More nice waves on the way

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Eastern Tasmania Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 10th May)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Easing E'ly and short range S'ly swells on Tuesday with likely bumpy conditions, improving later
  • Building E/NE swells Wed with light winds, reaching a peak on Thurs as a front creates offshore winds by the a'noon
  • Clean, easing swells Fri
  • Very small conditions from the weekend onwards


Excellent, powerful surf over the weekend with offshore winds. Clean, easing swells this morning with offshore winds ahead of a S’ly change that reached Friendly Beaches at 3:30pm and St Helens around 5:30pm. 

This week (May 4 - 7)

*Today’s Forecaster Notes will be brief as Craig is away*

Our recent E/NE swell is now easing in size, and there wasn’t much fetch length trailing today’s S’ly change. So apart from a brief short range south swell on Tuesday morning (3ft south facing beaches) we’re going to focus our attention back to the north-east.

Today’s southerly change is expected to stall off the Southern NSW coast as a trough, and then reorientate nicely within our swell window. 

As such, Wednesday should see a mix of small background E/NE swell and some local short range E/NE swell from an E’ly fetch on the southern flank of the developing trough. Winds will probably hold out of the east but with it shouldn't be too strong.

As the trough strengthens through Wednesday, it’ll generate a building E/NE thru’ NE swells for Thursday that are forecast to peak that afternoon - at the same time an unrelated front crosses the coast - swinging freshening N/NW winds to the W/NW, and delivering excellent clean waves in the 3-4ft range for the late session. 

Friday's size is a little tricky to pin down. On Thursday, the NE fetch in the Tasman Sea is expected to reach a maximum strength (see below) though it'll be tracking south at the same time, so it's hard to be confident that it'll contribute the most size from this event. Ordinarily it'd suggest an arrival later Friday - maybe holding into Saturday - but I have a feeling Friday morning may see an initial plateau from Thursday's increasing surf, before size trends down throughout the day.

In any case, fresh W’ly winds in the wake of the front will create clean conditions so there should be wothwhile options. 

This weekend (May 8 - 9)

We’ve got a windy weekend of gusty westerly winds as a succession of vigorous fronts cross the state. They’ll maintain clean though blustery conditions, along with rapidly easing NE swells to about 2ft early on Saturday, smaller Sunday.

The Southern Ocean storm track will be riding quite high so I’m not expecting much size from this south this weekend. 

The only feature to take a note of is a rapidly deepening low SW of New Zealand on Friday, that won’t be well aligned within the swell window - but may generate some small sideband S/SE groundswell for Sunday (or more likely Monday). 

Next week (May 10 onwards)

A better positioned Southern Ocean low along the ice shelf on Friday - south of WA - should generate some long period S’ly swells for Monday that could reach 3-4ft at some south facing beaches by the afternoon. however, this direction isn't great for most beaches so expect smaller surf elsewhere. Additionally, those locations picking up the most size may be wind affected under persistent SW breezes. 

The long term outlook maintains an extended period of offshore winds from the west, and small, flukey long period south swells for exposed northern ends. 

More in this in Wednesday’s update. 


Patrick's picture
Patrick's picture
Patrick Friday, 14 May 2021 at 8:08pm

Updates Ben?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 14 May 2021 at 8:25pm

Yep, about half hour away.