Weekend Surf Forecast 2 - 4 December, 2016

1 Dec 2016 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Forecast issued Thursday, 1 December 2016

Welcome to summer people! Sure, it may not mean days of clean, uncrowded waves and powerful groundswell (probably only a potential reality during autumn and or winter), but the water’s warm, the days are long and if there’s a bit of swell then hey, why not get wet?

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Across the Eastern Seaboard an ambivalent synoptic pattern only offers up a mix of localised NE and SSE windswells; for the most part not pushing beyond 1 to 2ft plus. Friday probably the pick, with an early SSE change on Saturday unlikely to offer much appeal.Otherwise, you might want to hang out until Sunday for some smaller, cleaner leftovers. If you live in Victoria – or are willing to travel there at short-notice - then you’ll undoubtedly fare much better.

The first weekend of summer coincides with a strong pulse of SW groundswell; big enough to produce some solid 4ft conditions across the Surf Coast on Saturday, with a full day of offshore 4 to 6ft surf in store across the exposed breaks on Sunday. South Australia also benefits from this episode, with Sunday the pick as winds swing NE. Over West, the first weekend of summer is a bit of a fizzer, with small-scale SW swell mostly coinciding with onshore winds.

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A couple like this would do just fine for the start of summer. Photo: CW user ChrisvB.

A couple like this would do just fine for the start of summer. Photo: CW user ChrisvB.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
If you keep your expectations in check you might have some fun in the surf this weekend – but by ‘in check’ I’m talking right down low, somewhere below the knees. Initially, Friday isn’t looking too bad. An overnight push in small-scale NE windswell should offer up another day of 2ft waves across the more exposed open beaches, with early light offshore winds making for a great summer morning to get amongst it.

From there, however, it’s downhill. The arrival of a strong, overnight southerly change is only projected to offer up junky onshore, 1 to 2ft mush on Saturday morning, with a SSE bias in wind vectors and short period windswell offering little in the way of quality waves. Although locals winds will be much lighter on Sunday, both NE and SSE swells will fade into the tiny range, making for a fun day for a paddle on something flat and buoyant.

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Friday
Clean, peaky NE windswell. Ranging from 1 – 3ft max exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere and fading during the afternoon. WIND: Early light WNW 5 to 10 knots, tending NE 10 to 15 knots later.

Saturday
Bumpy, lumpy and ugly. Short range SSE windswell. Ranging from 1 - 2ft+ south facing beaches, mixing with NE swell at 1 – 2ft elsewhere. WIND: Early SSE change 15 to 25 knots, tending SE and easing during the afternoon.

Sunday
Tiny swell-mix and semi-clean all day. Mix of background ENE and SSE swells. Up to 1 to 2ft max exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light SSE around 5 to 10 knots, tending light and variable, then NE during the afternoon.

Friday's uptick in NE windswell should offer up some clean 2ft waves across the NSW coast. Photo: CW user Wunderlust.

Friday's uptick in NE windswell should offer up some clean 2ft waves across the NSW coast. Photo: CW user Wunderlust.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
The arrival of summer sees a northerly pattern coming back into force with a vengeance this weekend. If you’re ok with a daily diet of junky NE windswell in the 1 to 2ft plus range and persistent, northerly quarter winds, then bully for you. Because that’s about all there is on the surfing menu throughout the weekend – and based on latest model runs it looks like this pattern will remain intact throughout the first week of December.

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Friday
Small and fun. Short range NE windswell. Junky 1 – 2ft+ exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Light NW tending NNE 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday
A drive south of the border may be in order. Short range NE windswell and underlying E swell. 1 – 2ft exposed breaks, grading to tiny/near flat elsewhere. WIND: Early light N to NNW tending NNE and freshening to 15 to 20 knots during the day.

Sunday
Cleanest early, deteriorating during the day. Short range NE windswell and underlying E swell around 1 - 2ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early N tending NNE 15 to 25 knots later.

Get ready for an extended run of small-scale NE windswell, lasting throughout the first week of December. Photo: CW user Ripplehues.

Get ready for an extended run of small-scale NE windswell, lasting throughout the first week of December. Photo: CW user Ripplehues.

Victoria
When you look at the forecast below, keep this in mind: Victorian coasts have the best surfing conditions on offer out of any region around the country this weekend.

The arrival of a powerful SW swell provides a welcome reactivation the Surf Coast. Saturday’s peak in size should see solid sets ranging either side of 4ft across the premier Torquay reefs, while larger sets in the vicinity of 6ft invariably close out the exposed beaches. Early light inshore winds on Saturday morning will offer up lumpy, but reasonably clean conditions before winds swing to the southeast during the day. On Sunday the focus shifts to exposed beaches, with light NE winds and a still chunky SW swell offering up some challenging conditions if you can find a bank holding the swell.

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Friday
Junky across exposed beaches early and deteriorating later. Small, mid period SW groundswell. Around 2 – 3ft+ exposed coasts early, picking up during the afternoon. Grading to 1ft or so across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early WNW turning SW 10 to 20 knots mid morning, then SSW and freshening later.

Saturday
Solid and semi-clean across the Surf Coast early, deteriorating during the day. Large SW groundswell. Sets around 5 – 6ft+ exposed coasts. Grading to 3 - 5ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light and variable inshore early, tending SSE 10 to 15 knots later.

Sunday
Semi-clean early, otherwise onshore and junky. Mid period SW swell. Set to 4 – 5ft+ exposed breaks, easing later. Grading to 3 – 4ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: NE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

The Torquay reefs should make a welcome return to form this weekend. Photo: CW user Zacloveless.

The Torquay reefs should make a welcome return to form this weekend. Photo: CW user Zacloveless.

Western Australia
The first weekend of summer isn’t looking too flash in the surf department folks. Friday morning by far and away presents your best opportunity for some quality 3 to 5ft waves across the Southwest. By Saturday the swell will have dropped considerably and winds will be blowing moderate to strong west to southwest from the outset; making for pretty unappealing conditions all day. You’re probably best off waiting for Sunday morning – by which time winds will have dropped and swung lighter SSE inshore; making for some ok 2 to 3ft options before winds swing back to the SSW during the afternoon.

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Friday.
Easing SW swell under morning offshore winds. Southwest coast: 3-5ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1-1.5ft. ESE winds 10-15kts tending SSW'ly 10-20kts.

Saturday
SW swell bottoms out under dicey winds. Southwest coast: 2-3ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft. SW winds 10kts early freshening to 20kts W'ly.

Sunday
Continued small swell under light south winds early. Southwest coast: 2-3ft, larger. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft. SSE winds 5-10kts freshening 25kts S'ly.

Sunday morning is shaping up as the best of an ordinary bunch across the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

Sunday morning is shaping up as the best of an ordinary bunch across the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
It’s shaping up as a pretty good start to summer across SA this weekend. A new round ofSW groundswell kicks in on cue; pushing surf-heights up to solid 3 to 6ft levels across the South Coast on Saturday under light E to SE winds. The swell eases a notch or two by Sunday morning as winds swing NE, making for a great window to get amongst some solid, clean waves across all exposed south and west facing breaks. A NW wind-shift kicking in during Sunday arvo will quickly limit options to the more south facing stretches.

Friday
Improving during the afternoon. SW swell. 2 - 4ft South Coast beaches, rising to 3 – 4ft+ during the afternoon. Grading to 1ft or so across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early SW 15 to 20 knots tending S 10 to 15 knots during the day.

Saturday
New SW groundswell peaks during the day. Solid sets ranging from 3 - 5ft+ South Coast breaks. Grading to 1 - 2ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light ESE tending SSE 5 to 15 knots.

Sunday
Solid and clean SW swell. Sets to 3 - 4ft exposed South Coast beaches. Wrapping around 1ft+ across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light NE, turning NW and freshening to 15 to 20 knots during the day.

Lighter NE on Sunday morning should open up some great options state-wide. Photo: CW user Grimace 75.

Lighter NE on Sunday morning should open up some great options state-wide. Photo: CW user Grimace 75.

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