Dialling In: Thurs, 11 February 2010

11 Feb 2010 0 Share

Would you be willing to compromise? Definitely not an issue this weekend. This was taken on the NSW coast during the epic conditions of July 2007.

Would you be willing to compromise? Definitely not an issue this weekend. This was taken on the NSW coast during the epic conditions of July 2007.

Valentine’s Day pumping this weekend
Every once in a while Valentine’s Day presents a typical surfer’s dilemma. Clearly set aside on the calendar as a day of devotion to the apple of your eye, it can end up being a litmus test of your commitment to the relationship. When the surf is pumping on February 14, it can pose an unspoken question from your partner begging an answer before the day is done: Is surfing more important to him/her, than me?

For those of us familiar with such a dilemma, it’s a sure bet you won’t find the kind of conditions that qualify as a potential conflict of interest, anywhere around the continent this weekend.

Combination of tiny NE windswell and small S swell across the East Coast
There it goes. A solid week of easterly swell across the entire East Coast is now all but gone. Only far northern NSW and south-eastern Queensland were still receiving two to three foot leftovers and even this is set to dissipate by Saturday, dropping to one to two feet at best.

Across NSW expect tiny levels of ENE windswell of a foot or less across open beaches on Saturday morning. This marks a low point in energy ahead of a minor increase in SSE swell into the afternoon. The new SSE swell originates from a small surface low forming within a broad trough extending across the south-east of the continent;

BOM wind
Source; BOM. A broad low pressure trough extends across the south-east of the continent on Thursday.

The low drops just east of Bass Straight or along Tasmania’s east coast on Thursday afternoon before drifting out into the southern Tasman early on Friday, setting up a short, 20 to 30 knot southerly fetch across its western flank;

BOM wind
Source; BOM. A small low forms just of Tasmania on Friday.

The swell source is constrained by a short wind-fetch (up to 400 nautical miles), short duration (about 12 hours) and the system’s close proximity to Bass Strait. Hence the resulting S swell is likely to be small and limited to the southern half of the NSW coast. Expect a gradual increase towards two feet plus across the most exposed south facing beaches along the South Coast during Saturday, filling in north of Sydney during the afternoon. In the event the low intensifies more than anticipated and/ or hovers over our swell window for a longer than expected, Saturday’s S pulse may be upgraded.

This short range swell is likely to fade by Sunday morning, but wave heights will be sustained around the two foot mark by a small pulse of longer period S swell originating from a much larger extratropical low traversing the Southern Ocean, deep beneath the south-east of the continent on Friday.

The low extends a broad belt of 25 to 35 knot WSW winds beneath Tasmania, predominantly aimed away from the NSW coast. Only a very small component of long period energy will spread northward into the Tasman Sea on Sunday to maintain one to two foot surf across south facing beaches under moderate to strong NW winds;

Jan Juc ANNA
Source BOM. Strengthening N/NW winds greet very low levels of S swell across the NSW coast on Sunday.

The north-westerlies kick in as a second low pressure trough extends across the south-east of the state, inducing another surface low off the South Coast on Sunday night. This is set to trigger a stronger rising trend in SSE swell early next week.

Click here to check the detailed Sydney to South Coast forecast.

Tiny ENE swell across south-eastern Queensland and northern NSW
There’s not a lot to get excited about across the region over the coming days. The aforementioned developments across our S swell window won’t have a bearing on locations north of Seal Rocks; instead E swell will dwindle to one to two feet at best on Saturday, probably fading to a foot or less by Sunday;

Virtual Buoy
The Gold Coast Virtual Buoy; E swell dwindles to tiny levels over the weekend.

Click here for the detailed Queensland and northern NSW forecast.

Low levels of SW swell across the West Coast all weekend
There are no major sources of new swell looming for the West Coast this weekend. A slow moving high pressure system hovering over the eastern Indian Ocean remains the dominant influence, ensuring wave heights continue to linger around one to two feet across the south-west of the state;

Jan Juc ANNA
Source BOM. A high over the eastern Indian Ocean keeps a lid on wave heights across the West Coast this weekend.

Getting in early on both days sees the best conditions as light E/SE winds prevail, deteriorating into the middle of the day as winds swing stronger SSW. Click here for the West Australian detailed forecast.

Strong south-easterlies and small SW swell loom across Victoria and SA
A minor SW swell fills in across the region’s exposed coasts over the weekend. The swell is derived from a fairly innocuous low pressure system traversing the Southern Ocean, deep beneath the continent on Thursday and Friday.

This isn’t expected to top two to three feet across exposed coasts and surface conditions won’t be ideal. A light to moderate S/SE flow develops on Saturday as a high pressure ridge builds across Bass Strait, so getting in early will probably see the best conditions all weekend.

A broad trough extending across the south-east of the continent is likely to induce a surface low off the southern NSW coast on Sunday, causing the ridge spanning to Tasman to tighten up. This sets up a sort range ESE fetch reaching 15 to 25 knots on Sunday;

BOM wind
Source; BOM. Strengthening ESE winds across Bass Strait on Sunday could be a recipe for a great Valentines Day.

This in turn drives a minor increase in ESE windswell across the region on Sunday, reaching a windblown two feet plus later Sunday, easing again on Monday. For more detail check the latest Victorian forecast here.

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