Drew having some twinnie fun.
Drew having some twinnie fun. Contributed Slideaholics

South-facing spots the best bet for a surf this weekend

WELL the change has come: A low pressure system from the Southern Ocean was finally big enough to sweep some cooler air up past the blocking high.

What we got was a cooler airflow and a shift in swell direction only.

That group of high pressure systems remain in place. As a result we're experiencing some more wintry weather and longer offshore breezes in the morning.

However, we're yet to see an intense low get close enough to really generate any decent swell.

So will we get waves this weekend? Based on the assessed available data, and from a certain geographical perspective, it's a "maybe". (Sorry, the federal election campaign has started to get to me already.) The real answer is "yes and no", depending on where you happen to go.

Here's the deal. We got a change in weather, although the blocking highs still hold strong.

The swell direction has changed to straight south, but not because a low managed to push past the highs.


Matty ploughing the fields.
Matty ploughing the fields. Contributed Slideaholics

The low that ravaged the southern edge of the continent earlier this week was potent enough to wrap a large south swell up through the Tasman Sea.

What we're experiencing is the tail end of that swell and the wind that created it, plus some cooler south-westerly airflow.

This swell is very straight from the south, and is unlikely to get into most spots, other than the southern-facing swell magnets.

What we really need is a low pressure system to swing up through the Tasman Sea and disperse these highs. This would generate a more favourable south-east swell.

This has yet to happen but there are plenty of candidates for this job currently residing in the Southern Ocean. Whether any of them get past the highs remain to be seen.


Mark getting his mini all wound up.
Mark getting his mini all wound up. Contributed Slideaholics

The problem with all this is simple: The highs were producing a consistent easterly trade wind-style swell. It was consistent and fun, but also soft and small.

The south swell that is pushing up the coast has overpowered the east swell so even though there is now more powerful swell motoring past in deep water, we're getting less of it as it just keeps heading north.

Therefore it looks like the northern-facing points won't be lighting up this weekend.

The best bet is an early session on the southern-facing swell magnets while the wind is still offshore. That's pretty much the only chance to find anything with some punch to it.

Have fun, wait your turn, and surf today like you want to surf again tomorrow.

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