If only the North Island didn't exist...

hambone's picture
hambone started the topic in Thursday, 20 May 2010 at 7:01am

Well I'm in the middle of training my obsessive eye on the forecast charts for the East Coast, and as usual when a rather beautiful lady of a low pressure system looks to be forming within the week, I begin salivating at the possibilities of it hitting my local North Coast beachie at just the right angle and swell period to produce either tapered walls off the breakwall or perhaps perfect chunky-a frames down in front of the club. Hmmmm... yum.

There's just one spanner in the works. That rather annoying yet lovable landmass sitting smack bang in the middle of my lovely stretch of fetch, the prime of the planet's oceans, the grand old South Pacific. And right now I'm seeing a large deep red and purple spinning low sitting projected to form right on top of that annoying North Island.

Sure, we may get some swell. But it will be half a swell, as the full power of that storm ejaculates prematurely and powerlessly on to a rigid landmass. But imagine that damn island just wasn't there..... imagine the full fetch, the strength, the power.

And then imagine all those other spinning lows on the other side... they seem so common around the South Pacific this time of year, beautiful cut off spinners, and trade winds as well, all pointing in this general direction save for that Island... that damn north island. Let's defeat the Kiwis and turn their island into dust to improve the quality of the East Coast swell window - it will be more effective than all the man made reefs in history!

Ahhh, I waste my time on such folly - that is what it is to be a surfer.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Thursday, 20 May 2010 at 7:05am

Here's another curveball. Without New Zealand, last week's series of merging lows wouldn't have slid down its west coast, and then driven up through Sydney's prime SE swell window, generating the epic weekend waves that have graced Swellnet over the last few days.

Some ya win, some ya lose. But.. New Zealand is a good thing for the East Coast's swell potential, if you ask me.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Thursday, 20 May 2010 at 7:08am

Also, there's been the same argument going strong in SA for decades. "If only Kangaroo Island wasn't there, the Mid Coast would be epic, and the metro beaches would have waves every day!" (probably won't make sense unless you've lived/surfed in Adelaide).

The other side of the equation is that there are some bloody good waves on Kangaroo Island. Same again with Perth/Rotto. Grass is always greener n' all that.

donweather's picture
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donweather commented Thursday, 20 May 2010 at 10:54am

Don't agree Ben, for us SE Qlders up here!!! NZ is in a shit of a location and it needs to be moved NOW, godamnit!!!

marcushill's picture
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marcushill commented Thursday, 20 May 2010 at 12:26pm

And if rottnest island wasn't where it is, Perth would get heaps of fantastic swell! And then the southwest wouldnt be clogged with all the metros coming down for a surf...

hambone's picture
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hambone commented Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:38am

Well I can't argue with Mr Matson, he of all people should know what New Zealand does to swell production in the Tasman Sea, but we still miss out on all those swells on the other side - and we didn't see any of that South anyway!

SOP PRESS - Steve Shearer's NorthCoast/Qld forecast just posted, check it out...

"Earlier model runs showed the fetch forming on the leeward side of the North Island, robbing the east coast of a well angled ESE/SE groundswell but models are now showing substantial fetch growth in the Tasman sea, with a much improved outlook for our region as a result."

Perhaps we will get a few solid ones after all from this juicy looking number....

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:44am

I'm with you Hambone.....leave the South Island there but the North Island just blocks so many prime swells.....what about if we tow the whole island chain a few thousand K's south into the roaring forties......now that would send low pressure cells up into the Tasman sea.

donweather's picture
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donweather commented Sunday, 23 May 2010 at 1:41am

Just blow the fecker up I say!!!

eeks's picture
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eeks commented Monday, 24 May 2010 at 11:45am

so its agreed? First we blow up kangaroo island (im form sa of course), then new zealand, then north island.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 24 May 2010 at 11:49pm

I'm with Ben on this one.

I think without New Zealand we wouldn't get theses semi stationary lows bobbing around the Tasman Sea and generating those great swells anywhere from the NE to SE.

The presence of the Island's certainly helps in anchoring weather systems around it and without it I reckon we wouldn't see as much swell from the east as we currently do.

pigdoggin's picture
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pigdoggin commented Tuesday, 25 May 2010 at 1:45am

The only thing that applies to me in this thread is god damn KI. My life as a Mid Coast local would be a whole lot better if it wasnt for that island.

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Tuesday, 25 May 2010 at 2:21am

Haha, yeah and imagine how many times Myponga would be working, plus all the other reefs down the coast!

pigdoggin's picture
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pigdoggin commented Tuesday, 25 May 2010 at 3:37am

aww man, i dont wanna even think about how sweet that left would be at Myponga!

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Tuesday, 25 May 2010 at 3:57am

Yes, blowing up New Zealand MIGHT mean less swell for the east coast of Oz, but I'm willing to take the chance.

Bombs away

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 25 May 2010 at 10:54pm

The number of prime E to SE swells that NZ has blocked so far this year would run almost to double figures.....there's a prime example happening right now.
Give me that red button Stu, I'll push it.
Sorry Sheep-Shaggers.

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Tuesday, 25 May 2010 at 11:16pm

^^But I don't think we would of seen those lows stalling around the Island's without them.

I believe we would fall into a similar swell climate as the East Coast of Tassie with only small amounts of southerly groundswell refracting in every now and then, with maybe the odd low here and there which would quickly disperse to the east..

Maybe the North Island can go but leave the South Island :)

maks-zorin's picture
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maks-zorin commented Wednesday, 26 May 2010 at 12:15am

comrades melbournians. think of revolution . what about to detonate explosives beneath the bay along point nepean - rye stretch ? who needs this piece of dirt anyway {well apart from few greedy capitalists may be ) ? we will get hips of world class points, sick reefs and nice beachies at our back yards, da ?

patty's picture
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patty commented Wednesday, 26 May 2010 at 1:23am

didn't lex luthor propose a similar things as you guys are saying? back in, you know, superman 2

if my childhood memory serves me well lex had bought up a shitload of arizona land and plugged the san andreas fault full of gelignite. he was gonna plunge the detonator therby sanding cali into the sea and turning his desert lots into prime coastal real estate (with perhaps the odd pumping red sand beachie)

it didn't work though, superman saved the world in the nick of time, and he got the girl too.

just something to consider in case you guys are taking this thing seriously

carl-williams-cock's picture
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carl-williams-cock commented Wednesday, 26 May 2010 at 1:27am

Yeah, if your taking this issue seriously you really should consider the possibility of Superman intervening.

ftl's picture
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ftl commented Wednesday, 26 May 2010 at 8:21am

at least they wouldnt be able to to stop us.

hambone's picture
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hambone commented Friday, 28 May 2010 at 7:17am

In breaking news, in the interest of interstate fairness the Victorians have requested the removal of Tasmania which blocks all SE swells and stops the Surfcoast living up to its name. The only problem is all of Tasmania must be evacuated for the sake of the Surfcoast, and we lose Shipsterns Bluff, which means mags are in a stink because they make millions out of Shippies' covers.

eeks's picture
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eeks commented Saturday, 29 May 2010 at 12:12pm

i'll distract al gore, u guys set the bombs. I'll fake some man bear pig sightings and he should be sorted. withal gre out ofthe way theres noone to stop us!

donweather's picture
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donweather commented Monday, 21 Jun 2010 at 10:00am

I wish you guys would hurry up and destroy that sheep shaggin island. Yet again it dissects an epic fetch aimed straight at the east coast of Australia!!!

seal's picture
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seal commented Wednesday, 23 Jun 2010 at 1:09am

Yep I'm all for getting rid of the Nth Island and while we are at it we might as well do the south too. Just think, heaps more swell,no more Bledisloe defeats and our ski fields will finally be better than thiers. We might have to do it on the sly though, so none of them get a chance to get out before it goes or by christ Bondi and the Goldie are gonna be crowded!

donweather's picture
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donweather commented Tuesday, 29 Jun 2010 at 11:45pm

OK, here we go again......sheep shaggin isle yet again destroys a damn fine east coast swell.

Can someone out there please provide an explanation as to why Tasman lows appear to deepen considerably once they hit NZ waters? Is it the sea surface temperatures over there (being 3-4deg cooler than the majority of the Tasman)?

It's shitting me to tears to see some superb fetches ripped in half!!!

c-rven's picture
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c-rven commented Tuesday, 6 Jul 2010 at 11:24am

Not sure on that , but the pressure of the low may intensify where NZ currently stands... with NZ out of the mix there may certainly be less of the NZ crowd in the water...

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Monday, 6 Sep 2010 at 10:33am

^^ Haha Interesting take on it. I can totally see where you're coming from djbtak.

If Tassie wasn't there then NZ, Fiji, New Caledonia would all see a bit more swell.

It's the old grass is always greener, or not so in this case...

thelostclimber's picture
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thelostclimber commented Tuesday, 7 Sep 2010 at 8:24am

down here in tassie, we would be quite happy to move the whole lot a bit further north. Its bloody freezing right now.
Put us somewhere around where Easter Island is. That should leave the rest of Oz relatively unaffected.

Our other option is to get rid of the quite large island to our north. Should free up some warm currents and all those river mouths and points along the north coast will pretty well go off all the time.

Be good for Solomons, Fiji, Papua as well.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Wednesday, 8 Sep 2010 at 1:07am

What if we blew up those ugly, unique sand islands of Moreton, Bribie and North and South Straddie? Brisbane would be pumping!! Take the pressure off Narrowneck and the beachie in front of the Southport SLSC and then Scarborough reef at Clontarf would be the new Chopes`. Imagine `Airport lefts` at Bulimba, `Raby Bay` rights.....

Plus all the Brisso`s would be whinging about the blow-ins from the Gold Coast.

1173

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 9:05am

So, without NZ we wouldn't have seen the E/SE-S/SE swell from ex-TC Esther across the East Coast of Tasmania and NSW early this week..

And the coming south-east tracking tropical cyclone wouldn't become anywhere near as strong as forecast and stall slightly off the North Island as it's expected to early next week..

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 9:22am

not sure about that logic Craig.

Systems seem to stall off the Brazilian coast-line in the Atlantic with no NZ.

bizarrely we got hardly anything off that ex-Esther fetch.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 9:24am

OT - ten years between posts! Gotta be a new record.

But yeah, to recap - NZ is a good friend to the Australian East Coast, time and time again.

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 9:31am

Not just the stalling Steve but NZ does make these systems stronger due to the topographic effects of the island.

Haha, a bit of TBB digging Ben.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 9:58am

hmmmm.....whats the evidence for that premise?

I'd reckon North Island would block far more quality E to SE groundswells than it enhances.

exhibit A being that bottom wind speed chart Craig posted.
Thats a 6-8ft ESE swell being perfectly blocked by the northland.

And thats the second one in a row on the current synoptic progs.

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 12:43pm

The most common is the intensification of winds exiting Cook Strait (gap winds) under east to south-east winds.

The interaction of mountains with environmental airflow often leads to localized high winds such as barrier jets, gap winds, and downslope storms. Gap winds are winds downstream of mountain gaps, stronger than adjacent airflows (Pan and Smith 1999). A distinctive feature of the gap wind is that its speed exceeds the upstream wind speed due to acceleration from higher upstream pressure to lower downstream pressure.

Also for other systems off the southern tip the squeezing of the synoptic setup usually sees stronger than normal winds if NZ wasn't there IMO.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 1:28pm

Cook strait fetches..........ppppfffftttt.
1 or 2 a year and they're usually good for nothing more than novelty 3ft surf because the fetches are usually narrow, short-lived and constrained.

When was the last good one? Exactly, you can't remember because it was so long ago and un-memorable.

same with the south Island SE fetches. 2 or 3 a year at best. That last one barely registered here.

meanwhile, count the number of high quality E through ESE groundswells we miss out on due to blocking from NZ.

just start counting, it adds up quickly.

tiger's picture
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tiger commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 2:56pm

Agree totally. Southern NSW tends to probably benefit more from the aforementioned/assumed situations caused by the NZ landmass. Where as those north of say Newcastle, see pretty ordinary results. Easterly swells are the lifeblood of the regions from the MNC north. Particularly enhanced trade flows. Many over the course of a year are blocked or compromised by the north island NZ. It's frustrating seeing a good potential fetch that would be otherwise pointed directly at your coastline, totally ruined by an obliquely positioned landmass. The more southern regions probably aren't as concerned by it cos they're not narrowly missing out. Although ironically they would receive loads more of that E/NE swell that we all pine for. Anyway all pretty academic and pointless really, it ain't going anywhere, and is hardly the only swell window ruined by reality.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 3:58pm

But... you're assuming that the easterly swells that are being blocked, would have formed in the same region in first place.

NZ is large enough and well positioned to disrupt ocean currents and atmospheric streams and allow broadscale weather systems to stall where they otherwise may have not.

Of course, this is all wild speculation but I reckon we're better off with NZ than without.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 4:56pm

If the North Island didn't exist less whales would be beached in New Zealand.

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 5:24pm

Upper North Island NZ gets a heck of lot less E swell than QLD and NSW. A LOT less.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 8:55pm

sure sure.
a lot of the blocked swells would be storm events for NZ northland.

a fetch, which generates swell is wind over water, not wind over land.

ojackojacko's picture
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ojackojacko commented Friday, 13 Mar 2020 at 10:48am

"If the North Island didn't exist less whales would be beached in New Zealand."

has to be an early candidate for best post of 2020 vj

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Friday, 13 Mar 2020 at 10:54am

Hahaha.

southey's picture
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southey commented Sunday, 15 Mar 2020 at 12:00pm

@Ben & Freeride .

I was going to post exactly what Ben has mentioned . Without NZ the Southern Tasman and to a slighly lesser extent Southern Coral / Northern Tasman would not see as much captured Warm oceanic Gyre . Ontop of this , land surface and continental atmospheric effects on cradling systems .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Sunday, 15 Mar 2020 at 1:02pm

Not so sure about that Southey.

I think the primary cause of the warm oceanic gyre's is the EAC bumping up hard against the maritime continent, nothing to do with NZ. it's a western boundary current.

It doesn't bounce of Aus then back off NZ, well a bit goes to the east Auckland current

not sure NZ is big enough to have significant continental effects on cradling systems.

good to hear from you, where you been?

southey's picture
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southey commented Wednesday, 18 Mar 2020 at 11:56pm

Okay we'll agree to disagree .
My main crux is that the Island often creates an atmospheric eddy on the lee side of the island. Especially the south isle in the westerly flow , but to a much lesser extent the North Isle in the Easterly flow . Both provide two very different sets of blocking systems . but yeah to much babble .
Been busy changing the world ....... for the better . !
I still read here irregularly and for the first time in 30 years haven't had much time to keep my finger on the weather pulse . Atleast when it comes to waves .

You getting any fish this year , or too much runoff still . ?!

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

rrr's picture
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rrr commented Thursday, 19 Mar 2020 at 7:12am

maybe NZ be better off without Australia in the way .

Spuddups's picture
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Spuddups commented Thursday, 19 Mar 2020 at 8:52am

We'd settle for getting rid of Tasmania.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Thursday, 19 Mar 2020 at 8:59am

I'd be up for that one too.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Thursday, 19 Mar 2020 at 10:02am

see, I reckon Southey's theory about atmospheric eddy's in the lee of the main flow applies far more to Tasmania, and hence our surf prospects than NZ.

watch what happens when appropriately positioned cold fronts hit Tas.

Bass Strait fetches give us far more surf than Cook Strait fetches.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Thursday, 19 Mar 2020 at 10:04am

If I could be arsed I'd find that meme of the little button-nosed girl asking, why cant we blow up both?