Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 27 July - 3 August, 2016

22 Jul 2016 1

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Forecast Issued Tuesday, 26 july 2016

COASTALWATCH | Bali, Indo Forecast

Indonesia’s swell window has taken a little hiatus over the past week – and this is flowing through to a relatively subdued, short-term forecast encompassing the final days of July. Still, subdued doesn’t mean it’s going to be flat over this time frame – and the good news is winter isn’t through yet. Come the first week of August we should be back in business as a new, winter-scale swell event fills in – potentially big enough to get the Rip Curl Padang Padang Cup underway.

A string of fun-sized SSW swells see out the month of July, ahead of a return to more challenging conditions across the archipelago during the first week of August. Photo: Hayden O'Neill.

A string of fun-sized SSW swells see out the month of July, ahead of a return to more challenging conditions across the archipelago during the first week of August. Photo: Hayden O'Neill.

Short Forecast
Small-scale SSW swell hangs in around 2 to 3ft on Wednesday ahead of a marginally stronger pulse filling in on Thursday. This is followed by several days of small surf preceding the arrival of a new, winter-scale swell event during the opening days of August.

DAILY SUMMARY

Wednesday 27
Small-scale SSW groundswell. Sets to 2 – 3ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 20 knots.

Thursday 28
New SSW groundswell. Inconsistent 2 – 3ft+ exposed breaks, picking up to 3 – 4ft during the day. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: ESE 15 to 20 knots.

Friday 29
Small scale SSW groundswell slowly fades. Around 2 - 3ft+ exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: ESE 15 to 20 knots.

Saturday 30
SSW swell 1 - 3ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Sunday 31
Small, reinforcing SSW groundswell. Inconsistent sets to 2 – 3ft exposed breaks early, bumping up into the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE 10 to 20 knots.

Monday 1
Small-scale SSW groundswell 2 – 4ft exposed breaks, picking up to 3 – 4ft during the day. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: ESE 10 to 15 knots.

OVERVIEW
A relatively subdued winter storm-track leads in a period of smaller-scale SSW swell across The Archipelago throughout the remainder of July, preceding the arrival of a new, winter-scale episode during the first days of August. This suppressed phase in wave-activity follows the development of a large, intense high pressure system that’s remained quasi stationary over the south-central Indian Ocean over the past week; comprehensively blocking the equatorward progression of low pressure systems forming over polar latitudes.

The upshot is a continuation of small-scale SSW swell for the region, lasting right through to early August. On the upside, we won’t be entirely devoid of surf, with a series of small-scale pulses offering up 2 to 4ft waves on Thursday and Friday, and there should still be waves ranging either side of 2ft across exposed breaks on Saturday.

It won’t be until Sunday 31st of July and Monday, 1st of August that we see the early stages of a substantial transformation in conditions beginning to materialise. A relatively modest SSW pulse arriving on Sunday is linked to the development of a deep polar low that intensified south of the Kerguelen Islands on Monday 25 July. The system set up a broad belt of westerly gales below the 50S parallel and maintained the fetch over the region on Tuesday morning. However, given the indirect alignment of the fetch with the region and relatively compact size of the low, associated swell-potential for Indonesia only appears modest; probably picking up to inconsistent 3 to 4ft levels across exposed breaks on Sunday.

Monday then sees the leading edge of a stronger SSW groundswell beginning to show throughout the afternoon. This follows the forecast development of an intense storm-system over the southwest Indian Ocean over the next few days. The low is expected to establish a broad area of SW gales west of the Kerguelen Islands on Tuesday and Wednesday; aimed directly at Indonesia. This fetch also travels northeast, toward the archipelago as it reaches peak strength; setting up a first pulse of long-period energy that’s projected to build in throughout Monday. This holds good potential for a solid push to 3 to 5ft during the afternoon and it also marks a precursor to a much larger episode arriving in the days following.

Latest offshore virtual buoy readings for Bali reflect the impending run of small surf preceding the arrival of a new SSW groundswell on Monday afternoon.

Latest offshore virtual buoy readings for Bali reflect the impending run of small surf preceding the arrival of a new SSW groundswell on Monday afternoon.

Long Range
As the aforementioned low rotates further east of Heard Island on Thursday and Friday it’s initially projected to weaken. However, an anteceding frontal progression feeding into the western flank of the low is forecast to re-intensify in fairly dramatic fashion; giving rise to a vast area of WSW/SW gales occupying much of the southeast Indian Ocean. This fetch works upon a pre-existing sea-state to drive maximum significant wave height into the vicinity of 40ft this weekend; generating an extra-large WSW swell aimed directly at South-western Australia. A long-period SSW groundswell spreading north of this source is projected to fill in on Tuesday and 2nd August, generating large surf in the 6 to 10ft range across exposed breaks. This episode would continue to produce similarly large surf early on Wednesday 3rd before scaling down during the day – speculatively culminating in a return to mid-sized surf in the 3 to 5ft range across exposed breaks by Thursday 4th.

Beyond that, we may see a smaller, reinforcing SSW swell materialising during Friday 5th or Saturday 6th  - but this looks minor; at this stage only maintain surf in the 2 to 4ft range across exposed breaks. A new low forecast to develop south of the Kerguelen Islands early next week also exhibits fairly modest swell potential; being of relatively small dimensions. Still, it presents speculative potential for a new SSW groundswell arriving around Sunday 9th and Monday 10th of August in the 3 to 5ft range. This will be reviewed in next week’s update.

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