The Wrap Up Of This Weekend's Wild & Wonderful Waves

29 May 2016 0 Share

Matt Dunsmore in Sydney on Saturday morning, Photo by Mark Onorati

Matt Dunsmore in Sydney on Saturday morning, Photo by Mark Onorati

COASTALWATCH | Swell Diary 

The solid south swell that swept NSW mid-last week has revived itself over the weekend with a little more east and moderate offshore winds keeping faces clean and very surfable in selected spots. The Hunter region received waves in the 4-6ft range on Saturday and the rest of the coast down to the far south was delighted with the weekend delivery. Western Australia also picked up a little extra then forecast with sets up to 12feet. (See report below)

NEW SOUTH WALES

Report by Chief Surf Forecaster Ben Macartney

By all reports, Wednesday saw one of the biggest pulses of S swell seen across the Sydney region in many years – and going on some accounts from Cronulla, the biggest in 30 years! However, these phenomenal peaks (reportedly 10 to 15ft) appeared to be confined to deepwater reefs off Kurnell. The northern beaches and even reports from the eastern Beaches suggested it got big (around 8 to 10ft) but by no means off the charts.

As previously discussed the source of this event was a complex low-pressure system that set up over the southern Tasman Sea on Monday and Tuesday. This commenced with the development of an intense low southeast of Tasmania on Monday afternoon. This low remained slow moving over the southern Tasman Sea; initially generating a gale force WSW fetch out of eastern Bass Strait on Monday afternoon – and this was the source of Tuesday’s first, refracted pulse of S swell.

SEE ALSO: Sydney Bombora Comes To Life

On Tuesday, the low further intensified as it merged with a pre-existing area of low pressure over NZ. An analysis of this system revealed the development of a second low centre, directly over the top of sea-state generated by the first low. This second low produced a gale-force SSW captured fetch over the region – thereby dramatically compounding the size of the pre-existing deepwater swell throughout Tuesday afternoon/ evening. By Thursday morning, the tail end of this episode has scaled down to a super-clean 3 to 4ft and it continued to ease a foot or so into the afternoon – and by Monday morning, residual S swell was down to about 2ft across southern exposures.

A new round of refracted S swell began to show on Friday and this built to more substantial levels during the afternoon before peaking overnight and into Saturday morning. This impending episode was linked to the evolution of new low-pressure system over the southwest Tasman Sea. Like the system before it, the low formed on an active cold front exiting Bass Strait and it subsequently began to intensify as it drifted east into the southern Tasman on Friday morning. 

SEE ALSO: Wave Of The Week, Southern Sydney Combo

The bulk of energy arising from a more distant SSW fetch was evident early on Saturday; peaking at solid 3 to 6ft levels across the region, with size dependent on exposure. The tail end of this pulse started to taper off during Saturday afternoon – as a static westerly wind regime saw an excellent surface quality all day.

There was another strong push in directional S swell on Sunday – pushing surf-heights back up to 3 to 5ft levels across southern exposures. This was linked to a new frontal progression tracking south to north across the southern Tasman Sea on Saturday arvo, extending from the broad low-pressure complex hovering over New Zealand. SEE 7 DAY FORECAST FOR THIS WEEK

Check out what your local is doing this week HERE.

Wade Clemens on the NSW Central Coast on Saturday, Photo by Spencer Hornby

Wade Clemens on the NSW Central Coast on Saturday, Photo by Spencer Hornby

Newcastle on Saturday morning, Photo by Jake Johnston

Newcastle on Saturday morning, Photo by Jake Johnston

Newcastle on Saturday Morning, Photo by Luke Henkel

Newcastle on Saturday Morning, Photo by Luke Henkel

Newcastle close to maxing, Photo by Michael Williams

Newcastle close to maxing, Photo by Michael Williams

The NSW Central Coast on Saturday, Photo by Ben Farrell

The NSW Central Coast on Saturday, Photo by Ben Farrell

Rob Bain in Sydney on Sunday morning, Photo by RIta Klug

Rob Bain in Sydney on Sunday morning, Photo by RIta Klug

Darcy Crump is shaded in Sydney on Sunday, Photo by Geoff Crump

Darcy Crump is shaded in Sydney on Sunday, Photo by Geoff Crump

SOUTH-WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Report by Western Australian Forecaster Dan Wyer

In the west, a moderate cold front crossed the southwest coast on Friday night and into early Saturday morning. Gale forced NW'ly winds shifted into the WSW in the early hours of Saturday morning set up large and messy conditions with wave heights within the 5-7ft range early, rising with larger sets into the afternoon. Bays and points were the safest options before conditions cleaned up with easing winds. The Perth metro beaches were messy with wave heights in the 2-3ft range with larger sets into the afternoon.

SEE ALSO: What People Think About Kelly Slater's Wave Pool Being On The World Tour?

Sunday was a standout and was pumping at a solid 10-12ft across exposed breaks (A little oversized than expected). Due to the west angle, it was large at protected breaks as well with solid 8-10ft sets and the energy of long period WSW groundswell at 17-19 seconds.

Perth - Mandurah saw straight offshore winds resulting in clean conditions through the day. There were decent options around the metro with wave heights in the 3-4ft range at exposed beaches. SEE 7 DAY FORECAST FOR THIS WEEK

The Margaret River region lights up on Sunday, Photo by Dan Wyer

The Margaret River region lights up on Sunday, Photo by Dan Wyer

Sunday in the South West, Photo by Tom Pearsall

Sunday in the South West, Photo by Tom Pearsall

Trigg Point to Scarborough in Perth also provided options, Photo by DG Imagery

Trigg Point to Scarborough in Perth also provided options, Photo by DG Imagery

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