Weekend Surf Forecast 9 - 11 February 2017

9 Feb 2017 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Forecast issued Thursday, 2 February 2017

Amazing surf experiences can – and do - stick with you, that’s for sure. There’s a guy here in the office who happened to be Johnny on the spot (except that his name isn’t Johnny) on a day back in the summer of 2011 when Taj Burrow, Jay Davies and a few other lucky chaps scored a rare (by rare I mean first time in living memory) one-day pulse of 4 to 8ft NW swell across the Southwest; courtesy of Tropical Cyclone Bianca. So far he’s asked me about 265 times whether or not a tropical low currently brewing near Port Headland is going to deliver something similarly – and each time I’ve had to break the news: “Sorry mate, probably not this time. I’ll keep an eye on it”. The reality is there’s nothing out of the ordinary brewing for any region this weekend – but just about everywhere has waves. 

SEE ALSO: 8 Boards In The Midst Of The Surfboard Evolution Right Now

Nothing like getting in early. Photo: CW member Penny Kempe.

Nothing like getting in early. Photo: CW member Penny Kempe.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Well, Thursday morning’s solid round of E swell provided a great opportunity to get the small-surf-monkey-off-your-back – and it’s worth making the most of it while it lasts. Expect an overnight drop in size into the 2 to 3ft range by Friday morning, with just enough juice left over to make for fun conditions under early light NW winds. By Saturday morning the tail-end of the swell should be down to about 2ft with the odd bigger one across open breaks. Early SSW winds will initially lend the focus to southern corners, but they’ll drop away to light and variable, making for fair to good conditions across all breaks for most of the day. By Sunday it’s pretty much done; returning to a stock-standard 1 to 2ft summer norm under early light winds, preceding a southerly change arriving during the day.

SURF COACHING: Nick Carroll On, The 3 Waves To Get The Best Position In The Line-up Every Time 

Friday
Easing ENE swell. Sets to 2 – 3ft+ exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere and easing later. WIND: Early light NW to NNW 5 to 10 knots, tending NE 10 to 15 knots during the day.

Saturday
Smaller leftover ENE swell. Ranging from 1 – 3ft across the most exposed open breaks, grading to 1 – 2ft elsewhere. WIND: Early SSW 5 to 15 knots, tending light and variable, NE 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Leftover ENE swell. Mostly 1 - 2ft across exposed open beaches. WIND: Early light and variable tending S 20 to 30 knots during the afternoon.

These kind of conditions could well be a reality somewhere along the NSW coast over the next couple of days. Photo: CW user Hodaddy.

These kind of conditions could well be a reality somewhere along the NSW coast over the next couple of days. Photo: CW user Hodaddy.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
By now I imagine your expectations are fully adjusted to this summer’s fairly lacklustre, neutral ENSO swell-regime: Compared to last year it’s pretty run-of-the-mill stuff. In the context of the current state of affairs, it’s pumping out there. While Thursday’s 3 to 4ft pulse marks an interim peak in E tradewind swell, there will still be plenty of push in the swell leftover on Friday as it continues to range from 2 to 4ft across the more exposed breaks, with lighter SE to E winds opening up reasonably good wave-quality across all coasts. Saturday afternoon, however, marks a return of the dreaded northerlies (dreaded if you’re bread and butter is a Queensland point-break) so getting in early will be paramount. Likewise, Sunday sees early NW to NNW winds slanting N during the day – and with E swell down to about 2ft it’s worth hitting the most exposed stretches for early.

STANDOUT SESSION: This Week's Gold Coast Grovel

Friday
Combination of E and SE tradewind swell. Sets ranging from 2 - 4ft exposed breaks, grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light WSW to SSW inshore tending SE 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday
Combination of E and SE swells. Sets to 2 – 3ft exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light and variable inshore tending SE to NE to 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Fading E tradewind swell. Sets around 2ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light NW to NNW tending N 10 to 20 knots.

Welcome back Huey! And everyone else. Photo: CW user Izsea.

Welcome back Huey! And everyone else. Photo: CW user Izsea.

Victoria
Near flat days along Victoria’s exposed beaches are rare – but several days of proper too-small-to-surf flat, is about as rare as unicorns. Never the less, that is indeed the current state of affairs; one that’s set to persist state-wide on Friday before we finally begin to see the Southern Ocean stirring anew over the weekend.

This activity starts out with a minor bump in low-period SW swell; probably as small as 1 to 2ft early on Saturday, preceding a steady build to more meaningful 3 to 4ft levels during the afternoon. While early light onshore SW winds won’t exactly add much appeal to Saturday’s the rising swell, it’s probably worth a surf in the context of the current state of affairs. The onset of a strengthening onshore flow during Saturday afternoon/ evening will lead in a full day of strong-onshore conditions on Sunday; strong enough to limit rideable options to the Surf Coast and other east-facing stretches. The good news is the swell will be on the up; rising steeply throughout Sunday before peaking at large to heavy levels on Monday.

CONTROVERSY: Nick Carroll On, Plan B

Friday
Good for a laying around on a lylo. Flat to 1ft statewide. WIND: Light S 5 to 15 knots.

Saturday
Hit it before it gets blown out. Slow rising SW swell. Around 1 – 2ft early, rising to 2 – 3ft during the day and up to 3 – 4ft exposed coasts late. Mostly flat across the Surf Coast, bumping up towards 1 - 2ft late. WIND: Early light and variable tending SW 5 to 10 knots, freshening to 10 to 15 knots later.

Sunday
Surf Coast early or foregetaboutit. Steep rising SW swell. Quickly building to a stormy 4 - 6ft across exposed beaches during the morning and up to 5 – 7ft+ later. Sets to 2 - 3ft across the Surf Coast, rising to 3 – 4ft later. WIND: Early W inshore tending WSW 20 to 25 knots during the day.

This is what happened six years ago when TC Bianca moved offshore. This time around, TD 15U looks very unlikely to produce anything of note. Photo: Michael Vogelsanger.

This is what happened six years ago when TC Bianca moved offshore. This time around, TD 15U looks very unlikely to produce anything of note. Photo: Michael Vogelsanger.

Western Australia
Two thumbs up. In the absence of words, that is exactly what I’d give the forecast for the Southwest this weekend. Of course, according to The Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary the English language has 171,476 words. So instead I’ll say go and surf as much as you can manage both on Saturday and Sunday as a solid SSW groundswell fluctuates between 3 and 6ft under strong offshore ESE winds.

DEBATE: Mike Jennings On, Maybe Not Such A Dumb Idea

Friday.
Ease in SW swell under fresh SE winds. Southwest coast: 1-2ft+. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft. WIND: SE at 20-25kts, tending 30kts.

Saturday
Rising SW groundswell under fresh ESE winds. Southwest coast: 3-5ft early, rising inconsistent 6ft sets. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft, rising 2ft sets. WIND: ESE at 20-25kts.

Sunday
SW groundswell holds some size early under continued fresh ESE winds. Southwest coast: 3-5ft, possible inconsistent larger sets early, easing. Perth/Mandurah: 1-1.5ft, easing. WIND: ESE at 20-25kt easing 15-20kts.

Strong onshore winds make for a scarcity of good surf across SA this weekend. Photo: CW user Mattvan.

Strong onshore winds make for a scarcity of good surf across SA this weekend. Photo: CW user Mattvan.

South Australia
The run of near flat conditions is set to come to and end this weekend; the spell broken by the arrival of a strong building trend in SSW groundswell setting in on Saturday. Unfortunately this event comes hand in hand with strengthening onshore winds; starting out light to moderate on Saturday morning before kicking in out of the SW during the afternoon. A full day of strong onshore SSW winds follows throughout Sunday under a further rise in swell from the same direction, so the Mid Coast may well prove the only viable option.

Friday
New SW swell. Sets around 1 - 2ft exposed South Coast beaches,
possibly undersized early. Grading to near flat across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light and variable tending S 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Mid period SW groundswell arrives under deteriorating conditions. Sets to 1 - 2ft+ exposed South Coast beaches, bumping up later. Grading to near flat across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light and variable tending SSE 5 to 15 knots during the day, then freshening later.

Sunday
Larger SW groundswell builds in with strong onshore winds. Sets ranging from 2 - 3ft exposed South Coast breaks, rising to 3 – 4ft. Grading to a cross-shore 1ft+ or so across the Mid Coast. WIND: SSW to SSE 15 to 20 knots.


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