Small S pulses over the weekend, gaining size early next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Eastern Tasmanian Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed March 20th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Small blend of S swells Thurs AM, easing quickly
  • Period of W’ly winds and small S swells from Fri-Sun
  • Stronger S pulses next week on Mon/Tues
  • More S swell Wed
  • Easing surf into Easter as high pressure moves across the state


Really sizey NE windswell yesterday in the 6-8ft range and mostly unsurfable under strong NE winds. Perfect offshore conditions today with 4-5ft of NE swell, easing through the day. S’ly winds have mostly held off but are due in this a’noon. 

This week and next week (Mar 20 - 29)

A front linked to a low passing under Tasmania  and a trough linked to ex TC Megan in the Northern Territory are making their way up the NSW South Coast at present, bringing a stiff S’ly flow, with a strong high pressure belt running at Summer latitudes anchored by slow moving cells near New Zealand and in the Bight. The NZ high and a long monsoon trough has generated a useful fetch of tradewinds in the eastern swell window, which has maintained E’ly swells in the sub-tropics, E/NE in temperate regions with NE windswell along the Tasmanian East coast. That trade fetch breaks down in the short term before rebuilding again at more Northern latitudes. We’ll see some frontal activity over the weekend and S pulses next week before another strong, blocking high sets up a ridge next week. 

Not much change for the short run, surf eases right back as the trough and front quickly race away so expect small surf to 2ft early, dropping back to tiny during the day under offshore winds. 

As mentioned on Mon, there is quite a bit of frontal activity below the continent, with mostly poorly aligned, zonal fetches. In the absence of any other swell sources though, that should see some flukey S swells Fri and over the weekend with offshore winds from the W’ly ridge over the state. No great size, 1-2ft through Fri and similar sized over the weekend at S facing beaches. Tiny/flat elsewhere.

Stronger frontal activity tied to robust lows passes into the southern swell window Sun/Mon (see below) and Mon/Tues so we’ll see some stronger S swell pulses likely Mon, penciled in around 3-4ft at S facing beaches, pulsing again into Tues to 4-5ft at S facing beaches before easing. Winds look good for Mon, being straight W’ly with winds tending more SW-S on Tues as the front passes the state into the Tasman.

Looks like small swells into Easter as high pressure moves over the state although ECMWF is suggesting an inland trough focussing a NE infeed along the temperate NSW Coast, with chunky NE windswell a possibility, although accompanied by onshore winds and likely bad weather. 

We’ll see how that looks on Fri.