Maybe tomorrow.

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AlfredWallace Wednesday, 14 Jun 2023 at 7:16pm
goofyfoot wrote:

Got a few waves but nothing amazing tbh.
I was actually pretty nervous out there. Havent surfed fast hollow solid waves for a long time and with Oz and Hawaiian pros out there plus a smattering of guys keen to get their fill I was a bit on edge.
Maybe tomorrow.

Goofyfoot. Hi mate. Glad to hear you are out there having a crack. Honesty at its best. Many surfers wouldn’t paddle out at all, I hope you have an enjoyable time whilst away. Do let us know ‘big time’ if you score some gems.
A mate of mine flew from Torquay to Cloudbreak, first wave gets ragdolled,, dislocated his shoulder and was back on a plane to Melbourne that night, one holiday destroyed just after kick off. AW.

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Island Bay Wednesday, 14 Jun 2023 at 7:57pm

Best of luck, GF!

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Supafreak Thursday, 15 Jun 2023 at 12:39am

Hope ya get the wave of your life GF , how’s the DS going ?

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crg Thursday, 15 Jun 2023 at 7:46am

Have a blast Goofy! Definitely a wave to ease into…hope you manage to jag one to remember. Still the only place I’ve ever paddled out and paddled back in without catching a wave…got caught way undergunned on a rapidly increasing long period swell.
Trust your instincts mate.

Craig's picture
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Craig Thursday, 15 Jun 2023 at 7:58am

Yeah totally understand GF and I'd probably be in the same situation. Hope you score some crackers today!

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Sprout Thursday, 15 Jun 2023 at 8:39am

Just watched Koas clip, don't blame anyone not paddling out in that, "so brutal yet amazing" - "it's like getting caught inside at Pipe but even more powerful and longer and more violent" yep big CB cleanups are horrendous.

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fitzroy-21 Thursday, 15 Jun 2023 at 8:38am

Nice to hear you are over there and into swell GF. Such a great place. One good one at CB will imprint in your mind for life. Don't overlook Restaurants either, love Fiji.

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freeride76 Thursday, 15 Jun 2023 at 8:46am

So hectic getting caught inside out there and washed down into shish kebabs.

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Mcface Thursday, 15 Jun 2023 at 9:13am

For those who have surfed both: how does CB compare to G-land or other tropical left's (pound for pound). Sounds super intense.

Funnily enough I did surf it, although it was a modest 2-3ft for the short surf window I had while I was there for a mates wedding. Pretty benign at that size as you'd expect although feels like you're out in open ocean given the distinct lack of dry land.

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overthefalls Thursday, 15 Jun 2023 at 10:37am

When Cloudbreak gets to double overhead, it's a scary, exciting and truly humbling experience. You realise that surfers who take it on at much bigger sizes are in an elite league of their own.

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simba Thursday, 15 Jun 2023 at 11:35am

remember how good it was to have a real contest at a real venue......and King Kelly was the man....

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Craig Thursday, 15 Jun 2023 at 11:40am

Wow, what a video! And that second wave! WTF.

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crg Thursday, 15 Jun 2023 at 3:27pm
Mcface wrote:

For those who have surfed both: how does CB compare to G-land or other tropical left's (pound for pound). Sounds super intense. Funnily enough I did surf it, although it was a modest 2-3ft for the short surf window I had while I was there for a mates wedding. Pretty benign at that size as you'd expect although feels like you're out in open ocean given the distinct lack of dry land.

I’ve been worked worse at G-Land but I think that’s only because I’ve surfed there consistently over a 25 year period and only done Fiji three times.
Having said that I’ve been way more scared at CB on those few occasions. The predominant swells I surfed there were in that 6-8-10ft in between range where the distance between where the waves break on the different ledges is huge.
I found Gland more uniform on the reef even at size and not coming from as deep as water and not needing as much board as CB.
As I mentioned above I had a session on a 6’10 at CB where it jumped from 6-8ft to 10-12 in an hour. I’d snapped my bigger boards earlier in the trip. I was trying to sneak in to a smaller one on the inside ledge just to get a wave for the session. After half an hour of Russian roulette and one trip through shish kebabs I was too rattled to go on.
Paddled back to the boat with my tail firmly between my legs.
Nothing like that has happened at Gland.

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Supafreak Tuesday, 20 Jun 2023 at 8:42pm

@goofyfoot , are you still on holidays ? would love to read of your overall experience in fiji if you care to share .

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goofyfoot Wednesday, 21 Jun 2023 at 5:31am

Hey supa, no worries, home tomorrow so I’ll get back to you then if that’s cool.

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Mcface Wednesday, 21 Jun 2023 at 7:43am

Cheers crg, great description.