Spring ahead: a strong swell from the South Pacific for Tahiti, pleasure for the Americas
The changing of the seasons means a lot of things to a lot of people. The snowmelt, the days that get longer, the leaves that come back on the trees, the spring break, etc. But for surfers – especially those most closely connected to the Pacific Ocean – it can be very simple: Spring is here exactly when the first big set unloads on the Teahupoo Reef. This means the South Pacific storm track is waking up.
And while the South Pacific spat out a handful of above-average southerly swells at the start of the year – giving hope for an active start to the southern swell season – storms and swells quickly subsided. cooled at a more expected rate, same trend below average as we head into spring (fall for the southern hemisphere).
This is how it looked as we headed towards the beginning of March below the equator: a slight swell for the eastern half of the basin and an explosion of tropical activity. Oma and Pola) in the Southwest Pacific. At this point, for lack of a clear signal on when the South Pacific would wake up, coupled with the arrival of El Nino conditions, our forecasters avoided the Americas when they chose Best March Bets for Travel – but they might reconsider if we had the best bets from mid-March to the end of March.
LOLA swell height animation shows the storm sending swells to Tahiti this week and then the developing storm benefiting the Americas in the longer term.
During the low to moderate El Nino conditions in March, we historically see above average pressures over the Southeast Pacific, a rich swell producing area for South and Central America, as well as over mainland Mexico and parts of the west coast of the United States. That leaves the Central and Southwest Pacific open for business, however – and these are the areas we are now looking for for increased activity, this week and beyond.
The first noticeable storm developed over the past weekend in the Southwest Pacific when two lows merged, forming the strongest non-tropical storm of the year in this corner of the basin. This means the first solid to large south-southwest swell of the season began to fill for Tahiti on Tuesday, peaking on Wednesday before easing over the latter half of the week. Better exposed breaks see double above plus sets during swell with highlights like Teahupoo hitting triple or a little bigger overhead on bigger sets Wednesday.
The swell caused by this storm will then spread north through Polynesia and east to the Americas for the next week. The Hawaiian Islands will also receive a healthy dose of North pacific swell over the weekend, but the trade winds should howl – at least the South Shore they will howl at sea.
In other news, unlike climate trends and El Niño, a south-southwest swell wave pulls South and Central America out of their collapse this weekend before the southwestern swell of the Tahiti storm won’t move next week. A good start after a few slow weeks, that’s true – but it’s the action after those first few pushes that might be worth getting excited about, from South America to Southern California.
Another complex storm system leaving the Southwest Pacific and heading into the South Central Pacific this week sets up a long, prolonged fetch that is well aimed at delivering fun-to-good waves over the Americas over the years. next weeks. With the high pressure anchored to the north, several low pressure centers rotate through the system with more intense wind fields as they head directly into the Americas – to the great advantage of swell production.
To learn more about the upcoming wave of surfing in the Americas, check out our expert premium analysis for the region (Mexico and central America), updated three times a week. Want to know how the South Pacific looks for the coming weeks and month (s)? Check the seasonal forecast for Central America / Continental Mexico and the prospects of Southern california for a detailed look at the signals and trends that will impact your next ride.
Know before you go