Biggest cyclone surf to hit since Winston
THE MASSIVE surf expected to hit the Gold Coast this weekend could be the best cyclone swell to hit the city in more than two years according to forecasters.
Powerful long-period swells whipped up by Tropical Cyclone Gita, which devastated Tonga on Monday and was tracking west past Fiji last night, are expected to roll into the Gold Coast from Friday and peak on Sunday.
The forecast could have lifeguards and coastal engineers on edge as the wild surf is expected to close beaches and rip sand from coastlines.
But experienced surfers are gearing up for epic conditions and some boardriders could already be fuelling up their jet skis for tow in surfing according to Coastalwatch chief forecaster Ben Macartney.
“It’s going to be big,” he said. “The surf could be up to 10 feet (3m) on some of the outer banks on the Gold Coast.
“The dynamics and the wind speed off the cyclone at the moment looks incredible.”
Mr Macartney said the waves could shape up to being better than memorable swells whipped up by Tropical Cyclone Winston two years ago.
Larger periods between waves are expected to be produced by TC Gita which means more powerful surf.
“The swell periods from TC Winston were about 12 to 14 seconds, whereas with this swell the periods look bigger, about 15 to 16 second,” Mr Macartney said.
“That usually translates to hollower surf on the Gold Coast which means round, square, wide open tubes.”
He said conditions could be ideal a pointbreaks off Burleigh, Currumbin, Kirra and Snapper Rocks at the weekend.
“It looks like the points will just be firing.”
By the expected peak of the swell on Sunday he said the swell could be too dangerous even for extremely fit surfers on the open beaches and out of the question for beachgoers.
“There should be plenty of beach erosion, it’s really dangerous surf and not for beachgoers,” he said.