Tahiti Pro Teahupoo Early Forecast
For the punters who bay for blood, Teahupo 2019 may be a case of so close yet so far.
For the first time since 2014 a significant swell will fall inside the waiting period, however it'll be inside the waiting period for the Trials, not the main event.
There's a little confusion as to when the Trials will be held: Tahiti tourism says 15-17th, while Chris Cote is saying 16-18th in the latest Surf Breaks vlog. Either way, there's a large swell due on the 17th, right in the middle of this period.
Running just ahead of this swell is a mid-period southwest swell will fill in on Thursday the 15th, building to 4-6ft through the afternoon and then easing from a similar size on Friday morning.
Saturday the 17th is when the aforementioned swell will hit, likely pushing sets into the tow-only range, making it too big for the Trials which are paddle only but great viewing for those in the channel. This swell is being generated by a deep and powerful low that's formed off New Zealand's East Coast.
A fetch of gale to severe-gale SW winds will be projected towards the island, with core wind speeds reaching storm-force around the lows centre. The storm is forecast to project towards and then south of Tahiti with strength, producing a large, long-period and consistent SW groundswell for Saturday the 17th. This will be under a strong and pronounced node of the Long Wave Trough, the same one responsible for all the snow and cold weather across south-eastern Australia over the weekend.
With the long-period and west nature of the swell, it will be too big and heavy to paddle, coming in around the 12ft range, if not for the odd bigger cleanup. Conditions will be great as well with moderate to fresh E/NE-E trades.
If the trials window extends into Sunday the 18th, this will be the day to run them with clean, pumping and easing surf from the 8ft range as the swell tends a little more south-southwest in direction and drops in period.
Looking towards the main event (kicking off Wednesday the 21st), and the node of the LWT responsible for the trials swell will weaken and mobilise slowly east, with an upper ridge moving in behind it as another strong node develops across south-eastern Australia.
This isn't ideal at all with, with a couple of flukey swells sources on the cards for the first few days of the waiting period (3ft range) from weak fronts south-east of New Zealand, followed by mid-latitide cut-off lows under the influence of the ridge.
A slightly better S/SW groundswell may be seen to build on day three/four of the waiting period, but one of the aforementioned mid-latitude lows is forecast to develop to the south of the islands, bringing onshore winds out of the south along with a building, close-range mid-period S/SW swell. This doesn't leave too many options to run the competition through the first half of the waiting period.
The longer term outlook is a touch more positive though not great, with the strong node of the Long Wave Trough forming across south-eastern Australia early next week forecast to push slowly east and over New Zealand later next week. As it continues east into a position ideal for Tahiti it's forecast to weaken and become more zonal, which isn't great for swell production, but we'll keep a close eye on this over the coming week.