October's Swell Outlook

29 Sep 2016 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

MONTHLY SWELL OUTLOOK | COASTALWATCH PLUS EXCLUSIVE

Issued 30 September 2016 

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Western Australia could be the place to be this October, Photo by Joel Nankivell / Southwest Saltwater

Western Australia could be the place to be this October, Photo by Joel Nankivell / Southwest Saltwater

NSW: Expect the recent fluctuations in short-range S and NE windswells to continue across the region through the month of October. As the high pressure belt continues to move south, we’re likely to see a lower frequency of short range S swells mixed in with the odd pulse of longer-period energy. This will leave us reliant on localised NE windswells of similarly low occurrence – and there’s pretty good chances of tiny or even flat conditions prevailing for days at a time. 

Queensland: Every once in a while, October marks the arrival of the first substantial run of easterly tradewind swell for the tropical season. This is exactly what occurred in October last year; resulting in a full week of waves in the 2 to 4ft range – and plenty of other 1 to 3ft days in between. Of course, such historical precedents are no guarantee of surf. In the absence of any early onset of the tradewind belt, expect many more days of small to tiny – even flat days prevailing for most of the month.

Victoria & South Australia: There are few states you’d rather be surfing than these two in October. A moderating Southern Ocean storm-track will continue to deliver consistent SW and WSW swells; for the most part ranging anywhere from 3 to 8ft across the region depending on the strength of the passing storm-system. The downside of October is a lower frequency of swell-events large enough to really light up more sheltered regions like the Torquay reefs – and overall it’s fair to expect plenty of smaller 1 to 2ft days across the Surf Coast, interspersed with odd 2 to 5ft days. The upside is plenty of good to excellent days of waves across exposed beaches; usually fluctuating between 3 and 6ft for week’s at a time. These wide open stretches light up when high pressure systems migrating across the east of the continent and into the Tasman Sea set up north to north-easterly airflows – usually lasting anywhere from one to three days at a time.

Western Australia: Not unlike the southern states, the West Coast is a great place to be in October. A still very active southern Indian Ocean storm-track produces consistent SW swell; usually ranging from 3 to 8ft across the Southwest Coast, interspersed the odd larger storm-swell. The trick to scoring good waves is waiting for the good winds – and in October that’s usually an exercise in patience. Although no longer packing the same kind of punch as winter, still vigorous frontal activity separates each consecutive high pressure system; the end result being winds from every point on the compass on a weekly basis.

Victoria could look something like this, Photo by Josh Laing

Victoria could look something like this, Photo by Josh Laing


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