Huey Isn't Done With Indonesia This Season!

27 Sep 2016 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

BALI, INDO SURF FORECAST | Presented by Nomad Surfers

Forecast Issued Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Don't pack away your step-up board just yet, Huey isn't quite done with Indonesia this season!

There’s no disputing that, through the spring months, large swell events don’t arrive with the same frequency as winter. This year, spring has been typical of this trend; characterised by extended periods of small to mid-range swells, interspersed with the occasional large pulse in the 6 to 8ft range. This pattern is set to remain in place throughout the end of September and the first week of October. This features consecutive days of fun-sized SSW swell in the short to mid-term; producing a few solid 3 to 4ft days at the major breaks before wave-energy bottoms out this weekend. This will mark the calm preceding the onset of a new, large-scale SSW groundswell that’s on track to peak across Indonesia on October 3rd, generating a full day of solid sets in the 6 to 8ft range.

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The arrival of a large SSW groundswell holds serious surf-potential throughout the archipelago during the first week of October. Photo: Nick O'Brien.

The arrival of a large SSW groundswell holds serious surf-potential throughout the archipelago during the first week of October. Photo: Nick O'Brien.

Short Forecast

The final days of September feature a continued run of small to mid-sized SSW swell maintaining wave heights in the 2 to 4ft range under a lighter wind regime. This precedes the arrival of a large round of SSW groundswell during the first days of October, providing two full days of large surf throughout the archipelago.

Daily Summary

Wednesday 28
Short period SSW swell. Sets around 2 - 3ft+ exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 12 knots.

Thursday 29
New SSW swell. Ranging from 2 – 4ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending SE 10 to 12 knots.

Friday 30
Reinforcing S groundswell. Sets to 3 – 4ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending SSE 10 knots.

Saturday 1
Leftover SSW swell. Sets to 2 – 3ft+ exposed breaks, easing later. New SSW groundswell bumps up during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending S to 10 knots.

Sunday 2
Residual SSW swell. Around 1 – 3ft exposed breaks early, bumping up towards 3 – 4ft during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending SSE 5 to 10 knots.

Monday 3
Large SSW groundswell peaks. Sets to 6 – 8ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending SE around 10 knots.

Offshore virtual buoy readings for Bali: There are plenty of good, mid-sized days on tap to see out September ,before a larger SSW groundswell kicks in early next month.

Offshore virtual buoy readings for Bali: There are plenty of good, mid-sized days on tap to see out September ,before a larger SSW groundswell kicks in early next month.

Overview

Tuesday morning revealed small-scale SSW swell in the 1 to 3ft range across the region; marking an interim low-point inactivity preceding a modest upswing in energy over the next few days. Wednesday marks the onset of a new round of SSW swell; comprised of a mix of dominant, mid-period energy and a smaller, longer period component that’s set to push up more size by Thursday. This should see more substantial 2 to 3ft plus sets across exposed breaks throughout Wednesday, with scope for the odd larger set during the afternoon.

This is linked to a polar low that traversed below the Kerguelen Islands last Thursday before further intensifying as it migrated east on Friday. Although only relatively small in scale, this storm generated seas and swell in the 20 to 30ft range below 50S; spawning a minor pulse of SSW groundswell inbound over the next few days. This should see set waves peaking around 3 to 4ft across exposed breaks on Thursday. Friday then marks the arrival of a similarly robust pulse of SSW groundswell; filling in from a more acute southerly direction of 200 degrees during the day.

The source was a larger frontal low that pushed up across the south-eastern Indian Ocean, directly below Indonesia last weekend before traversing below Western Australia on Monday morning. Corresponding satellite passes revealed a broad swath of 30 to 40 knot SW gales spanning the low’s western quadrant throughout Sunday and early Monday; enduring long enough to whip up a solid round of mid-period SSW swell. The bulk of this energy should show up on Friday before scaling back into the 2 to 3ft range by Saturday and substantially fading by early Sunday.

The good news is another large round of SSW groundswell will follow; commencing with a steady building trend in energy during Sunday afternoon ahead of a larger peak in the vicinity of 6 to 8ft across the major breaks on Monday 3rd October. The origin of this event is a complex low that set up below Madagascar on Sunday before commencing on a long eastward journey across the southern Indian Ocean this week.

The storm undergoes a couple of distinct phases in swell-production as it migrates our way over the coming week; initially supporting dual SW and WSW wind-fetches it traverses the southern Indian Ocean on Tuesday and Wednesday. The extended duration of these swell producing winds produces a vast wave-field exhibiting varying heights – ranging from 15 to 30ft over the southern Indian Ocean. The second and most relevant phase gets underway on Thursday as the low re-intensifies over the south-eastern Indian Ocean, setting up SW gales aimed squarely at the Southwest Australian coast. A subsequent, heavy SW storm-swell initially impacts the Margaret River region this weekend before spreading north to arrive across Indonesian shores on Monday; generating clean 6 to 8ft sets across the more exposed reefs all day. The tail-end of this event should continue to run at solid 4 to 6ft across the region on Tuesday 4th October before settling to more accessible 3 to 4ft levels by Wednesday 5th.

Long Range

The key models indicate a significant lull in storm activity setting in across the southern Indian Ocean during the first days of October will lead in a period of small to tiny surf throughout the archipelago. Indeed, whatever SSW swell is leftover in the wake of next week’s large SSW swell event should fade to 2 to 3ft by Friday 7th ahead of a further decline to 1 to 2ft at best over the weekend of Saturday 8th.  Beyond that, long-term EC model runs pick up a modest resurgence in storm activity over the south-central to southeastern Indian Ocean between Tuesday 4th and Thursday 6th October; presenting speculative scope for an upswing in small to mid-sized SSW swell by Wednesday 12th.

Corresponding GFS model guidance also hints at some modest storm activity below Indonesia over this time frame. These projections also pick up a large-scale storm system setting up below South Africa from the 4th to 7th of October. Although remote, this source may supply the archipelago with some modest, mostly small-scale SW swell into the middle of October. Expect revisions to the long-range outlook in next week’s update.

Tags: ben , macartney , indo , forecast , bali (create Alert from these tags)

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