Rip Curl Cup 2015 Official Forecast

17 Jul 2015 0 3 VIEWS

Rip Curl Padang Cup Surf Forecast issued 2.40pm, Friday, 29 July 2016. By Chief Swell Forecaster Ben Macartney.

  • A deep low pressure system situated over the southern Indian Ocean is the source of a large, long-period SSW groundswell inbound for Padang, Bali on Tuesday, 2nd.
  • The swell is conservatively projected to peak in the 4 to 6ft plus range under moderate ESE tradewinds, with a peak in size occurring during the afternoon.

Forecast Overview
A large SSW groundswell is inbound for the Rip Curl Cup during the first few days of August, with the swell-source now entering its second and most significant stage of wave-production. Over the last 48 hours a deep low pressure system set up deep in the southern Indian Ocean, giving rise to a broad belt of 40knt SW gales situated just west and north of the Kerguelen Islands.  on Tuesday and Wednesday; aimed directly at Indonesia. This fetch sets up a first pulse of long-period energy that’s projected to build in throughout Monday and although this isn’t anticipated to produce much surf beyond 3ft at Padang, it should be a precursor to a much larger episode arriving in the days following.

As the low rotated further east on Friday, it continued to support a weaker WSW fetch situated directly below Indonesia. However, it’s the rapid eastward movement of an anteceding frontal progression, feeding into the north-western flank of the low that gives the system it’s second wind; generating another extensive area of WSW/SW gale to strong gale force fetch spanning much of the southeast Indian Ocean. This fetch works upon a pre-existing sea-state generated by the early stages of the low’s lifecycle to drive maximum significant wave height into the 30 to 35ft plus range on Saturday.

A long-period SSW groundswell spreading north of this source is projected to fill in on Tuesday and 2nd August, generating a steady building trend in surf-heights throughout the day. There is a possibility the swell will be undersized early, with a lag possible between a first, smaller pulse arriving on Monday and the second, stronger SSW groundswell filling in on Tuesday. So although, the bulk of WW3 projections surveyed show a fairly linear trend in surf-heights throughout the day, it may not be until lunchtime onwards that we begin to see the bulk of swell showing up.

As mentioned previously, the location of the swell source directly below Indonesia results in a strong southerly bias in swell direction of 200 to 210 degrees. Given Padang’s sheltered location inside the Bukit Peninsula, a significant proportion of wave-energy (and size) will be lost via refraction. On the other hand, the relative close proximity of the swell-source to Indonesia minimises wave erosion; producing a sizeable pulse - probably in the 4 to 6ft plus range, with scope for larger 5 to 8ft sets during the afternoon. It’s also worth noting the tail end of the swell is still likely to be similarly large early on Wednesday morning before it starts to ease back during the afternoon. 

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