Tiny low makes it a swell week
LATE last week there were many confused but happy-looking crew cruising around muttering "where did this swell come from?"
It just goes to show that ECL's (east coast lows) are radically unpredictable systems.
Nobody saw this one coming, especially not me.
Apparently a teeny tiny little pocket of low pressure crossed the coast in the middle of the night last week.
It was so small that none of the synoptic charts had it noted.
The forecasters had to scramble in the wee hours of Wednesday morning to update their forecasts and warn folks and boats of the rapidly rising and unexpected swell.
It never really did wind up into a huge system but it did last for a week.
The Bureau probably wouldn't even label it an ECL.
But who cares, the point is we all scored bonus swell.
Sure the sand at some of the classic North Coast points has been trashed, so they're off the menu for a while.
But the beachies have been good, and there was much rejoicing as the barrels kept peeling across the banks all week.
Now the big question is will it still be on this weekend? The prognosis based on current projections, is not so good.
It looks like this current swell will dwindle away to a mere shadow of its former self, probably around the one-metre mark.
If there is a saving grace, it's this.
The models predict that it will turn east south-east, or if we're really lucky maybe straight east.
The winds are most likely going to swing late today from the north-west through west into a steady south-west tomorrow.
Sunday should blow south-west to south-east.
Meaning, out of the wind could also mean out of the swell.
There's a reasonable chance of early morning westerlies cleaning up the open beaches tomorrow, so set those alarm clocks folks.
There is also another low working its way up from the Bight.
But it really looks like it won't produce anything significant before early next week.
Of course these lows are unpredictable.
The high over the mainland could speed it up, pushing it up into the Tasman earlier, meaning we would then see an increased pulse of south swell on Sunday.
But that seems to be a fairly unlikely scenario.
Remember have fun, wait your turn, and surf today like you want to surf again tomorrow.
Ben 'Bear' Bennink is a former professional longboarder and retired NSSA master coach. He writes for Pacific Longboarder Magazine and is semi-retired in Byron Bay where he is editor ofinbyronbaytoday.com.