Perspectives: the SW wave angle comes to life


Forecast by James Frazerhurst

  • The good SW summer swell starts mid-week
  • Even better SW swell starts Saturday, shines Sunday-Monday
  • The show may have only just begun…

Forecasts associated with this Outlook: Raglan points | North Island Tasman | Taranaki Coast | Auckland West Coast | West Coast of the South Island

Above: Animation of the Lotus 168-hour swell forecast for the New Zealand/Australia region, showing these purple drops settling south of Australia and pushing energy towards the western shores.

The southwest swell is the main ingredient of a significant number of spots in the lives of many New Zealand surfers. Exposed black sand beaches only need a little with clean offshore conditions and can get overloaded quickly. Volcanic reefs, harbor bars and cobbled headlands can take a long time and seem to endure all manner of surface and wind ripples, as long as the waves have the thrust and thickness of longer periods.

After what seems like an age, New Zealand surfers had a teasing reunion with the aforementioned headlands and reefs, thanks to a big 12-second swell off the stern of the ex-TC Dovi, but the spots of NZ swell lovers are about to be getting extended energy.

The first pulse of SW activity began to evolve on Sunday, as Dovi threw up huge A-shaped peaks over the Taranaki beaches, with a mid-sized low pressure system sweeping below WA and flaring towards the east. ‘Antarctic. Satellites confirm swell developing near 30ft seas that will move northeast over the next 24 to 48 hours. This Southern Ocean storm is expected to bring a good 16 second period swell late Wednesday to New Zealand’s waiting reefs, points and sandbars where local winds look light and pleasant. Not massive, but good strong surf from Wednesday 16th.

Three in a row, from top: today (Tuesday) as the post-Dovi pulse ticks; Thursday, as something else pops up from beyond Tasmania; later in the weekend, when a straighter and more muscular SW swell arrives.

What’s cool about the Southern Ocean is that once he launches a storm in the SW wave making lane, another is right behind him. The wind patterns all show a stronger and longer storm than the first. As the first pulse fades late on Saturday 19th we will just have an even stronger 16s SW swell with some of the strongest waves we have had since the 4 days of windy swell we had just before Christmas (link to whom arrives?). Local wind and conditions are all very favorable with well integrated summer high pressure systems stationed on both islands.

So we have a good fun sized swell over the reefs and points and (probably) not too massive for the beaches, which was seen from space (well, LEO at least) and another strong one just behind on the models. Wave for days. Please check the premium regional forecast for Northland Auckland West Coast, Raglan, Taranaki, The West Coast, Southland and Dunedin to see daily updated forecasts for these approaching swells and local conditions.

PS There’s another couple of these storms loading up on the models behind these two, but let’s skim through the first things first.


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