June In Review
No matter how mentally well prepared East Coasters were to the shift in swell regimes, it's still hard to grapple with when seeing non-stop Southern Ocean swells, hardly making a dent while diffracting up through the Tasman Sea.
Three years of gorging to near flat conditions, all while Victoria and South Australia make up for lost time.
June was very slow across the East Coast with weeks of small to tiny surf but gorgeous ocean conditions, perfectly suited to whale watching and snorkelling.
Across the south of Australia, persistent Southern Ocean fronts pushed up and across the south-east of the country, focussed mainly into Victoria.
This resulted in endless quality days of swell for the Surf Coast, with the long-weekend being a standout with the arrival of a large, SW groundswell under perfect offshore winds.
Across South Australia the Victor Harbor and other protected regions faired best, with the fronts pushing in from the Bight bringing lots of north-west wind.
Looking at the Mean Sea Level Pressure anomaly charts (difference in pressure from the long-term climate mean) for the month of June, one can see where all the activity was focussed. A significant low pressure anomaly spreading out from the Bight down to Tasmania indicates the presence of strong, swell generating frontal systems, while what also stands out is the benign activity in the Tasman Sea and strong high pressure anomalies south-west of Western Australia and south-east of New Zealand.
Those who visited Indonesia during June would be able to relate to the lack of significant swells thanks to the high setup to the south-west of Western Australia, while swells had more of a southerly bias for the Margaret River region with only a handful of semi-decent days between cold fronts.
We're nearly halfway through July and the only thing that has shifted is the focus of the frontal systems more towards Western Australia, bringing westerly energy to the south-eastern states, while activity projecting up past New Zealand has brought sporadic pulses of small to moderate sized southerly swell for the East Coast.
There looks to be no real change to the outlook across the East Coast and with the El Niño signal throughout the Pacific set to strengthen through spring, we can expect things to deteriorate further as gusty north-east winds dominate the landscape.