Plenty of swell and S'ly wind as low winds up off NSW Coast

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Eastern Tasmanian Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed March 30th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Steep increase in S swell Wed with fresh S to SSE winds
  • Size holding from the S Thurs , easing Fri with fresh S to SSE winds
  • Solid E'ly swell Sat, building further into Sun with fresh S'ly winds
  • Surf eases quickly Mon, with winds tending SW
  • Small surf next week


Small surf on Tues topped out around with winds tending NW. A cold front today has seen S’ly winds freshen and S swell rise through the a’noon, up into the 3-4ft range. Conditions have been marred by the strong winds. 

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

The complex brew of La Niña mediated weather is as follows: a hybrid sub-tropical low located just off the North coast of NSW is moving slowly northwards while a cold front pushes into the Tasman Sea, extending along the southern coast of NSW from Tasmania. A trough of low pressure associated with the current sub-tropical low deepens rapidly through tomorrow in response to the influx of cold air, forming a severe gale force low pressure system off the NSW Central Coast overnight Thursday into Friday.

This low is expected to deepen but the main factor is the pressure gradient squeeze between the low (expected to be around 990hPa on Fri) and a very large high (1038hPa) moving well south of the Bight. Severe gale force winds are proximate to the NSW Coast and are well placed to generate plenty of S swell for Tasmania before a better angled ESE to E swell hits on the weekend.

Expect surf to build into the 5ft range through Thursday from the S but winds will be fresh S’ly, confining surf to more protected locations.

This initial S swell eases back a notch on Friday as the primary fetch becomes concentrated on the Tasman low off the coast of Sydney. Surf in the 4-5ft range eases into the 3ft range during the day and winds stay fresh from the S.

Over the weekend the low moves Southwards, to be off the South Coast and then Gippsland by Sunday. 

Winds feeding into the southern flank of the low generate E/SE swell for Sat, in the 3-5ft range, with winds remaining fresh from the S to S/SE. 

Swell angles further around to the E on Sunday and with sets up to 5-6ft, there’ll be heaps of strong surf if you can find shelter from the continuing strong S to S/SE winds.

Low off NSW South Coast generates E swell for NE Tasmania

Surf eases quickly through Mon, as the low winds down although winds look tricky to call, depending on the position of the low. Its likely we’ll see surf drop from 3ft to 2ft during the day and winds tend S to SW as the low drops south of Tasmania during Mon.

That sees a small surf day Tues.

Longer term and a cold front is likely to generate a quick spike in S swell late Tues, easing quickly Wed.

Small surf then pads out the rest of next week, with a possible small NE windswell Sat.

Check back Fri for a last look at the weekend and into the longer term.