Pulses of NE windswell ahead with stronger E/NE groundswell next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Eastern Tasmanian Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed Jan26)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr) 

  • Chunky NE windswell building Thurs, peaking Fri AM before easing into Sat
  • Small S swell pulse Sat/Sun
  • NE windswell Tues, easing through Wed
  • Longer period E/NE swell Wed PM, peaking Thurs with strong S'ly winds developing


The summer flat spell continued on through the week with marginal 1ft surf on offer since Mon. 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 (Jan26-Feb4)

Summer blocking pattern has proven to be an  unfavourable pattern for surf but that changes tomorrow. At the moment a reinforcing high pressure system is sliding into the Tasman Sea below Tasmania. It’s weak at present (1019 hPa) but expected to strengthen over the coming days and it will have the pressure gradient tightened on two fronts. First, from the west as a trough/low tied to the Southern and Indian Oceans moves through WA and SA and then from the East as a tropical low drifts into the slot from behind New Caledonia this weekend. That spells a lot of surf ahead.

First from the western flank of the high as the tightened pressure gradient sees N’ly winds freshening off the Gippsland coast and aimed well at NE Tas.

That should see NE windswell building through tomorrow from around 2-3ft early, up into the 4-5ft range by close of play, with mod/fresh N’ly winds.

Size holds Fri morning in the 4-5ft range before a slow easing during the day, with winds from the N, tending NW through the a’noon as a trough and front approach the state.

Leftovers from the NE in the 2-3ft range Sat morning, easing through the day with winds from the S to SE becoming established.

Another N’ly fetch becomes established during Tues as a rapid moving high slips to the far south of the state. This sees another round of smaller NE windswell during Tues. Expect surf to push up into the 3-4ft range during the day easing from that source Wed.

Longer period E/NE swell fills in later Wed, generated by a tropical depression drifting in from the South Pacific then down the Tasman Sea. There’s still some model divergence on this system but we’ll pencil in some 2-3ft sets later Wed , with bigger 3-5ft surf during Thurs. Winds should turn fresh S’ly Thurs as a trough in advance of a strong new high pressure ridge advances up the East Coast and into the Tasman Sea.

Tropical depression drifting into the Tasman Sea bringing E/NE groundswell

Longer term and small pulses of S swell look likely into the end of next week.

Check back Fri and we’ll update that scenario.