Weekend Surf Forecast 25 - 27 September 2015

24 Sep 2015 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Forecast issued Thursday, 24 September 2015.

Spring has a habit of lulling one into a false sense that the coldest days of the year have come and gone. That it’s safe to stow the steamer and the doona in favour of boardshorts, light cotton blankets better suited to the summer months. And just when you think it’s time to commence a routine of early morning surfs and evening barbeques, wham! In comes a low pressure system like the one currently hovering over the Tasman Sea, bringing a return to mid-winter-like conditions for days at a stretch.

The current run of oversized SSE storm-swell impacting the Eastern Seaboard comes to head on Thursday (and up north on Friday) before both swell and wind slowly subside over the course of the weekend- but it probably won’t be until early next week that conditions begin to resemble spring once more. In contrast to these extreme conditions both Victoria and South Australia bask under warmer air temperatures and fairly ideal combinations of light winds and mid-sized SW swell. Likewise the West Coast sees good-sized SW groundswell coinciding with a favourable SE to E wind-shift.

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The points and bays of far northern NSW and southern Queensland will be on this weekend. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Seanart.

The points and bays of far northern NSW and southern Queensland will be on this weekend. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Seanart.

Sydney to southern NSW
This week’s heavy round of SSE swell and honking southerly winds aren’t exactly ideal spring conditions, but hey, there’s swell – and plenty of it. Although Thursday marks a peak in size for this episode and there’s shortage of size on tap across the region over the next few days. A still powerful 5 to 8ft SSE swell continues to thump in across exposed breaks on Friday, but surface quality will be dicey to say the least.

An intense high pressure system drifting across Tasmania realigns the southerly flow further around to the SSE on Friday, making for ugly, cross-onshore conditions all day.  Although the pressure gradient slackens by Saturday onshore SSE winds will persist at about 10 to 15 knots, producing a full day of sub-standard surf quality. It probably won’t be until Sunday morning that inshore SSW winds combine with smaller leftover SE swell to produce some reasonably good surf state-wide.

CHECK OUT THE SWELL ON THE NEW NORTH BONDI CAM

Friday
SSE swell gradually eases. Ranging from 5 - 8ft south facing beaches early, grading to 3 – 6ft across open beaches with size depending on exposure. WIND: S 15 to 25 knots, tending SSE and easing later.

Saturday
Easing SSE swell. Consistent 4 – 6ft south facing beaches, grading to 3 – 5ft open breaks. WIND: SSE 10 to 15 knots.

Sunday
SE swell. Sets to 3 – 4ft exposed breaks. Ranging from 2 – 3ft+ elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early SW 10 to 15 knots, tending SE to NE during the afternoon.

Clean surfable options will be limited to the most sheltered southern corners and points across the NSW coast over the next few days. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Pete20.

Clean surfable options will be limited to the most sheltered southern corners and points across the NSW coast over the next few days. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Pete20.

Queensland and Northern NSW
Thursday marked the first of several days of energetic SSE swell that should be substantial enough to keep everyone on their toes. Friday sees a further shift in swell direction around to the SSE coupled with a lengthening in peak wave period into the 10 to 12 second band – and this should be enough to produce larger, better quality surf inside the region’s points and bays coping with the near gale force southerly winds.

This sets the trend for this weekend as mid period SSE swell slowly subsides and SSE winds begin to moderate. So although the majority of exposed open breaks will be no-go zones, the points and bays should be dishing up excellent surf all weekend – with more to come early to mid next week.

CHECK OUT THE SWELL ON THE NEW COFFS HARBOUR CAM

Friday
SSE swell peaks. Solid 6 - 8ft+ northern NSW south facing breaks early, easing marginally during the afternoon. Around 4 - 6ft+ exposed QLD breaks, grading to 3 – 5ft inside the points and bays. WIND: Early SSW 15 to 25 knots, tending SSE during the afternoon.

Saturday
SSE swell 5 - 6ft+ exposed northern NSW breaks. Grading to 3 – 5ft southern QLD exposed breaks and to 2 – 4ft inside the points and bays, easing later. WIND: Early SSW tending SSE 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
SE swell. Around 4 - 5ft exposed northern breaks, grading to 3 – 4ft exposed QLD breaks and down to 2 – 3ft inside the points and bays. WIND: SSW 10 to 20 knots tending SE during the afternoon.

The points will be awash in solid SSE swell over the coming days. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member MikeBJ.

The points will be awash in solid SSE swell over the coming days. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member MikeBJ.

Victoria
The state’s exposed beaches are set to re-emerge from beneath the recent run of large, pounding surf to produce good rideable waves this weekend. The slow eastward migration of an intense high pressure system across Victoria and Tasmania precipitates a gradual favourable shift in winds; swinging light NE as SW swell drops back into the 4ft range by Saturday morning. This should set the trend for Sunday as small-scale SW swell continues to range either side of 3ft throughout the day as light northerly quarter winds persist.

Friday
SW swell. Sets to 3 - 4ft exposed beaches. Grading to 1 - 2ft+ across the Surf Coast. WIND: Light ENE to SE 5 to 10 knots, tending SE 10 to 15 knots later.

Saturday
New SW swell. Around 3 - 5ft exposed beaches. Grading to 1 – 3ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light NE tending light and variable, then to sea-breezes during the afternoon.

Sunday
SW swell 2 – 4ft across exposed locations. Slow sets to 2ft on the Surf Coast. WIND: Light NNW to NNE 5 to 15 knots.

Victoria's exposed beaches are the pick this weekend as smaller-scale SW swell coincides with northerly quarter winds. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Pete20.

Victoria's exposed beaches are the pick this weekend as smaller-scale SW swell coincides with northerly quarter winds. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Pete20.

Western Australia
We can look forward to steadily improving conditions across the West Coast as light onshore winds give way to a lighter SE to E flow this weekend. This is set to coincide with a renewed push in mid-range SW groundswell; substantial enough to maintain surf in the 4 to 6ft range Down South and a few ankle biters across Perth’s metro beaches. Sunday is shaping up as the pick over the next few days as light to moderate easterly winds groom a well organised SW groundswell exhibiting peak periods of 14 seconds.

Friday
SW swell, slight increase of sets in afternoon. Southwest coast: 2-3ft inconsistent sets 3-4ft. Perth/Mandurah: 0.5ft occasionally better. Light and variable S winds early, tending SW 10kt in afternoon.

Saturday
SW swell with secondary swell reinforcement building to peak late. Southwest coast: 3-5ft rising 4-6ft+ sets at standouts. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft occasional better. Light S winds 5kt early, tending SE 10kt in afternoon.

Sunday
SW swell deceases. Offshore winds. Southwest coast: 4-5ft sets fading 3ft. Perth/Mandurah: 0.5ft tending flat. E winds 10-15kt early, tending light and variable in afternoon.

A gradual anticlockwise shift in wind-direction culminates in an excellent day of surfing state-wide on Sunday. Photo: Dan Wyer.

A gradual anticlockwise shift in wind-direction culminates in an excellent day of surfing state-wide on Sunday. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
Winds will swing offshore, the sun will come out and the swell will fade to fairly low levels just in time for the weekend. A slow easing trend in wave energy should see surf-heights dropping down into the 2 to 3ft range by Friday before fading another notch by Saturday. Never the less, a fairly idyllic few days of clean conditions should add plenty of appeal to conditions.

Friday
SSW swell 2 - 3ft+ South Coast beaches. Grading to 0.5ft or so across the Mid Coast. WIND: ENE 5 to 15 knots tending SE during the afternoon.

Saturday
SSW swell 1 – 3ft South Coast breaks, bumping up during the afternoon. Grading to 0.5ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: NE 5 to 15 knots tending light and variable.

Sunday
SW swell 1 - 3ft exposed South Coast beaches, gradually easing. About 0.5ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light NNW to NNE 5 to 10 knots tending light and variable.

Small, clean conditions prevail across southern exposures all weekend. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Jon Wright.

Small, clean conditions prevail across southern exposures all weekend. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Jon Wright.

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