The Weekend Surf Forecast 26 - 28 May

25 May 2017 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Forecast issued Thursday, 25 May 2017

There isn’t a lot of autumn left to get excited about, so I’d say get amongst it before the deep dark days of winter start to set in. When it comes to swell, it’s fair to say the final weekend of May favours Western and Southern Australian coastlines; with large SW and WSW groundswells inbound and windows of favourable winds offering up great conditions at the right time and place. 

Having said that, the East Coast will also have something surfable on offer – particularly further north. Both Southern Queensland and northern NSW regions benefit from a long-enduring run of unseasonal E tradewind swell. For the most part this energy won’t push beyond 2 to 3ft, but favourable winds will make for great conditions none-the-less. Further south, Sydney and the South Coast will receive a diluted version of the E swell; probably only amounting to a couple of feet across exposed breaks – but that’s still a whole lot better than nothing.

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A salute to the end of autumn. Photo: Dkimber.

A salute to the end of autumn. Photo: Dkimber.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
User friendly is probably the nicest way to describe the conditions this weekend. A mixture of primary ENE and secondary S swells will cross over to produce small waves – for the most part hovering around the 2ft mark across the most exposed beaches for several days. The upside is consistently clean conditions; groomed by early light offshore winds that will swing north later Saturday, but remain west all day Sunday.

Friday
Mix of ENE swell and faded S swell. Around 2ft across exposed east and south facing breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light WSW 5 to 10 knots, tending S to SE to 10 knots later.

Saturday
ENE swell. Slow 1 – 2ft exposed open breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light W tending NNE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Background ENE swell. Slow sets mostly ranging from 1 – 2ft exposed open breaks. WIND: Early light NW, tending WNW during the day.

Small swells can make for big fun. Photo: CW user Tobiaszig.

Small swells can make for big fun. Photo: CW user Tobiaszig.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
It’s looking like one happy surfing day after another across the region this weekend. A long enduring run of E tradewind swell will continue to pulse at relatively low-levels to produce a succession of good quality, 2 to 3ft groundhog days across exposed breaks. A slight uptick in wave period over the course of the weekend is offset by the increasing distance between the swell source and the coast – and the end result is likely to be longer waits between sets as the weekend progresses. Otherwise, it’s all looking pretty good – at least until the tail end of the swell starts to fade way early to mid next week.

Friday
Mid period E tradewind swell. Sets to 2 - 3ft exposed breaks, mixing with slight S swell at similar levels across northern NSW coasts. Wrapping in at 1 - 2ft inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light SW to SSW 5 to 15 knots, tending SSE to ESE during the afternoon.

Saturday
Easing E tradewind swell. Sets around 2 – 3ft exposed open breaks. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light WSW to SSW tending ESE to ENE 5 to 10 knots.

Sunday
Mid period E tradewind swell continues. Slower sets ranging from 2 – 3ft exposed open breaks. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early WNW 5 to 10 knots, tending NNE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

The long run of E swell continues, virtually unabated  this weekend. Photo: CW user Harrison Muller.

The long run of E swell continues, virtually unabated this weekend. Photo: CW user Harrison Muller.

Victoria
It’s on for young and old across Victoria this weekend. A series of overlapping WSW groundswell conspire to maintain energetic surf state-wide for days to come – and if you’ve got the time to drive around so that the prevailing wind is at your back, then you’re likely to score on both Saturday and Sunday.

Friday marks the onset of a steep building trend in WSW groundswell; precipitating in a rapid transformation in conditions from reasonably accessible across the exposed beaches early to increasingly unruly as the day progresses.  Saturday sees strong northerly winds and solid WSW swell producing a full day of great conditions across south facing stretches – ideally positioned slightly out of the direct brunt of the swell. Sunday, however, is reserved for the Surf Coast. The onset of a larger WSW groundswell coincides with straight offshore WNW winds, making for a full day of good waves across the Torquay reefs and beyond.

Friday
Old WSW swell reinforced by new WSW groundswell. Sets to 3 – 4ft+ exposed beaches, building to 4 – 6ft+ during the afternoon. Ranging from 2 – 3ft across the Surf Coast early, picking up to 3 – 4ft during the arvo, bigger later. WIND: NW 5 to 15 knots early, tending lighter NW to NE during the afternoon.

Saturday
WSW groundswell slowly eases. Around 4 – 5ft+ exposed beaches. Grading to 2 – 3ft+ across the Surf Coast. WIND: N 15 to 25 knots.

Sunday
Reinforcing WSW groundswell. Solid 5 – 8ft exposed beaches, grading to 3 - 4ft+ across the Surf Coast. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots.

Both the exposed beaches and the Surf Coast will have their moments this weekend. Photo: CW user Corey_ed

Both the exposed beaches and the Surf Coast will have their moments this weekend. Photo: CW user Corey_ed

Western Australia
The West Coast is in the midst of a sustained run of large SW groundswell that’s set to keep coming throughout the weekend. Another strong pulse building in throughout Friday coincides with strong southerly quarter winds across the Southwest Coast; lending the focus to the sheltered breaks all day. As this pulse gradually subsides throughout Saturday, lighter SSE winds will open up a wider variety of surfable options. It won’t be until Sunday that lighter offshore ESE to variable winds greet the tail-end of the swell; making for a full day of great conditions across all exposed breaks.

Friday
Old SW groundswell eases before an overlapping pulse shows rising sets. South West coast: 7-9ft, rising plus sets. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft, rising 3ft sets late. WIND: SSW early 10-20kts shifting S’ly. Possible light variable Metro beaches early.  

Saturday
Large SW groundswell shows under improving winds. South West: 8-10ft, easing. Perth/Mandurah: 2-3ft, easing. WIND: SSE 10-15kts. Offshore ESE winds Metro beaches.

Sunday
SW swell eases further under offshore winds. South West: Clean 3-5ft, exposed beaches early, easing. Perth/Mandurah: Clean 1-1.5ft.  WIND: SE - ESE at 5-10kts tending variable.

The exposed breaks are set to light up once winds swing ESE on Sunday. Photo: Dev Coote.

The exposed breaks are set to light up once winds swing ESE on Sunday. Photo: Dev Coote.

South Australia
It’s a case of the sooner you hit it the better over the coming days. Friday is offering up the best conditions of the forecast window as moderate northerly winds coincide with a strong building trend in SSW groundswell throughout the day; causing conditions to go from relatively user friendly early to relatively challenging as the day progresses. Saturday morning should also offer up a great window as early NNW winds greet a still chunky SSW groundswell. As the day progresses winds are set to swing WNW – and by Sunday it’s just about all over. The arrival of a vigorous cold front across the state on Saturday evening leads in strong WSW winds on Sunday perhaps making for a good day to find something else to do.

Friday
Stronger SSW groundswell fills in under favourable winds. South Coast: 2-4ft early, rising 6ft sets at exposed beaches. Mid Coast: 1-1.5ft, rising 2ft+. WIND: NNE 5-10kts early, tending 10-15kts N’ly.

Saturday
Brief ease in SW groundswell under freshening NW tending WNW winds. South Coast: 3-5ft, easing briefly before rising late. Mid Coast. 1-2ft, background rising wind swell. WIND: Early NNW to NW 15-20kts  tending WNW 25kts. Possible lighter winds early on the Mid.

Sunday
WSW groundswell shows under fresh W’ly winds. South Coast: 4-6ft at exposed beaches. Mid Coast: 3-4ft. WIND: 20-25kts W’ly tending WSW.

Surf reporter and forecaster Dan Wyer researching wave spectra. Photo: CW.

Surf reporter and forecaster Dan Wyer researching wave spectra. Photo: CW.

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