Plenty of swell sources from the tropics to the ice shelf

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Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Eastern Tasmania Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed March 13th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Inconsistent E/NE trade-swell building Wed, easing slowly Thu PM
  • S/SW tending strong S/SE winds Thu with S swell building Thurs PM
  • Weak S swell Fri with SW tending S/SE winds
  • Moderate-large sized, S/SE groundswell building Sat, peaking overnight, easing Sun 
  • W/SW tending NE winds Sat, N/NW tending NE Sun
  • Good potential for strong NE windswell Tues into Wed
  • Potential sizey S/SE swell later Wed into Thurs - uncertain outlook check back Fri for latest updates


Small, N/NE windswell yesterday to 2ft+ with light winds before a strong S/SE change. Winds have mostly stayed light/variable today with some fun sized E/NE swell showing up and offering good quality 2-3ft surf (occ. bigger set).

This week and weekend (Mar 13 - 17)

We’ve still got a broad trade wind flow in the Coral Sea, extending out into the South Pacific and anchored head and tail by low pressure along the monsoon trough. That’s producing heavy swells in the sub-tropics (full blown Point surf equivalent to cyclone swells) with some small E/NE swells filtering as far south as Tasmania. 

In the short run a moderate strength cold front sweeps up past Tasmania tomorrow with early light winds the best conditions of the day before strong S’lies kick in. Similar sized E/NE swell to today with 2-3ft surf and the occ. bigger set. We’ll see some new, building S swell to 2-3ft in the a’noon.

That S swell persists into Fri morning in the 2-3ft range, along with some small E/NE swell to 2ft. S’ly winds should ease quickly through the day and become light/variable in the a’noon as high pressure edges in over the state.

Into the weekend and we’re still on track for some strong S/SE groundswell from a stalled low near the ice shelf today with ASCAT passes showing strong gales to storm force winds in the fetch. Winds look good for Sat, light W-NW tending to NE seabreezes and surf should build from 3ft to 4-6ft on the sets through the a’noon.

Expect size to hold in for Sun morning before easing with light NW winds and a’noon seabreezes.

Next week sees a very active outlook with high pressure in the Tasman generating strong NE wind swells Tues into Wed (see below).

Source of NE windswell Tues/Wed next week

We may see potential strong S-S/SE swells develop later Wed but there’s a lot of uncertainty over that call. The uncertainty rests on a potential trough moving off the Gippsland Coast Wed.

GFS has the trough bringing a S’ly change Wed, with the trough deepening as a long angled trough line through the Tasman (see below) and generating a sizey S-S/SE swell into later Wed into Thurs with plenty of wind from the same direction. 

We'll see how this looks on Fri- potential source of swell

The European model is much less bullish so lets see how it shapes up on Fri.

We’re also keeping an eye on another ice shelf fetch Sun which may see some more S/SE swell Tues, likely overshadowed by more local swell sources.

Check back Fri for the latest update.