Juicy pulses of NE windswell and E/NE groundswell ahead from Thurs into next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Eastern Tasmanian Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon Jan24)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr) 

  • Chunky NE windswell building Thurs, peaking Fri AM before easing into Sat
  • Small S swell pulse Sat/Sun
  • E/NE groundswell likely Tues with a stronger pulse Wed
  • Possible S swell Wed next week


The summer flat spell continued on through the weekend with marginal 1ft surf on offer. No change to that regime today with more ankle snappers on the beach. Thursday is when the surf picks up again, details below.

This week and next week (Jan24-Feb4)

Our Summer blocking looks similar to how we left it on Friday. Weak high pressure now sits East of Tasmania, smearing out across the lower Tasman towards New Zealand. With weak pressure gradients now established through the Lower Tasman, adjacent to Tasmania we are looking at a period of tiny/flat surf through the next few days.

New high pressure slips into the Tasman Thursday and immediately has the pressure gradient on the western flank tightened by an interior trough system. That sees a fast developing N to NE fetch off the Far South Coast and Gippsland build NE windswell off the NE Coast of Tasmania during Thurs. Expect size to build from 3ft up into the 4-5ft range during the day with fresh N to NE winds accompanying the swell.

Size holds into Fri in the 4-6ft range, before slowly easing through the day.

Compared to most NE fetches this one is more long-lived so size should hold in the 3ft range, with a trough bringing a S’ly change and a small kick in new S swell through the a’noon.

Into next week a tropical low, potentially another cyclone, forms between Vanuatu and New Caledonia later this week into the weekend, emerging from behind Grand Terre and dropping into the South Pacific slot Sunday, with a supporting fetch of E’ly winds having developed between New Cal and the North Island on the weekend. 

Models are still divergent over the strength of the tropical low, with EC favouring a much more modest system, while GFS has a severe gale force or even storm force low/cyclone.

Nonetheless there’s a lot to like either way, with an excellent cradling high east of New Zealand and an expected SW then S movement back towards the East Coast early next week and down through the Tasman Sea.

So, while we’ll need a bit more model guidance to get a good handle on wave heights, we can expect Tues seeing the first pulse of very good quality E/NE swell for NE Tas with size in the 2ft range, followed by a stronger pulse Wed with size in the 4ft range.

A confounding factor will be a possible strong front passing through , with new S swell also on the agenda and stiff SW to S winds.

We’ll need more model guidance to make any calls on that so we’ll flag it for now and check back in on Wed.