Big and powerful waves headed our way

THE internet is all excited yet again with the words swell alert. Seems to be the latest buzz phrase.

These days we tend to hear it for as little as a soft 2m wind swell.

But this time there is a real swell headed our way. It's big enough at 2.5m to 4m depending on which charts you look at.

Plus it's been building in intensity for a long time, meaning it's long period (16 to 20 seconds).

But it's pure straight southerly.

The greater body of it will stay in deep water. What we see will be the refracted edge of this swell train.

But given the size and period, it still means some reasonable sized and powerful waves might be on the way.

Now some have been calling that we'll see 3m to 4m of this swell on the southern facing beaches.

I doubt it. As I said before, I suspect the majority will stay out in deep water.

We could see at least 1.5m to 2.5m on the open beaches with possible rogue sets pushing a little bigger but don't expect much more.

The trick with this swell is not the size, it's the amount of water in it.

If we get this swell, it could be powerful beyond what the average North Coast surfer is accustomed to.

There may be strong rips and currents coming with it.

In other words should it hit, it could be quite deceptive, looking to be about head high, but with much more punch than we'd expect.

This means it's not a swell for the Grommies or the inexperienced.

The last time we had swell like this a visiting surfer drowned after being sucked out to sea at Cape Byron.

So heads up folks and be aware of what might be going on out there this weekend.

Today and Saturday are forecast to be the peak of it. But I'm betting there could still be a few sneaky ones hanging around on Sunday morning as well.

The winds are not going to help much this long weekend. They will vary in strength but steadily get stronger as the weekend progresses. This means that to get out of the wind, we put ourselves right in the firing line of this swell if it arrives.

So exercise a little extra caution this weekend, especially on Saturday.

Stay safe, have fun wait your turn, and surf today like you want to surf again tomorrow.

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