Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast

Surf Forecast for Gold Coast

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Quiksilver Pro surf forecast issued 2.30pm, Tuesday, 25 February 2014. By Chief Swell Forecaster Ben Macartney.

Just days from now the world's best surfers will take to the water for the opening stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour at the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented by BOQ. Coastalwatch Surf Forecast, official surf forecasters for the first Australian event of the season, have provided an updated swell forecast for the opening days of the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro waiting periods.

Summary
A large high pressure system building into the Tasman Sea during the first weekend of March sets up a consistent run of ESE tradewind swell throughout the first half of the waiting period.

Saturday, March 1:
ESE tradewind swell 2 – 3ft at Snapper Rocks.
WIND: Early light SSW tending S to ESE 15 to 20 knots.

Sunday, March 2:
ESE tradewind swell up to 2 - 3ft at Snapper Rocks, gradually building.
WIND: Early light SSW tending SE 15 to 20 knots.

Monday, March 3:
ESE tradewind swell. Sets to 3 - 4ft at Snapper Rocks.
WIND: Early light SSW tending ESE 15 to 20 knots.

Tuesday, March 4:
ESE tradewind swell. Sets to 3 – 4ft at Snapper Rocks
WIND: Early light SSW tending SE 10 to 20 knots.

Wednesday, March 5:
ESE swell around 3ft+ at Snapper Rocks.
WIND: Early light SSW tending SSE to ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Thursday March 6th:
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, March 7th:
ESE swell and potential E groundswell speculatively 3 – 4ft at Snapper Rocks.
WIND: Early light SSW tending SSE 10 to 20 knots.

Saturday, March 8th:
ESE swell and potential E groundswell speculatively 3 – 4ft at Snapper Rocks.
WIND: Early light SSW tending SSE 10 to 20 knots.

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Forecast Overview:
Although the current round of ESE swell gradually fades into the end of this week there are now good chances short range ESE swell will pick up to a fun size across the southern Queensland coast by Saturday 1st March and endure right through the first week of the waiting period. The short to mid term outlook encompassing Friday 28th February to Tuesday 4 March hinges on strengthening tradewinds developing over the southern Coral Sea in response to a new high pressure system building into the Tasman Sea during Friday and the weekend. Although the developing tradewind flow isn’t projected to exceed 15 to 25 knots offshore, the close proximity of the fetch to the coast will trigger an almost immediate swell-response; picking up into the two to three foot range on Saturday and fluctuating around this size into Sunday and early to mid next week.

By Tuesday 4th/ Wednesday 5th March we’re likely to see tradewinds weakening throughout our short range swell window as the Tasman high weakens. Although this may see ESE swell dropping to lower levels from Wednesday to Friday 7th May, this may be offset by a new pulse of longer range E tradewind swell linked to a tropical system developing near Fiji.

Long Range
As discussed in Friday’s long range outlook a tropical low is still forecast to gradually develop in the vicinity of Fiji over the next few days. The system (TD 15F) is currently located just west of the Fijian islands should remain slow moving as it continues to consolidate over the next few days. Computer modelling is now in broad agreement, indicating the tropical low will gradually intensify as it drifts directly across Fiji over the weekend before adopting up a steady south-eastward track taking it deeper into the south Pacific Ocean early to mid next week.

Although the system’s remote proximity to the southern Queensland coast will invariably dilute its impact on our swell window, it’s forecast to contribute to stronger east to south-easterly winds in the 20 to 35 knot range, encompassing a broad area south of the Fijian Islands throughout the weekend and early next week. Given the 1,500 odd nautical miles between this swell source and Snapper Rocks, this indirectly aligned fetch isn’t anticipated to have a major impact on the region; at this stage giving rise to a small to mid range easterly swell around Thursday 6th / Friday 7th March – speculatively peaking at three to four feet at Snapper Rocks.

Of further interest are some latest model runs capturing the development of a second tropical low/ cyclone over the northern Coral Sea early in March. The EC in particular picks up steady intensification of the system from Tuesday 4th to Thursday 6th – a scenario that may culminate in a larger easterly swell event into Friday 7th and the weekend of Saturday 8th March – speculatively in the four to six foot range. Long range GFS runs also pick up the development of the system, but delay it’s onset until Friday 7th and Saturday 8th. Either way, the fact that it’s showing on both key models holds some promise of good things to come into the back half of the waiting period. Keep in mind the long range forecast is subject to regular revisions depending on how the aforementioned weather systems evolve. This will be reviewed again on Friday 28th February.