Big swell likely if stars line up
ALRIGHTY then, so the Queenslanders and Victorians have gone back to school and now it's our turn for some holiday waves.
So let's have a good close look at what Huey has in store for us and see if I can give the local groms some good news.
It looks like this weekend could get pretty radi- cal. It's a little early in the season, but all indicators point to a fast-moving ECL (east coast low) developing just a little north of our region while at the same time a pulse of southern ocean swell drives up past our coastline. This could produce a mix of very long-period (18 sec) south swell, plus a mid- to long-period 13-16sec east swell crossing up with it. End result, we could experience some pretty solid 1.5-2m waves with freak sets on the open southern-facing beaches maxing out at 2-3m.
I say could, because early season ECLs are notoriously fickle.
It could just as easily move out to sea very quickly and produce nothing more than a lot of wind and chopped-up short-period wind swell. If this event gets it right, things are most likely to peak during Sunday afternoon and Monday.
On a longer-range view mid next week could see some smaller but much-cleaner south-easterly ground swell moving into our swell window, but this is not a certainty yet.
Should this develop we'll see less size, but higher wave quality. This second swell is looking more likely to set up some reasonable-sized waves that the groms can really get into with a bit less risk.
So onto the nitty gritty for the weekend; as I said it could go either way. I'm banking on it getting sizeable, but possibly messy and maybe even a little dangerous for the inex-perienced due to cross currents and rips.
The wind is also not a given this weekend as it really depends on the direction and speed the ECL moves. The most likely scenario is for S/E to E ranging from 10-25kts. But we could also see some early morning SW or even W/NW thrown into the mix, especially on Sunday into Monday.
Whatever happens, take it easy if it does get big and remember that big-wave surfing is not about fighting the ocean and winning. It's about having a healthy respect for just how powerful and unpredictable it truly is.
Remember to have fun, wait your turn, and surf today like you want to surf again tomorrow.