Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast
presented by BOQ
Roxy Pro Gold Coast
presented by BOQ
Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour event #1
Gold Coast, Queensland Australia
1 - 12 March 2014
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Nothing phenomenal, but plenty contestable surf on tap
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 28 February, 2014 - As the Quiksilver and Roxy Pros are set to roll out on the Gold Coast, Australia's forecasting service Coastalwatch has issued the following forecast. Let's take a look at the official Quiksilver Pro surf forecast issued Friday, 28 February 2014 by Coastalwatch Chief Swell Forecaster Ben Macartney.
An active monsoon trough and a large high pressure system over the Tasman Sea set up a consistent run of ESE tradewind swell throughout the first half of the waiting period.
Saturday 1st March: ESE tradewind swell 2 – 3ft at Snapper Rocks. WIND: Early light SSW tending SE 15 to 20 knots.
Sunday 2nd March: ESE tradewind swell around 2 - 3ft at Snapper Rocks. WIND: Early light SSW tending SE 15 to 20 knots.
Monday 3rd March: ESE tradewind swell ranging from 2 - 3ft+ at Snapper Rocks. WIND: Early light SSW tending SE 15 to 25 knots.
Tuesday 4th March: ESE tradewind swell 2 - 3ft+ at Snapper Rocks. WIND: Early light SSW tending SE 10 to 20 knots.
Wednesday 5th March: ESE tradewind swell and underlying E groundswell 2 to a less consistent 3ft at Snapper Rocks, easing during the day. WIND: Early light SSW tending SE 10 to 15 knots.
Thursday 6th March: ESE tradewind swell and underlying E groundswell 2 – 3ft at Snapper Rocks, speculatively building during the day. WIND: Early light SSW tending SSE to ESE 10 to 20 knots.
Friday 7th March: ESE swell around 2ft at Snapper Rocks. WIND: Early light SSW tending SE 10 to 20 knots.
Saturday 8th March: ESE tradewind swell speculatively rising to 2 – 3ft at Snapper Rocks. WIND: Early light SSW tending SSE 10 to 20 knots.
Sunday 9th March: ESE tradewind swell speculatively 2 – 3ft at Snapper Rocks. WIND: Early light SSW tending SSE 10 to 20 knots.
Monday 10th March: ESE tradewind swell speculatively 3ft+ at Snapper Rocks. WIND: Early light SSW tending SSE 10 to 20 knots.
Tuesday 11th March: ESE swell speculatively 3ft at Snapper Rocks. WIND: Early light SSW tending SSE 10 to 20 knots.
There are no major changes to the short to mid term outlook beyond a slight downgrading of forecast surf heights early to mid next week. Never the less we’re on track to benefit from an extended run of mid-sized tradewind swell; mostly ranging either side of three feet over an extended time frame encompassing the weekend and most of next week.
This episode follows a moderate to strong ESE tradewind flow developing throughout our swell window in response to an active monsoon trough spanning the northern Coral Sea forming a broad pressure gradient in conjunction with a high pressure system riding into the Tasman Sea. Although the high gradually weaken over the weekend, a new high pressure system over the Great Australian Bight migrates eastward to reinforce the Tasman high on Monday.
This will bolster the tradewind flow from Monday to Wednesday as the monsoon trough persists over the Coral Sea – in turn maintaining a consistent run of tradewind swell hovering around the three foot mark ahead of an easing trend setting in through Thursday 6th and Friday 7th March.
As per the last update a tropical low gradually developed in the vicinity of Fiji this week and continued to deepen throughout Friday to a central pressure of 998 hPa. The system is centred just north-east of Fiji and is widely projected to further intensify towards tropical cyclone-strength thresholds as it commences a south-eastward track over the weekend. However, the bulk of latest computer modelling downplays associated swell potential owing to several factors.
Firstly, even if the system does achieve tropical cyclone strength it’s likeliy to remain a relatively small, low category storm – and this has a direct impact on both the strength and size of the resulting south-easterly fetch developing across its southern quadrant. Secondly, as the system moves southeast it becomes further removed from the Queensland coast and this will invariably dilute its impact on our swell window.
Latest WW3 projections reflect this trend; indicating a very minor pulse of mid period E swell will fill in beneath the dominant tradewind swell late next week – at best contributing to a slight uptick in peak wave period on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th of March – but for all intents and purposes probably won’t materially impact wave heights.
Of continued interest are consecutive model runs now consistently capturing the development of a second tropical low/ cyclone over the northern Coral Sea early to mid next week. However, all key model guidance agree on a slow westward movement of the system towards the northern Queensland coast as it gradually intensifies from Monday to Wednesday. This unfavourable track gradually draws the storm out of range of the southern Queensland coast, so at this point in time it appears unlikely to materially impact the forecast anytime soon.
From Thursday onwards computer modelling begins to diverge regarding the latter stages of the cyclone’s lifecycle. Latest GFS runs move the low across the northern Queensland coast on Friday 7th March and weaken it out over the interior next weekend. The only glimmer of hope regarding this system lies with the speculative end of latest EC model runs that begin to push the cyclone poleward, parallel to the Queensland coast over the weekend of Saturday 8th March. Although this holds some hope for a further southward track into our swell window by Monday 10th, it’s still far too early to be viewing this as a reliable scenario.
Either way, there are leading indications a new high pressure system building into the Tasman Sea over the weekend of Saturday 8th March will bolster the tradewind flow, triggering a renewed upswing in ESE swell over the weekend or early in the week beginning Monday 9th.