Cold fronts ahead bring S swells and cooler conditions

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Eastern Tasmanian Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed March 16th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Chunky E/NE swell Wed, peaking Thurs with NE winds
  • Surf cleaning up Fri, with W winds, tending S and a new S swell
  • Fun levels of S swell Sat/Sun as a low hovers east of Tasmania
  • Small NE windswell spike Tues PM


Surf yesterday was in the 2-3ft range from the E, with a building trend today seeing 3-4ft waves from the E/NE with freshening NE winds.

This week and next week (Mar 16 - 25)

A Large (1037 hPa) high which sits in the Southern Tasman with a broad area of low pressure pushing down on it, is slow moving at the moment.The trough of low pressure is broad and weak and compared to model expectations the resulting surf is coming in at the lower end of f/cast expectations. Current ASCAT (satellite windspeed) passes show a “tradewind” style fetch of 20-30knot winds off the NSW Central Coast as well as a similar strength fetch of SE winds off the New Zealand South Island. In addition a NE fetch is located off the NSW South Coast, generating E/NE to NE swell.

E/NE swell peaks through tomorrow morning with size in the 3-4ft range, easing through the day and a continuing NE flow. This wind should lay down a few notches and tend N’ly to NW’ly in the a’noon as a front and low approach from the west.

The front sweep up the East Coast on Friday bringing fresh S’ly winds and a fast rising S swell building from 1-2ft up into the 4-5ft range by close of play. Expect stormy conditions with the fresh S’lies. 

A parent low then takes up residence in the Tasman over the weekend, slowly moving NE, with a healthy fetch of S to SSW winds around the Western flank.

North East Tas should see fun levels of S swell over the weekend, holding around 3ft on Sat with a slight boost in size Sun as a new pulse hits. 

Winds will be OK, SW to SSW on Sat and the same on Sun. Winds will be a lot colder than they have been so bring the rubber.

Size holds into Mon morning before easing and winds should quickly clock around from SW through to light E to E/NE breezes as the low moves away and a high moves east of the Island. 

Into next week and the high is expected to generate a short-lived NE fetch on Tues, generating a quick spike in NE windswell later Tues.

This gets flattened quickly by W’ly winds on Wed as a new front pushes through  Bass Strait.

Surf then drops right back to marginal levels for the rest of next week and into the weekend with a small S swell possible as a front pushes past the Island on the weekend.

We’ll check that possibility out further on Fri.

Check back then for a fresh update.