The (Un)Official Olympic Forecast - Four Days to Go
As we get closer to the opening day of competition for the Tokyo Olympics - Sunday the 25th - we've got a clearer idea of what's in story for the inaugural surfing event. While the Australian team arrive only a few days before the event kicks off, giving them little time to get accustomed to the local surf, other nations are dividing their warm up sessions between Tsurigasaki and the new Japanese wave pool.
As forecast, Typhoon In-Fa is currently doing its thing, tracking across the southern extend of the Okinawa Prefecture but our attention is drawn to a second Typhoon which is forecast to develop south-east of Honshu this weekend.
When it does form, it'll be named Nepartak, originating from the name of a Kosrae warrior (a Micronesian island). The warrior Typhoon, quite apt for the Olympics, is a tricky one with a forecast trajectory taking it from Tsurigasaki's far south-eastern swell window to its most northern, all within two days.
This all looks to take place through the weekend and Monday morning, with Nepartak clearing the swell window by Monday evening.
We've still got some divergence regarding the speed and track of Nepartak, but we'll most likely see a rapid increase in east-southeast tending easterly swell through Sunday afternoon, which is the first day of competition, but with onshore NE winds, likely peaking Monday from the east-northeast as winds shift from NW to SW as Tsurigasaki falls under the south-western flank of the Typhoon.
Bumpy, building surf to the 4-5ft range is likely on Sunday afternoon, likely peaking Monday to a great 6ft with those offshore winds. The swell will then ease rapidly Tuesday as winds persist from the SW.
Sandbanks and other local issues notwithstanding, this should allow for three days of respectable surf conditions, though any stalling of Nepartak will delay the shift to offshore winds Monday along with moving the peak in swell back more towards Monday afternoon/Tuesday.
Once Nepartak moves off to the north-west through the middle of the week, it may drag in further instability, providing small surf out of the east into the end of the waiting period.
With this outlook we may see the event wrapped up in the initial four days of the waiting period. The caveat here is that with a Typhoon in the mix, conditions are prone to rapid change so there's a chance organisers may seek to hold off and run it in (potentially) more settled conditions at the end of the waiting period.
All in all it adds up to some exciting weather watching in the lead up to the event. Keep an eye on the comments below for running updates.