Margaret River Pro: Updated forecast
We're just one day out from the new and improved Margaret River Pro (now shark free!), and we've got a better handle on what competitors can expect.
The first day of the waiting period is tomorrow, Wednesday 29th, and organisers will rise to a new long-period S/SW groundswell which will provide good-sized sets at Main Break. The swell is courtesy of an intense polar low that produced a strong fetch of storm-force W/SW winds in WA's southern swell window last Friday (a little earlier than was forecast).
This swell should hit this afternoon (Tuesday), peak overnight and ease tomorrow from 4-6ft early in the morning on the first day of the waiting period. And the wind? Conditions are looking good for most of the day with an offshore E/NE breeze. We can't see any reason the comp won't kick off tomorrow.
Thursday still looks like a lay day with poor conditions under a strong N/NE breeze and small surf, only increasing later in the day.
A forecast W/SW groundswell for later Thursday and Friday morning has been downgraded a touch and only looks to come in at 5-6ft. Also, the wind won't be great through the morning with onshore S/SW breezes, though they'll edge more S/SE through the day. If the event organisers are desperate they could run at Main Break through the day.
The good news is our large swell for Saturday is still on track, and it's coming in hot from a very westerly direction. The source of this swell is a mid-latitude front spawning off the low linked to Friday's swell, riding north in latitude while projecting a fetch of W/SW gales through WA's western swell window (see image below).
The swell will arrive overnight Friday and should peak Saturday morning at 8-10ft across Main Break, easing through the afternoon and down further on Sunday from 6ft+.
Conditions on Saturday will be excellent with an offshore E/SE breeze, swinging E/NE and then lighter from the north into the afternoon. The swell and wind direction will have KP casting a keen eye across the bay to The Box. He might even taste test it himself...
Sunday morning will again see favourable N/NE winds but the swell will be on the ease and likely a tad too small for The Box.
Since the long range forecast was issued last Friday more activity has registered on the charts. A large long-period W/SW groundswell is now on the cards for Monday/Tuesday next week as a vigorous mid-latitude low develops between SW WA and Heard Island, projecting a fetch of storm-force W/SW winds directly at the Western Australian coast (see image below).
Current projections have the swell building rapidly Monday from 6ft+ to 12ft+ into the afternoon, easing from a similar size Tuesday morning.
There's divergence on local wind scenarios, but a southerly flow is possible which would open up North Point as an option.
We'll keep a close eye on these developments, but with a conveyor belt of swells through the first half of the waiting period, and promising trends through the back half, the organisers will have plenty to cherry-pick.
We'll continue to keep an eye on this forecast in future updates.