Prediction of increased swell - believe it when you see it
THE charts suggest we should experience a rapid increase in north-east wind swell today. But I'll believe it when I see it.
There is a system that will cross our coastline and maybe whip up a little short period junky wind slop.
However, if it generates anything of significance in northern NSW it's more likely we'd see it later in the weekend, if we see it at all. Therein lays the problem.
These spring systems are just too volatile to rely on for swell; the wind changes direction so often that the swell really never gets beyond a wind swell status.
The not-so-good news is that if this summer swings into an El Nino pattern as predicted, small and inconsistent may become the prevailing summer conditions as well.
We can still get cyclones during El Nino, but less frequently, and the trade wind pattern also reduces intensity. Even though most get excited about cyclones, it's the summer trades that really feed us consistent waves.
We're not officially in an El Nino pattern yet, but most indicators are pointing that way.
Be that as it may, let's just assume that this system might actually hang around long enough to do something.
If this is the case, we'd get lots of strong northerly wind, possibly some thunderstorms, then mostly sunny.
It could theoretically produce a northerly wind swell that peaks in size and intensity about Sunday at 1.5m-2m yet bunched up soft and tight at 6 seconds.
Of more interest to us could be the possibility of a slightly longer east swell being pulled into our region by this system, generated by another system over in the Coral Sea.
This has the potential to be more interesting early next week.
It could be cleaner, better organised into lines from travelling a longer distance and, with a period of 8 to 12 seconds, it's a bit of long-shot. But we'll soon know if it happens.
The sickie rate will rise on Monday and Tuesday. Just kidding, of course. None of us surfers would be so irresponsible.
Saturday: Wind N/NE 10-25kts swell N/NE 1m (4-6 seconds).
Sunday: Wind N/NE 15-25kts swell N/NE 1-2m (6 seconds).
Bottom line is there could be a little bit around, but I wouldn't be getting my hopes up for this weekend. Even if it does pick up, it's going to be messy.
Stay safe, have fun, wait your turn, and surf today like you want to surf again tomorrow.