Easterly Swell Feast
Following a sporadic start to winter, the whole East Coast is on target for a pumping east swell beginning this Friday.
A broad belt of trade-winds have developed above New Zealand thanks to the interaction between an area of low pressure over the Coral Sea and a strong high pressure system to the south.
Such a synoptic setup is more typical of summer or autumn, and this is reflected in the recent spell of warm weather along the eastern seaboard.
More interestingly, this trade-flow will become supercharged through the middle of the week as a tropical depression develops below New Caledonia and drifts south, while intensifying at the same time. The subsequent tightening of the pressure gradient will develop a band of easterly gales aimed at much of the East Coast. Add in a slow westward movement of this fetch towards the mainland, and we can expect a significant sustained groundswell event for Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania.
Size wise, most locations between Fraser Island and Eden should see a strong increase by Friday afternoon, peaking around 5-6ft. Some swell magnets in southern New South Wales may see bigger sets approaching 8ft towards dark at the peak of the swell. Surfing conditions should be great all day Friday from the lower Mid-North Coast to the Far South Coast courtesy of a persistent west-northwest wind. North-easterly sea breezes may limit surfing options on the North Coast and SE Queensland after lunch.
Tasmania's East Coast won't see the bulk of the swell arriving until Saturday morning when inconsistent but strong 4-6ft sets should roll into exposed beaches. The rest of the mainland will see a gradual easing trend all weekend with fresh offshore winds for the most part.
While the peak of the swell will be seen on Friday (in NSW and Qld), it will likely be the weekend warriors who will be the biggest winners during this swell event with two full days of great surf expected from dawn Saturday to sundown Sunday.
We'll provide running updates over the coming days in the comments section below. //CRAIG BROKENSHA