The New Year's Weekend Forecast, 30 Dec - 1 Jan
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
Ahhhh Christmas; so much ham and so much surfing, and now here comes 2017. Whether you’re at home or somewhere more removed from the madding crowds, the New Year looms as a subdued period of surf around most of Australia’s coastal fringes.
Across the Eastern Seaboard, both the E tradewind swell that’s been in force across southern Queensland and the NE windswell dominant across NSW will progressively wane. Having said that, it’s not anticipated to go entirely flat, with both wave-trains still lingering around the 1 to 2ft mark on New Year’s Day.
Further south, both Victoria and South Australia experience a rare lull in wave activity, lending the focus to the most exposed beaches for a bit of SW swell – for the most part hovering around 2ft until early next year. Only the West Coast receives any swell of substance over the 2016/17 transition; benefiting from a strong spike in SW swell peaking in the 6ft range on New Year’s Eve, before settling to more manageable levels just in time for New Year’s Day.
Wherever you find yourself this weekend, Happy New Year and all the best for 2017!
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Wednesday and Thursday’s welcome boost in NE energy is set to drop back again by Friday; probably returning to more sedate levels in the vicinity of 2ft across exposed open breaks – so if you’re onto somewhere that’s been good over the last few days – best to stick with it.
The NE pattern continues over the New Year. Another slight pulse in short-period NE swell should again see set waves a smidge above 2ft across exposed breaks for the final day of 2016 – and this looks like marking the final burst of localised NE swell preceding a notable drop in size by New Years Day.
Although there is some background SE swell forecast to supplement the dying NE swell, it’s probably worth keeping your expectations low. The swell source was situated in a remote corner of our swell window and only endured for a relatively short time frame – so it’s unlikely to be running at more than an infrequent 1 to 2ft. It won’t be until Monday 2nd January that we finally see a southerly change moving through, with a rise in short-period S swell following as the day progresses.
More fun in the sun. Short range NE windswell around 1 - 2ft+ exposed open breaks, bumping up during the afternoon. WIND: Light WNW tending light and variable, then NE 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.
Groundhog Day. NE windswell ranging from 1 – 3ft exposed breaks. Mixing with slight SE swell to 1 – 2ft during the afternoon. WIND: Light WNW to SW tending S 10 to 15 knots during the day, then lighter SE to ESE during the afternoon.
Perfect for washing off the cobwebs. Mix of short range NE windswell and underlying SE swell. Around 1 - 2ft exposed open breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light WSW 5 to 10 knots, tending light NE ahead of an overnight S change 15 to 25 knots.
A long awaited southerly change arrives. Faded NE and SE swells reinforced by rising S windswell. 1 – 2ft+ south facing breaks early, rising to 2 – 3ft+ during the afternoon. WIND: Early SSE 10 to 20 knots, tending SE and easing during the day.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
I hope you got plenty of surfing done over the Christmas break. As of Thursday morning the waves were still running at good 3ft across the region – but this pretty much marks the final day of surf of this calibre for the rest of the year. That means smaller E swell running at a less frequent 2 to 3ft on Friday morning ahead of a further drop into the 2ft range by New Years Eve.
Easing trend aside, it’s not expected to go flat anytime soon – and even on New Years Day there should be some hangover-friendly, 1 to 2ft ENE wind-waves to wash off the cobwebs. So while it won’t be an epic New Year of surf, the good news is there’s more E swell taking shape for the region during the first week of January, so stay tuned to the detailed forecast.
SEE ALSO: The Finest Surfing Images Of The Year
Short period E tradewind swell. Ranging from 2 - 3ft exposed open breaks, easing during the afternoon. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light NNW inshore tending NE 10 to 20 knots.
Short period E tradewind swell. Around 2ft exposed open breaks, grading smaller elsewhere and fading during the day. WIND: Early light NNW tending NNE 10 to 20 knots.
ENE windswell. Around 1 – 2ft exposed breaks, grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light NNW tending NNE 10 to 20 knots.
NE windswell. Around 1 - 2ft+ exposed QLD breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light WNW to NNW tending ENE during the day and possibly SE 10 to 15 knots later.
The surf is set to remain at the small end of the scale across Victoria throughout the remainder of 2016. The onset of an acutely W swell coupled with some similarly small, long-range SW swell should offer up some slightly larger sets across exposed beaches over the next few days; probably only nudging up to 2 to 3ft levels across the state on Friday and New Year’s Eve. The good news is a marginally stronger 3 to 4 pulse should follow across the exposed stretches on New Years Day and Monday 2nd January. However, it will be well worth getting in early to capitalise on lighter inshore winds, with moderate to strong S to SW winds forecast to take the shine off conditions during the first days of January.
Clean across exposed beaches early. WSW swell. Around 1 -3ft exposed coasts, bumping up marginally during the afternoon. Grading to 1ft to flat along the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light WNW to NW tending to seabreeezes during the afternoon.
WSW swell reinforced by long range SW groundswell. Around 1 - 3ft exposed beaches. Grading to 1ft or so across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light WNW tending light and variable, then SSW during the afternoon.
New SW groundswell. Sets around 2 - 3ft across exposed beaches early, picking up to 3 - 4 during the afternoon. Up to 1 - 2ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early WNW tending SW and freshening to 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon.
Small SW groundswell. Slow sets to 3 – 4ft exposed coasts early, easing during the afternoon. Grading to 1 - 2ft+ across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early SW 10 to 15 knots tending SSE during the afternoon.
The good times keep rolling in across the West Coast into the final days of 2016 and early 2017. The arrival of a new, large spike in SW swell occurs just in time for the New Year transition; picking up during Friday and peaking on New Year’s Eve in the vicinity of 6ft across exposed Southwest breaks. The tail end of this pulse should settle to a more manageable 3 to 4ft by New Year’s Day; well suited to washing off any cobwebs. As is the norm at this time of year you’ll need to get in early to capitalise on any offshore bias in winds or at least before it gets blown out during the afternoons.
SEE ALSO: Jim Banks Surfing Uluwatu In 1977
New inconsistent SW groundswell fills in under early light SE winds. Southwest coast: 3-4ft, rising inconsistent 6ft+ sets. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft, rising 2ft late. WIND: SE at 10kt freshening 20-25kts SSW.
SW groundswell shows consistency under morning SE - SSE winds. Southwest coast: 5-7ft, easing later. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft. WIND: ESE - SSE 10-15kts shifting SSW 20-25kts.
Ease in SW groundswell under morning offshore winds. Southwest coast: 3-4ft+. Perth/Mandurah: 1-1.5ft. WIND: ESE at 10-15kts shifting SSW 20kts.
Overlapping mid period SW swell under morning SE winds. Southwest coast: 3-5ft, easing. Perth/Mandurah: 1-1.5ft. WIND: SE at 10-20kts shifting S'ly.
They say don’t sweat the small-stuff – and it’s all small stuff across the state over the coming days. A heavily subdued Southern Ocean storm-track offers the bare minimum of swell across the region; mostly running at a slow 1 to 2ft across the South Coast on Friday and Saturday, preceding a slight upswing in wave-energy into the opening days of 2017. The arrival of a small, long-range SW groundswell should offer up the odd set nudging above 2ft across the most exposed South Coast beaches. The bulk of this energy shows up early on Monday, but an onshore SSE airflow will add little appeal the swell.
Low expectations and you’ll be fine. SW swell. 1 - 2ft+ South Coast beaches, easing during the afternoon. W swell up to 1 - 2ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: WNW 10 to 15 knots, tending to seabreezes during the day.
Smaller scale SW swell. Mostly 1 – 2ft South Coast breaks. Grading 1ft or less across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light WNW tending SW 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.
Small SW groundswell. Sets to 1 - 2ft+ exposed South Coast beaches, inconsistent in the upper range. Flat across the Mid Coast. WIND: WSW 10 to 20 knots, tending SSW during the afternoon.
Small SW groundswell n. Sets to 1 - 3ft exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to near flat across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early SSE 10 to 15 knots, freshening during the afternoon.
It’s time councils and States stopped playing this silly game
Plus Exclusive unseen footage of Kelly’s wave pool
Planning to brave the aquatic elements this weekend?
Lipped, The Surfer's Podcast
Lipped, The Surfer's Podcast
The Dooley podcast tackles the small questions
Disappearance into the Mentawaiian jungles
A worthy cause to jump onto
The new movie from Surfing World hits Costa Mesa.
Another surf community has to worry about a dead whale and a council
Featuring Kelly, Mick and friends
In search of anything
A stellar story
We're nearly there