Les Vagues arrivent pour le Quiksilver Pro à Snapper Rocks !


Small mix of old SSE swell and trade swell for early week. Trade swell comes up a notch mid to late in the week

Updated: Monday morning, March 9th
(Local Gold Coast Time)
Check Out How Snapper Works in Surfline’s Mechanics of Snapper Rocks
Brief Overview: Leftover, small SSE swell is on tap for today. Small easterly trade swell is expected on Tuesday as SSE swell eases further. A gradual increase in E trade swell is forecast for the mid to second part of the week, but at this time we continue to not advertise this being a significant event on or before Friday the 13th unless the situation changes in the tropics. Regardless, our team will be closely monitoring the progress of the tropical disturbance located NW of Fiji.REST OF TODAY (MONDAY 9th):  Small SSE swell leftovers and trade swell mix.
Thigh-waist high surf (2-3’ faces) in leftover SSE swell and easterly windswell mix. A few plus sets possible, but size again will be strongest at more south exposed breaks in the area. Slow again a couple hours either side of the ~10am high tide.
Light/variable to light SW morning winds trend ENE/NE6-11kts in the afternoon. Partly cloudy.TUESDAY 10th:  Small E trade swell/old SSE swell. Minor increase in ENE trade swell late.
Swell/Surf: Knee-thigh occ. waist high (1-2-3’ faces) SSE swell and easterly trade swell mix. Biggest late. 
S/SE winds5kts in the morning trend E to ESE7-12kts in the afternoon. Partly cloudy.WEDNESDAY 11th:  Modest increase in E trade swell; watching tropics closely
Swell/Surf: Waist-stomach-chest high (2-4’ faces) easterly trade swell surf.  
ESE/SE winds 5-10kts increasing to 10-15kts in the afternoon. Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers.THURSDAY 12th:  E trade swell; watching tropics closely
Swell/Surf: Waist-chest high (3-4’ faces) easterly trade swell surf. Stay tuned as we watch the tropics and upstream trade winds.
SSE winds6-11kts increasing to SE10-15kts in the afternoon. Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers.FRIDAY 13th:  Mainly E trade swell and SSE windswell; watching tropics closely
Swell/Surf: Waist to shoulder high (3-4’+ faces) E trade swell. Going below some of the models this far out given the uncertainty with the tropics. 
SSE winds9-14kts increasing to SE14-18kts in the afternoon. Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers.Swell/Surf Outlook

The current steep angled SSE swell is overall gradually declining on the local and upstream buoy network. However, the direction has rotated a little more SSE offshore. This slight direction change will keep a small thigh-waist high wave in the water today. Inconsistent plus sets are possible, but again, they will favor more south exposed locations such as Duranbah and beyond. A minor mix of SSE swell and ENE trade swell is expected on Tuesday.

The computer models are gradually coming into better agreement regarding the situation for mid to late in the week. The tropical disturbance located NW of Fiji near 8S 164E continues to show signs of development based on the latest satellite imagery showing a flare up of thunderstorm activity near the center of circulation. However, this system is expected to take its time moving south over the next couple of days as it develops. The GFS model has trended towards the more conservative ECMWF model which brings the system S/SE more slowly through Thursday and is overall less intense. This slower track means the storm will remain out of the main swell window for the Gold Coast for at least a few more days due to shadowing from the Vanuatu Islands and New Caledonia. The system is expected to eventually push south of this region later in the week and the beginning of the weekend, which means that a significant cyclone swell would be unlikely on or before Friday unless something changes. We will be watching this system closely over the next few days, and it cannot be stressed enough that there is uncertainty with tropical cyclones and their swells beyond just a couple of days out.

At this time, a more plausible solution seems to be a gradual increase in easterly trade windswell for Wednesday through Friday. This is in response to a gradual increase in 15-25kt E/SE winds over the waters east and northeast of the area, thanks to the active monsoon trough interacting with high pressure pushing east of New Zealand through the middle of the week. We have continued to cap the associated trade swell at chest/shoulder high until we get more data upstream suggesting otherwise.

It should be noted that the models also develop a system in the NW Coral Sea over the next couple of days. However, this system is expected to be too far NW to send appreciable swell to the area before Friday. Lastly, another front is expected to bring a surge of 20-25kt SW/S winds up the coast late in the week (by Friday 3/13). This will allow some small SSE windswell to spread north through the region late Friday into Saturday as well.

Mechanics of Snapper Rocks.

Next Update: Tuesday afternoon, March 10th

-Mark Willis

Satellite imagery from early this morning showing disturbance developing NW of Fiji/east of the Solomon Islands. Image courtesy UW-CIMSS.

Proprietary Surfline Resources for Australia’s Gold Coast:

Expert analysis/written forecast
17-Day Forecast for Snapper Rocks
Nearshore Wave Model for Snapper Rocks-Kirra
New high resolution wind models for East Oz and the Gold Coast

Be sure to also check out the Mechanics of Snapper Rocks by Sean Collins.