Action aplenty as cold front and Tasman low generate surf this week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Eastern Tasmanian Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon March 28th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Small surf Tues
  • Steep increase in S swell Wed with fresh S to SSE winds
  • Size holding from the S Thurs into Fri with SSE winds
  • Solid E'ly swell Sat, easing into Sun with light S'ly winds
  • More S swell next week, albeit at lower levels


Only small waves on the weekend with a workable level of S swell in the 2ft range Sat, extending into Sun. NE winds on Sun have seen NE windswell develop into the 1-2ft range and that size has extended into today with N’ly winds tending variable before a S to SE change. 

This weekend and next week (Mar 28- Apr 8)

A coastal trough lies along most of the NSW  Coast, with a pronounced deepening off the North Coast. A parallel Monsoon Trough extends down the Coral Sea and out to New Caledonia. High pressure over New Zealand is feeding very moist E’ly winds into these trough systems. The northern end of the coastal trough system is expected to deepen into a surface low through tonight into tomorrow, off the SEQLD coast, moving south through Wednesday.

In the short run and surf stays tiny and from the NE through tomorrow with a mixed bag of winds as a trough lingers about the NE of the state.

Things get more interesting Wed as a cold front pushes past the state, bringing a steep increase in new S swell to 3-4ft with winds freshening from the S. Keep expectations low for quality.

By Thursday the front and the deepening low sees a thin fetch of strong to gale force SSW to S winds develop along the Central NSW Coastline. By lunch-time the low will be winding up rapidly- possibly bombing- with severe gales to storm force winds developing off the NSW Coast and extending down through the lower Tasman. 

S’ly winds feeding into the low maintain plenty of S swell Thursday, with size around the 3-5ft range and fresh S to SSE winds.

Models show this swell easing a notch through Friday but it’s likely swell will remain at strong levels as severe gales to possible storm force winds extend southwards from the low down into the Tasman. These winds are a bit too far northwards for Tas to get the full brunt of the swell but there should be plenty of 4ft surf Fri. Expect winds to stay fresh from the S to SSE.

The weekend looks juicy. Whilst the Tasman low is not ideally aimed at Tasmania, E to SE winds feeding into the low are expected to generate a strong E’ly swell for the NE Coast (see below). Expect size in the 4-6ft range Sat with S’ly winds, easing a notch into Sun morning and then rolling off in size through the day.

Powerful Tasman low with winds feeding into the southern flank generates swell for East Coast Tasmania

This swell will be quite sensitive to the location of the low, so make sure you check back Wed for an update.

Into next week and size rolls off from the E through Mon with a new high pressure cell bringing S’ly winds.

This leads to small S swells through Tues and possibly Wed as fronts sweep past the state.

We’ll check these out on Wed when we update.

See you then.