Submitted by shred_sled on Wed, 06/27/2012 - 12:03
So I keep hearing about how all the factors came together so well for the recent cloudbreak megaswell, and that the probability of it happening again soon is pretty low, but we don't have to look very far back for another megaswell (June last year) or even another two (September 2010, remember Laurie Towner eating sh*t). It seems Cloudbreak goes off pretty regularly, what are the chances of it happening again sometime in the next couple of years?
I don't think these large Cloudbreak swells are as uncommon as most people think, especially during autumn and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
The weather pattern that produces these swells is always the same though and it's a stalling and intensification of the Long Wave Trough immediately west of, or over New Zealand.
This helps steer and strengthen Southern Ocean cold fronts up through the Tasman Sea in a conveyer belt like fashion with each successive front building on the energy created by the one before it, with large and prolonged swell episodes the result for Fiji.
The size of the swell hitting this Friday looks to be another biggy, not as big as the last but a good 10ft+.
I honestly didn't think the synoptic pattern that produced the swell during the comp was anything unusual - i think it could get significantly bigger than that. Fiji is perfectly located to receive the full impact of those frustrating SSW/SW swells we frequently get in NSW over late autumn/winter. The illawarra usually just has microscopic swell while the horizon appears lumpy as the swell marches straight past. Then just to rub it in swellnet will claim the surf was a cranking 4-6' and run a few shots from the hunter and central coast to back it up.
any expat contacts over there that could tell us how often during the season fiji surf breaks like cloudbreak exceed 15ft .
I think you guys are all on the money...
Did 3 trips to Tavarua in the mid '80s & Cloudbreak was consistently sizey, it picks up a heap of swell. Some of the photos they had in the restaurant on the island showed guys riding waves of easily 15'+ & some of the stories from the seppo owners mentioned much bigger days that would go unridden. Getting an epic day out there isn't so much swell reliant as wind. It's very open & some months of the year the wind can just be too strong & if it's high tide without the reef behind you to cut offshore chop well almost impossible to ride.
Now that Cloudbreak is open to everyone I'm sure we'll get to see more of these swell events even though the frequency of them hasn't changed. I'd say several times a winter would see waves the size of the last big one during Volcom Fiji Pro....not sure how many would also coincide with good wind conditions.
Water walls are calling