The Weekend Surf Forecast 21 - 23 April 2017

20 Apr 2017 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Forecast issued Thursday, 20 April 2017

It’s always going to be a bit of a letdown, the weekend after Easter (see SWELL DIARY here). Whether it’s going back to work or discovering you’re finally out of Easter eggs, or contemplating a fading swell or some combination of the above; an Easter hangover will be in effect for many this weekend. That’s definitely the case across the NSW coast as the previous week’s long enduring run of ESE swell and offshore winds finally relents, giving way to small to tiny levels of background E swell; mostly hovering around 1 to 2ft across exposed breaks.

Further up the coast, southern Queensland fares substantially better; with a consistent run of ESE tradewind swell set to fluctuate around the 3ft mark across exposed breaks for several days to come. The only downside is persistent SE to E winds that inevitably limit the cleanest options to the points and bays.

Down south, the story gets better. Victoria’s exposed beaches about to light up under several days of mid-period SW swell; initially arriving across the exposed beaches at 3 to 4ft on Friday and Saturday under optimal NE winds. This precedes a significant boost in wave energy on Sunday, with light and variable winds making for glassy/ clean conditions before winds swing onshore into the afternoon.

Over West, it’s looking similarly good – if not better. Overlapping SW groundswells are set to keep surf-heights ranging from 4 to 8ft across the exposed Southwest breaks under a persistent SE wind-regime; making for several days of good to great conditions statewide.

SEE ALSO: Sean Doherty On, Bells The Musical

Easter may have come and gone, but the waves just keep on coming across the West Coast this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

Easter may have come and gone, but the waves just keep on coming across the West Coast this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
There’s very little in the way of surf on the radar this weekend. The presence of a large, quasi-stationary high over the southern Tasman Sea will keep a firm lid on wave-potential – not just over the weekend, but also into early next week. As Easter’s long-enduring run of E swell finally begins to dry up over the next couple of days, we’re left with a very slight ENE windswell that isn’t expected to push beyond 1 to 2ft on Saturday and Sunday. The upside is mostly light NW to NE winds, making for good surface quality all weekend.

Friday
Background E swell. Up to 1 – 2ft exposed open breaks, inconsistent in the upper range. WIND: Early light WNW tending light and variable, then NE around 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Mix of short range ENE windswell and background E swell. Ranging from 1 - 2ft exposed breaks, small to near flat elsewhere. WIND: Early light N tending NE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
ENE windswell. Sets to 1 - 2ft exposed breaks, grading small to near flat elsewhere. WIND: Early light N to NW tending NE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

In the wake of Easter's epic run of surf, conditions revert to the mundane this weekend. Photo: CW user Dan Bielich.

In the wake of Easter's epic run of surf, conditions revert to the mundane this weekend. Photo: CW user Dan Bielich.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Southern Queensland doesn’t fare too badly compared to locations further south this weekend. The onset of a late-season burst in ESE tradewind swell will keep surf-heights running at a consistent 2 to 3ft with occasional larger sets over the next few days.

This swell is defined by its short-range and low-period, making it well suited to the majority of exposed beaches both north and south of the border. The only downside is persistent SE to E winds blowing at 10 to 15 knots on Friday and Saturday respectively – and this will invariably keep a lid on wave quality on both days, so it’s worth getting in early to capitalise on brief lulls in the onshore flow. Sunday morning probably offers up your best window to get amongst some cleaner waves across exposed beaches as the ridge lying across the coast weakens, allowing for lighter offshore winds through to mid morning.

Friday
E tradewind swell and ESE windswell mix. Sets 2 – 3ft+ exposed breaks, grading smaller inside the points and bays around 1 - 3ft. WIND: Early S to SSE to 10 knots, tending SE 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
ESE windswell. Ranging 2 – 3ft+ exposed breaks, grading smaller inside the points and bays to 1 - 3ft. WIND: Early light SSW inshore tending SE 5 to 15 knots, then ESE during the afternoon.

Sunday
ESE tradewind swell. Sets around 2 – 3ft exposed breaks, grading smaller inside the points and bays and easing during the day. WIND: SW 5 to 10 knots inshore early, tending SE to ESE 5 to 15 knots during the day.

An upswing in short range ESE windswell keeps things ticking over across southern Queensland this weekend. Photo: CW user Midlam.

An upswing in short range ESE windswell keeps things ticking over across southern Queensland this weekend. Photo: CW user Midlam.

Victoria
After scouring the forecast charts for signs of good surf, it’s fair to say you won’t find too many places better than Victoria’s exposed beaches this weekend. In the wake of Easter’s sustained run of large to heavy SW groundswell, we’re about to see freshly scoured sand banks come to life as the swell drops to accessible 3 to 4ft levels on Friday.

This coincides with an ideal, light to moderate NE wind-regime that’s set to remain in place all day. This pretty much sets the trend of Saturday as mid-period SW swell continues to pulse at solid 3 to 4ft levels under lighter N to NE winds tending variable during the day – again making for another full day of excellent surf state-wide. Sunday then sees a notable jump in wave-energy offering up more challenging 3 to 6ft conditions across exposed beaches, with early light and variable conditions seeing the best of it before light onshore winds spring up into the afternoon.

Friday
Overlap in mid range SW groundswell. Ranging from 3 - 4ft exposed beaches. Grading 2 – 3ft across the Surf Coast early, bumping up a notch during the afternoon. WIND: NE to NNE at 10kts.

Saturday
Mid period SW groundswell. Clean sets ranging from 3 - 4ft+ exposed coasts. Sets up to a bumpy 2 – 3ft across the premier Surf Coast reefs. WIND: Early NNE 5 to 15 knots tending N, then light and variable during the afternoon.

Sunday
Stronger SW groundswell builds in. Solid 4 – 5ft exposed beaches early, building to 4 – 6ft+ during the morning. Sets around 2 – 4ft across the Surf Coast early, picking up to 3 – 5ft during the day. WIND: Early light NW to NNW tending light and variable, then SSW during the afternoon.

Victoria's exposed beaches are the pick this weekend as mid-range SW swell coincides with ideal N to NE winds. Photo: Coastalwatch user Josh Mcmullen.

Victoria's exposed beaches are the pick this weekend as mid-range SW swell coincides with ideal N to NE winds. Photo: Coastalwatch user Josh Mcmullen.

Western Australia
The good times keep rolling across the West Coast into late April. Thursday saw another day of clean, 6 to 8ft SW groundswell across the Southwest – and although it’s set to drop a couple of notches by Friday morning, this pretty much sets the trend for the next few days.

Early light SE winds greet a renewed building trend in SW groundswell getting underway throughout Friday and coming to a head early on Saturday; producing yet another thumping 6 to 8ft day across exposed Southwest breaks – and with winds freshening out of the southeast you’ll also be well advised to seek out a bay offering some shelter from the brunt of the swell during the day. Moderate to strong SE winds remain in force as this pulses eases on Sunday, making for clean 4 to 6ft conditions across the region all morning.

Friday
Building SW groundswell under light favourable winds. Southwest coast: 3-5ft, rising 8ft+ sets. Perth/Mandurah: 1-1.5ft, rising late. WIND: ESE 10kts tending S’ly 10-15kts.

Saturday
Deepwater SW groundswell peaks early under freshening SSE winds. Southwest coast: 6-8ft+, plus sets early, easing later. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft. WIND: SE 5-15kts early, tending SSE 20-25kts.

Sunday
SW groundswell slowly settles, offshore winds. Southwest coast: 4-6ft+, largest sets early. Perth/Mandurah. 1ft+. WIND: SE 10-20kts, easing slightly in afternoon.

The bays will also have some tasty options under the prevailing SE wind-regime this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

The bays will also have some tasty options under the prevailing SE wind-regime this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
It may not be perfect, but it’s certainly shaping up as a pretty good weekend to be chasing down a few waves across South Oz. The arrival of a couple of mid-period SW pulses should keep set waves up in the 3ft range across exposed South Coast breaks over the next two days, with a notable boost in energy holding potential for larger  sets in the 3 to 4ft range on Sunday. Although a southerly bias in local winds won’t add much appeal to the forecast, the onshore flow will remain light all weekend; going from light and variable early before puffing up to 5 to 15 knots into the afternoons.

Friday
Minor overlap in SW groundswell. South Coast: 2-3ft+, exposed beaches. Mid Coast: 1-1.5ft sets. WIND: SW 5 to 10kts early, tending SSW 10-15kts.

Saturday
Ease in SW groundswell under light variable winds. South Coast: 2-3ft, plus sets at exposed beaches. Mid Coast. Around 1ft. WIND: S 5-10kts early on the South Coast, tending SE later. 

Sunday
New WSW groundswell shows under light morning winds. South Coast: 2 - 4ft. Mid Coast: 1-2ft. WIND: Light SSE 5-10kts.

Conditions aren't looking too shabby across the South Coast this weekend. Photo: CW user Heatwaves.

Conditions aren't looking too shabby across the South Coast this weekend. Photo: CW user Heatwaves.

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