Wintry week with embedded S swell pulses

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Eastern Tasmania Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon Sep20)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • S swell building late Mon, holding Tues before easing PM
  • Small, long period S swell Thurs, easing back but still rideable Fri and Sat AM
  • Stronger S swell Sat PM, holds into Sun
  • More S swell Mon next week
  • NE windswell on the radar mid next week


Small levels of NE windswell have maintained some rideable surf across NETas over the weekend, biggest on Saturday, with a generally N’ly flow, tending more NW and freshening through Sun. Surf has eased right back through today as a major front prepares to raise wave heights through Tuesday

This  week and weekend (Sep20-Sep 26)

A wintry pattern is on offer this week, with a stack of intense frontal activity impacting Tasmania and a deep, complex semi-stalled Polar low providing refracted S swell pulses through the week. 

The current strong front is now in the process of tracking NE adjacent to the East coast of Tasmania and then up the NSW coast. This front brings SW gales and an increase in local S swell through Tuesday, up into the 3ft range during the morning before easing back in the a’noon. Fresh SW winds are expected to moderate and then tend W/NW in the a’noon so there should be some clean options on offer. Swell from this source eases right back to 2ft through Wed with mod/fresh NW winds on offer. 

Longer period swell trains from the S then arrive through Thursday, generated by intense, storm force, frontal activity moving through the Southern Ocean.  Most of these fetches are very zonal and poorly oriented for the East Coast but the sheer width of the fetch and long period nature of the swells means refraction into the East Coast will see surfable waves. 

Expect size to build into the 3ft range through Thurs a’noon with mod/fresh NW to W winds expected as Tasmania is right in the middle of the synoptic flow.

Small long period S swell trains keep surf in the rideable 2ft range through Fri and into Sat before a stronger pulse generated by a more favourable wind alignment as the parent low finally tracks under the Tasman makes landfall during Sat a’noon.

This pulse is likely to see wave heights build into the 4ft range at S exposed breaks, with continuing synoptic W’ly winds. 

Stronger S swell from this source continues through Sun with plenty of 4ft surf on offer under prevailing W’ly winds.

Into next week and S swells continue as wintry fronts and deep lows pass under the state. More S swell is expected Mon 27, easing into Tues and Wed.

NE windswell is then on the radar as a high in the Tasman extends a fetch of N’ly winds down the South Coast of NSW into Bass Strait.

Check back Wed for a fresh look at this and the short term as well.