Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa and surrounds forecast (Thu 27th Feb)

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Craig started the topic in Thursday, 27 Feb 2014 at 6:02pm

Fiji, New Caledonia and surrounds forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Thursday 27th February)

Friday and this weekend (Feb 28 – Mar 3)

Today a strong and powerful S/SW groundswell should of offered solid sets across exposed coasts although fresh to strong SE-S/SE winds would of limited surfing options to more protected breaks.

A secondary pulse of strong S/SW groundswell is due tomorrow, generated by a vigorous polar front pushing from below Tassie towards New Zealand earlier this week, but again spots picking up the most size will be blown out with S/SE winds.

The weekend unfortunately is now looking average with easing levels of swell and SW winds, so make the most of tomorrow!

Next week onwards (Mar 1 onwards)

The possible tropical cyclone forming in the Fiji region over the next couple of days is still a bit wishy washy with the tropical depression now not looking too be as strong as forecast earlier in this week.

This may result in the system not even reaching cyclone strength, with the tropical low in whatever form it takes now expected to move off to the south-southeast over the weekend and into Monday.

This will result in only medium levels of S/SE swell across exposed coasts in Fiji and New Caledonia over the weekend and into next week off a broad and strong fetch of SE winds from a supporting ridge along the south-western flank of the tropical storm.

The north-western coasts of Tonga and Samoa are still expected to cop plenty of NW swell as small embedded lows around the broader tropical system aim bursts of W/NW gales through their swell windows.

But for all this activity, winds will unfortunately be onshore and from the NW to W around Tonga and Samoa, while Fiji will see less than favourable S'ly winds.

Also in the mix next week will be two strong pulses of S/SW groundswell.

The first due on Tuesday will be generated by a not overly strong but favourably positioned polar front pushing from below Tassie into the Southern Tasman Sea today and should peak in the 3-4ft range at exposed spots.

Of greater importance is a much strong polar low that's currently sitting south-west of Western Australia amazingly.

This low, which actually started its life as Tropical Cyclone Guito between Madagascar and South Africa late last week has already generated a fetch of 35-55kt+ W'ly winds which aren't in our swell window due to shadowing effects of Tasmania.

Over the coming days though this system is expected to move along the polar shelf and continue to generate winds in the 35-45kt range in our far swell window (above right). The weather system will then weaken slightly while passing under Tassie, but then re-intensify one more time as pushing up towards New Zealand.

This will generate a very long-range and inconsistent but large S/SW groundswell for Thursday coming in at 6ft+ across exposed breaks with larger 8ft bombs at swell magnets such as Cloudbreak.

Winds look to improve for this swell and swing back to the SE, with E/SE trades Friday as the swell eases.

While we've already had a lot to talk about, there's one more swell worth noting. A long-range and rare N'ly groundswell for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

This will be generated by a vigorous and slow moving storm firing up in the North Pacific Ocean to the north-west of Hawaii (middle right). The sheer strength and size of this storm will generate XXL swell for Hawaii and 6-8ft surf across exposed northern coasts in Fiji, with larger 8ft+ sets in Samoa (albeit very inconsistent).

Winds look favourable as well and from the southern quadrant in Fiji, improving slowly in Samoa opening up plenty of funky options. The mix of swells apporaching Fiji is shown in the diagram bottom right.

Longer term there's nothing too major, but there's plenty to keep an eye on in the short-medium term.

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2014 at 6:03pm

Some interesting reading here with Fiji and Samoa expected to cop a rare large N'ly groundswell from the North Pacific Ocean, then also a S/SW groundswell that was generated by a storm that intitially started as a tropical cyclone near Madagascar late last week.

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mick-free commented Thursday, 27 Feb 2014 at 6:53pm

Winds look bad for Samoa, but perfect for Northern Fiji.

Mick Free FIFOFOMO