Strong E/NE swell incoming but SSE winds to work around

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Eastern Tasmanian Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon Jan 2nd)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Strong mid period E/NE groundswell showing Wed PM,  building Thurs peaking Fri with SSE winds to work around
  • Small mix of residual E swell and E/SE swell this weekend with light onshore winds
  • Easing ESE swell early next week with more favourable winds
  • Spike in S swell Tues PM, extending into Wed with fresh S’ly winds
  • Possibly mod pulse of ESE swell later next week, stay tuned for updates


Not much Tues with stiff SSE winds blowing out 2ft of surf. Conditions have improved today with a lighter than expected S to SE flow and 2-3ft of E/NE swell now building from a mix of sources. Tropical E/NE swell from a low now tracking into the Southern Tasman will supply stronger E/NE swell in the near term.

This week and next week (Jan4 - Jan13)

After a very slow moving synoptic pattern in the Xmas-New Years week we are finally seeing some movement as the tropical low which hived off the monsoon trough now journeys into the Southern Tasman, leading to building E/NE swells across NE Tas, where it will merge with a surface trough currently working it’s way north along the NSW Coast. The resultant trough of low pressure will then sit near the South Island and form a well placed fetch of SE winds aimed back at the NE coast of Tasmania.

In the short run and SSE-SE winds look to freshen again through Thurs/Fri as a large high moves SE of the state. You’ll have to deal with those winds to surf solid E/NE swell building into the 3-5ft range tomorrow and holding in the 4ft range Fri as the low and a fetch of E’ly winds aligned on the Eastern side of the Tasman supply swell.

The weekend will see a slow easing down of E swell as fetches extending from New Zealand maintain a small signal (see below), likely in the 3ft range Sat easing further into Sun. A fetch setting up near the South Island is a bit delayed but by Sun a’noon we should see some 2-3ft ESE swell in the mix as well.

Lighter winds are on offer over the weekend as the main high tracks under the South Island and a weaker, troughier pattern sets in. That will see light E to E/NE winds Sat, tending more NE on Sun. 

A weak, troughy pattern kicks off next week with light N’ly winds expected Mon. That offers up clean conditions Mon morning with fun sized E/SE swell in the 2-3ft range at exposed breaks. A strong S’ly change is expected in the a’noon which will blow out most spots.

A deepening trough in the Tasman Sea maintains strong S’lies through Tues with a spike in short range S swell to 3ft expected. This should hold into Wed morning before easing, with SSE-SE winds easing as a high pressure cell moves south of the state. 

Longer term and both models are bullish on a fetch developing near the South Island mid/late next week suggesting a mod pulse of E/SE swell arriving Fri, provisionally in the 3-5ft range with light onshore winds as high pressure slips E of the Island state.

Check back Fri and we’ll see how it’s shaping up.