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Gales whip up surf for NSW

Guy Dixon, Saturday April 12, 2014 - 17:39 EST

Wind gusts in excess of 80 km/h with a deep low pressure system batter the New South Wales coast.

Earlier this week, a low pressure system developed within a deep trough off the southeast coast of Australia's mainland. This low has been slowly moving north and deepening along the NSW south coast generating gale force winds, coastal showers and large seas.

Gusty southerly winds bring the potential to gust up 90 km/h about much of the NSW coast today. A gale warning was issued for all coastal waters between Eden and the Hunter, while further north a strong wind warning was enforce for all waters between the Macquarie coast and Coffs.

So far today, exposed coastal regions have begun to see strong winds lashing up the coast. Wattamolla has clocked max gusts of 96 km/h while to the south the story continues with Montague Island Lighthouse seeing 83 km/h.

These strong winds have also whipped up the ocean resulting in large seas and powerful surf conditions along much of the NSW coast. Early this morning, offshore wave heights picked up three metres in just three hours to a peak of four metres.

For south facing beaches, this large swell equates to wave heights of about 6-8 feet. In the course of the next 24 hours, this swell ease slightly to around the 6 foot range, however southerly winds are not expected to be as brisk. For experienced surfers, a wave might be on offer about protected south corners.

Large southerly swell however also brings the risk of coastal erosion. Once again, exposed south facing beaches and northern corners will be the most susceptible and may experience destructive dune erosion.

Extra caution must be taken for any participants in coastal activities such as surfing, swimming and rock fishing.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2014

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