EAST COAST SWELL ALERT

9 Apr 2013 0 Share

Published 1.30pm Tuesday, 2 April 2013 by Chief Swell Forecaster Ben Macartney.

– Deep East Coast Low (ECL) to develop off the Queensland coast on Friday and intensify over the Tasman Sea this weekend.
– Strong increase in E swell to initially affect northern NSW and SE-Queensland on Saturday and Sunday. Sydney and surrounds by Monday morning.
– Local winds uncertain during the peak of the swell at this stage.

A deep East Coast Low projected to track swiftly southward across the Tasman Sea this weekend generates a strong round of E swell across the East Coast in its wake.

A deep East Coast Low projected to track swiftly southward across the Tasman Sea this weekend generates a strong round of E swell across the East Coast in its wake.


SUMMARY

An extended run of small to tiny surf across the Eastern Seaboard comes to end this weekend as a deepening East Coast Low sets up a strong increase in easterly swell – initially affecting south-east Queensland and northern NSW on Saturday and Sunday before impacting the southern half of the NSW coast late Sunday and throughout Monday.

The imminent development of an East Coast Low follows an upper level trough amplifying over the Queensland interior inducing a surface trough off the central Queensland coast on Wednesday and Thursday. During Friday the trough will move southward and form a surface low offshore. The low is widely projected to intensify and move south-east across the northern Tasman Sea this weekend.

The low is expected to intensify as it tracks south-east into the Tasman Sea on Saturday, setting up a strengthening easterly fetch across its south-eastern quadrant in conjunction with a large high over New Zealand.

The low is expected to intensify as it tracks south-east into the Tasman Sea on Saturday, setting up a strengthening easterly fetch across its south-eastern quadrant in conjunction with a large high over New Zealand.


The developing low forms a tight pressure gradient in conjunction with a slow moving high, anchored over New Zealand, giving rise to a strengthening easterly fetch across the central and Tasman Sea during Saturday and Sunday. Based on consecutive US model runs, the fetch should reach gale force thresholds by Sunday morning and maintain these wind speeds as it continues to track south or south-east during the day. Although there is some divergence among key models regarding the speed and track of the ECL across the Tasman Sea, it presents high confidence for a strong increase in E swell – initially affecting northern NSW and south-eastern Queensland on Saturday and Sunday, followed by a strong increase in E swell across Sydney and surrounds by Monday morning.

Source: BOM. Latest projections from the BOM suggest the low will intensify later in the period; reaching peak strength on Monday - potentially flowing through to a peak in size on Tuesday.

Source: BOM. Latest projections from the BOM suggest the low will intensify later in the period; reaching peak strength on Monday - potentially flowing through to a peak in size on Tuesday.


So how big are we talking?

There is a possibility the ECL’s rapid south-eastward movement will dilute it’s impact. Never the less a solid increase to four to six foot across open beaches is likely across northern NSW on Sunday and across southern NSW on Monday, with scope for a peak in the six foot plus range across the more exposed locations predisposed to E swell. At this stage there’s considerable uncertainty on local winds during the peak of this episode, so check Wednesday afternoon’s detailed forecast for an update.

Tags: Swell Alert , East Coast Low , Surf Forecast , Ben Macartney , mike jennings (create Alert from these tags)

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