Wild weather buffeted Lennox Head on Thursday, March 15, 2018.
Wild weather buffeted Lennox Head on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

Surf’s up this Sunday, but the weather will be chilly

SURFERS should keep their eye out on Sunday and Monday as a deep polar low moving across South Australia is set to influence surf conditions here.

Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist, Neil Fraser, said things were building up this weekend.

“Sunday is looking like the bigger surf will arrive and continue into Monday and stay most of Monday and start to drop away on Tuesday,” Mr Fraser said.

“There will be two big days of decent surf on Sunday and Monday.”

He said, with the westerlies, surfers could expect waves of 3-4 metres.

He said it was in winter time when the country received the bigger southerly systems which are responsible for this most recent cold snap.

“The cold air is coming from a long way south, and if you are looking at isobars, it is really frigid air from Antarctica, and we can even expect 7 degrees Celsius in Canberra,” he said.

He said the Northern Rivers would be lucky to escape such temperatures, particularly at Byron Bay and the coast, but the cold air would be pushing a long way north, which was unusual.

He said we could expect the southerly system to create lots of swell, but that it wouldn’t reach our coastline until the low gets further east and the swell pushes further up the coast.

“At the moment, the biggest swell is on the western side of the low,” he said.

He said the cold outbreak affecting south-east Australia was associated with the deepening low pressure system, with gale force winds, and would ultimately generate bigger waves as it made its way up the coast.

“We are looking at 12 seconds between crest to crest or trough to trough, and the higher the period between waves, the bigger the wave, the larger the amount of water,” he said.

“It is those big deep lows that produce the huge swell, especially in the Southern Ocean where there is nothing between them and Antarctica.”

He said it was key to watch the ‘fetch’ or location of winds as well as the duration to see how big the swells would get.

The winds on Sunday would be south-westerly, while the swell more southerly.



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