long wave trough
In the coming week a rare event will take place in the North Pacific ocean: effectively every country in the region - from the Solomon Islands clockwise around to Mexico - will receive swell from a sole source.
Australia's eastern states have just exited the worst winter surf season in recent history. If you're a Sydney surfer and you've seen a wave over three feet you can count yourself lucky. So, the questions have to be asked: What is causing the recent lack of waves?
This Victorian winter hasn't been that bad for surfers. The pattern is about to undergo a serious transformation starting this weekend, as the southern Australian coast is slammed by back-to-back groundswells – forecast to persist for nearly two weeks.
But there is good news ahead. The much discussed Long Wave Trough (info here) is about to enter a strengthening phase in the Southern Ocean, and we're looking at two to three weeks of heavy swell activity for the southern states.
Victorian surfers have just come off the back of one of the worst summers in recent history, thanks to persistent south-easterly winds and small swells. But now with the change of seasons the Southern Ocean has fired up in a big way; an oversized south-westerly groundswell is expected to make landfall this Friday and Saturday.
If ever there was an argument that significant low pressure systems be named similarly to tropical cyclones then recent events in south-east Australia have provided it.