Winter Swells Ignite Across Southern States
Victorian surfers: Let's face it, the last eighteen months have been pretty dismal.
Sure, there have been pockets of good surf here and there, but the winter of 2011 didn't really deliver, last summer was terrible, and to date the winter season of 2012 hasn't been much better.
But there is good news ahead. The much discussed Long Wave Trough (info here) is about to enter a strengthening phase in the Southern Ocean, and we're looking at two to three weeks of heavy swell activity for the southern states.
This sustained period of solid swells is due to kick off early next week, as a series of nodes - amplifications of the Long Wave Trough - intensify and then stall throughout the Great Australia Bight. The strongest intensification is forecast to occur late next week, resulting in a solid round of surf early in the following weekend.
What makes next week's patterns so special is that the Long Wave Trough is expected to cover a much greater longitudinal (west to east) area than previous systems. This means that the westerly gales associated with the Long Wave Trough will work across nearly 5000km of ocean - extending from the sub-Antarctic Heard Island right up to the Great Australian Bight. Such synoptic setups are quite uncommon and help contribute to the longevity of the overall swell event.
The Long Wave Trough is an upper atmospheric 'wave' which influences the weather patterns at the Earth's surface, by steering storms and frontal systems along specific corridors. In previous articles we've pointed out the role the Long Wave Trough plays in delivering large and prolonged swell episodes to Victoria, New South Wales, Fiji and even Tahiti.
While an initial pulse of new swell is expected around Monday, it won't be until next Friday that we'll see larger swells impacting the southern states, originating from the strongest intensification of the Long Wave Trough. From here on we should see wave heights ebbing and pulsing for at least another week depending on how long the Long Wave Trough stalls in the region. //CRAIG BROKENSHA