Possible El Niño

haggis's picture
haggis started the topic in Thursday, 2 Mar 2017 at 6:26am

Hi Craig.

With the possible return of El Niño this year. How will this affect the surf here in tassie. We have had a dire season on the north east coast this summer and not much chop down south either. Mostly one to two foot and nothing much bigger to create the banks we need to hold any shape. Correct me if I'm wrong as I don't hold any meterological qualifications, but in previous years with El Niño we have had larger and better angled ground swells, throughout the year, as the storms seemed to occur further south , closer to Antartica, which seems to be better for our swell window.

On a different note. A few years ago an article in the paper talked of how Tassie was getting far more wind of a higher latitude westerly wind such as what they get in the furious fifties rather than the roaring forties. This wind seems to favour Vicco but not us down in Hobart as the surf blows straight past us but hits in at the surf coast.

Anyway what I have written here is loose conjecture based on a few newspaper articles and anecdotal evidence. Not at all science based. Was hoping you could enlighten me ?

Thanks sandy

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/sydney-weather-summer-confirme...

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 2 Mar 2017 at 1:18pm

Hi Sandy,

So this is a tricky one.

The recent poor summer across Tasmania looks to be linked to the same reason that the East Coast saw poor waves: https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-analysis/2017/02/09/explaining-ea...

That being a negative SAM Index, with the polar westerlies further north than usual.

Now this is a double whammy for the Tassie mainland, as the storm track as you said is further north, so swells are more west and get in with less size, while off the East Coast, with no swell producing systems for QLD and N'th NSW, this flows on down to the Tassie East Coast.

I have just seen the El Nino forecast update, and you're right. La Nina usually sees a more active eastern swell window for the East Coast, and El Nino sees more activity in the Southern Ocean, as per this article: https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-analysis/2015/08/05/el-nino-and-a...

But, whether the storm track is further south or not, I'm unsure of, so lets hope its further south for you guys!

haggis's picture
haggis's picture
haggis commented Thursday, 2 Mar 2017 at 3:05pm

Cheers Craig. Thanks for the reply. I'll check out those articles.

haggis's picture
haggis's picture
haggis commented Thursday, 2 Mar 2017 at 3:05pm

Cheers Craig. Thanks for the reply. I'll check out those articles.

Distracted's picture
Distracted's picture
Distracted commented Thursday, 2 Mar 2017 at 3:06pm

Wonder if the recent flooding in Peru is already an indication of a return El Niño conditions.
http://floodlist.com/america/peru-floods-piura-region-february-2017

Distracted's picture
Distracted's picture
Distracted commented Thursday, 2 Mar 2017 at 3:22pm

Craig,
For a La Niña season this would have to be the worst ever for coral sea cyclones. Last few years there have been a few late march/April ones which might still sneak in but doesn't look like too much out there at the moment.
Last decade the cyclone numbers off Qld seem to be trending down (?) which you would think be contradictory to rising sea/air temperatures or are there other processes involved?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 2 Mar 2017 at 3:41pm

Distracted, we've been in a weak neautral stage since late spring, so I wouldn't put this summer down as a La Nina.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 2 Mar 2017 at 3:41pm