Real autumn-style waves may be coming to Far North Coast
LET'S take quick look at the near future, as it's kind of relevant to what's happening right now.
There's no doubt the weather has been a bit weird - too warm for mid to late autumn, and an unusual onshore east to north-east wind fetch occasionally punctuated by a strong southerly change. It should be cooler, with more southerlies, less easterlies and only a few northerlies.
So, what's the deal? Well, it's simple. The El Nino is finally releasing its grip.
The sea temperatures are cooling a little near the surface, and cooling further, deeper. This is most likely to push us back towards a SOI reading of neutral, possibly by the end of May.
This has really only just now begun to happen, meaning that although the water temps are dropping, the air temperature and weather systems are still playing out the El Nino pattern - especially with the Antarctic wave, which is partially responsible for the series of high and low pressure systems running west to east across the southern ocean and our continent.
End result is a massive high was dragged across Australia, yet rather than moving off the east coast and moving away it has hit the slightly-yet-significantly-cooler seas of the south-west Pacific and northern Tasman, and there it has stalled, right where it effects most.
That's where our strange weather comes in. Suddenly here we are, late autumn, and once again we have a steady east to north-east wind flow running straight at us. This fetch is throwing a short period, summer-style wind swell at us from the east, plus it will ensure the next few days, at least, will also blow easterly, north-east or north.
So, here we are, once again dealing with lumpy, bumpy onshore summer-style waves, when all we really crave are the cooler long, clean lines we've come to expect at this time.
It's not all bad - there will at least be a consistent 1-1.3m east swell over the next few days, but it will also be short period and a little junky. Hopefully the agitating action of this swell won't destabilise our new banks.
There is a change to this situation coming in the form of a massive southern ocean low, but at this stage it's unclear whether it will have enough juice to push this high pressure system out of the way.
One thing is fairly sure: When we do finally get a low forming that's potent enough to break through it could be the first of many, as the El Nino that has lasted more than a year is finally beaten into submission.
So hopefully it's only a matter of time before we get some real autumn-style waves.
Have fun, wait your turn, and surf today like you want to surf again tomorrow.