Tasman low brings wind and swell to East Coast Tasmania

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Eastern Tasmania Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 23 August)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Refracted S swell Tues PM, easing Wed 
  • Strong local S swell Wed/Thurs wirth fresh S'ly winds
  • SE/ESE swell Fri, easing Sat with lighter winds as Tasman low drifts towards New Zealand
  • Small NE windswell likely next Mon


Not much on offer over the weekend with just small levels of 1-2ft NE windswell Sat, easing right back through Sun with freshening NW winds. Small waves have continued today with tiny levels of NE windswell  on offer. 

This week and weekend (Aug 23-29) 

A cold front is clearing the state this evening with a trough following behind expected to spawn a deep Tasman low during tomorrow. The interaction between this low and a high pressure system moving in from the bight is going to dominate Eastern Tasmania’s nearshore waters with strong S’ly winds over the next few days. 

S’ly winds and refracted S swell from a passing low to the south see S swell build into the 3ft range Tuesday, but conditions will be poor due to the winds.

Wed and Thursday see a much more significant increase in S swell as the Tasman low drifts SE and winds from the SW flank of the low extend to be adjacent to the east coast of Tasmania. Again, despite plenty of size, up into the 4-5ft range, conditions will be very average with 20/30 knot southerlies expected. 


Friday looks a much better bet. With the low drifting SE towards New Zealand the south and south-west flank of the low aim a fetch of SE/ESE winds back at the North-east coastline of Tasmania. This should see a strong pulse of 4-6ft ESE swell make landfall Fri, with winds easing as pressure gradients in the lower Tasman ease. With high pressure nosing E of Tasmania there’ll still be a weak ridge along the east coast but light winds offer a chance of a morning offshore breeze and should be light enough to make use of the swell. 

The ridge weakens further into Sat which should have a light land breeze tending to NE seabreezes in the a’noon and surf in the 3-4ft range, easing during the day.

Small waves in the 2ft range Sun should maintain surfable conditions with light winds through the morning before NE winds adjacent to Bass Strait whip up a small NE windswell.

This NE windswell peaks Mon morning before the fetch gets shunted eastwards by an approaching frontal progression. 

Longer term and a small NE windswell is possible Wed next week as pre-frontal N’ly winds freshen across Bass Strait.

Check back Wed for more details.