Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 19 - 31 October, 2016

18 Oct 2016 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

BALI, INDO SURF FORECAST | Presented by Nomad Surfers

Forecast Issued Tuesday, 18 October, 2016

The late season continues to deliver consecutive days of clean, rippable conditions across Indonesia. A moderately active storm-track is set to maintain a consistent run of small to mid-range SSW swell across the Archipelago; translating into many days of surf in the 2 to 4ft range - enduring right through to the end of October.

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A moderately active storm-track keeps SSW pulsing at a fun size through late October. Photo: Lance Morgan.

A moderately active storm-track keeps SSW pulsing at a fun size through late October. Photo: Lance Morgan.

Short Forecast

A short-term easing trend in SSW groundswell precedes the arrival of a new, mid-sized S groundswell on Thursday and Friday, coinciding with light SE tradewinds of 5 to 10 knots. A series of smaller-scale SSW pulses follow over the weekend and early next week ahead of a more substantial episode arriving during the final days of October.

Daily Summary

Wednesday 19
Easing SSW groundswell. Sets around 2 - 3ft+ exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending SE 5 to 10 knots.

Thursday 20
New long period SSW groundswell. Sets around 2 – 4ft early, building to 3 – 4ft+ exposed breaks during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending SE 5 to 10 knots.

Friday 21
SSW groundswell. Sets to 3 – 4ft exposed breaks, easing during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending SE 5 to 10 knots.

Saturday 22
Leftover SSW swell. Ranging from 2 – 3ft exposed breaks, inconsistent in the upper range. New SSW groundswell bumps up during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending SE 8 to 12 knots.

Sunday 23
SSW swell. Sets to 2 – 3ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending SE 5 to 10 knots.

Monday 24
New SSW swell. Sets to 2 – 3ft exposed breaks, possibly bumping up during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending SE around 10 knots.

Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali reflect a short-term easing trend in wave-energy precedes the arrival of a new SSW groundswell on Thursday and Friday.

Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali reflect a short-term easing trend in wave-energy precedes the arrival of a new SSW groundswell on Thursday and Friday.

Overview

Tuesday morning saw a new, mid-sized SSW swell arriving throughout the Archipelago; by all reports generating solid 3 to 5ft sets across the exposed reefs. In the short-term this marks an interim peak in wave-energy preceding a notable drop in size overnight; probably receding to a more sedate 2 to 3ft across the region by Wednesday morning. As mentioned in last week’s update, this episode was generated by a polar low that developed south-west of the Kerguelen Islands last week. The low set up a broad area of SSW winds aligning directly with Indonesia last Thursday and Friday.

A temporary lull in activity followed as the low weakened and shifted below Western Australia last weekend. At the same time a large high pressure system emerged as the dominant synoptic feature over the southern Indian Ocean; and the upshot is rapidly fading SSW swell throughout Wednesday; probably bottoming out at smaller 1 to 2ft plus levels late in the day, preceding the arrival of a new SSW groundswell on Thursday.

This impending episode follows the development of a vigorous, small scale low pressure system that developed near the Kerguelen Islands on Friday before migrating fairly swiftly eastward below Indonesia last weekend. The low established an impressive, 30 to 50 knot WSW fetch across latitudes bounded by 50S and 55S over this time frame – in turn giving rise to a long-period SSW groundswell inbound across the Archipelago later this week. However, there are several factors constraining associated surf-potential; namely the rapid eastward movement of the storm-system, coupled with its far southern (and hence remote) location and finally the zonally oriented wind-vectors that were only indirectly aligned with Indonesia. The upshot is likely to be another solid, mid-range SSW pulse; peaking either side of 4ft across exposed breaks during Thursday and Friday before scaling down again into the weekend.

This is set to culminate in a return to much smaller SSW swell by Saturday; probably levelling off at an inconsistent 2ft or so across exposed coasts preceding the arrival of a minor, relatively low-period SSW pulse on Sunday. This should be just enough to produce sets in the 2 to 3ft range across exposed breaks and a similarly small, reinforcing SSW swell holds similar potential for Monday 24 October. 

Long Range

On Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 the focus briefly shifts to our southwest swell window for a small pulse of SW groundswell. This originates from a mid-latitude low that developed directly below Madagascar on Monday before drifting slowly east on Tuesday. Latest satellite passes show this system has been supporting southerly gales across its western sector and it’s forecast to maintain the fetch for another 24 hours or so before the system begins to weaken and move southeast early on Wednesday. This source is fairly typical of the spring storm-track; being of modest size and strength – and hence the resulting SW swell won’t be anything to write home about; speculatively amounting to 2 to 3ft plus across exposed breaks – and probably inconsistent to boot.

Beyond that, we’re looking at the forecast development of a new polar low below the Kerguelen Islands this weekend for a new round of SSW groundswell into late October. The system is initially projected to establish a broad area of WSW gales below 50S on Sunday. This fetch then elongates equatorward to align more favourably SSW as it tracks directly below Indonesia on Monday. For the time being this holds reasonable potential for a solid round of mid-period SSW groundswell; speculatively arriving across the Archipelago over the weekend of Saturday 29 October. Going on current model runs, surf-heights look like landing somewhere in the 3 to 6ft range across exposed breaks, but this will become clearer in light of the storm’s development this weekend.

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

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