The Weekend Surf Forecast 17 - 19 September, 2016
COASTALWATCH | Weekend Surf Forecast
If a picture tells a thousand words, then the one below would be talking about how good it’s going to be across the Southwest on Saturday morning. While the entire Eastern Seaboard continues to languish under the influence of a mix of small-scale swells, states like Western Australia and Victoria beckon. Both regions have powerful SW swell stacked to the proverbial horizon – and that leaves local winds as the only element to base surfing decisions upon. So, if you live somewhere along the East Coast (most of our audience does) and you’re hankering for some overhead waves, then jumping on an interstate-bound flight isn’t a bad option this weekend.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
It’s fair to say there still isn’t a lot of swell on the radar over the next few days, but on the flipside, it definitely won’t be flat either. The arrival of a new pulse of long-range, long period south groundswell during Thursday arvo holds maximum size throughout Friday morning; in theory producing sets ranging from 2 to occasional 3ft across south facing breaks. Although this pulse fades a notch by Saturday, it’s reinforced by a new, shorter range S swell; probably just enough to keep set waves running at similar levels on Saturday.
Both long and short range south swells are set to dwindle again by Sunday, so it’s probably worth making the most of the next couple of days of stronger energy. Wave-height aside, a predominant westerly quarter airflow will offer up super clean conditions for the next three mornings, so it’s well worth a paddle regardless.
Long lulls. Small S groundswell reinforced by shorter period S swell during the arvo. Around 1 – 3ft south facing breaks, inconsistent in the upper range. Grading smaller at 1 – 2ft max across open beaches. WIND: Early light WNW tending light and variable later.
Small-scale S swell. Sets ranging from 2 – 3ft south facing beaches, grading to 1 – 2ft elsewhere. WIND: Light WNW tending light NE during the afternoon.
At least it’s clean. Leftover S swell around 2ft south facing breaks, mixing with slight NE swell at 1 – 2ft elsewhere. WIND: WSW 10 to 20 knots tending SW and easing during the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
There’s virtually no change in sight to the 1 to 2ft status quo over the next few days. A combination of diminutive wave-trains continues to produce wave heights at the tiny end of the scale across all exposed stretches.
For locations north of the border, that means relying on tiny, weak NE wind swell lingering around 1 to 2ft across open beaches; probably showing most size on Friday and Saturday before verging on flat by Sunday. For locations south of the border, it means searching out the most exposed south swell magnets for some inconsistent sets in the 2ft range. Friday holds the best potential for some larger sets nudging into the 3ft range at these venues as a fractional, long-period episode peaks before steadily easing again over the weekend.
Tiny and clean. NE windswell. Up to 1ft+ across southern QLD coasts. Mixing with underlying S groundswell at inconsistent 1 – 3ft levels across northern NSW south facing breaks. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early WNW to NW 10 to 20 knots, tending light and variable during the day and ESE later.
Small to tiny all day. Slight NE swell. Up to 1 - 2ft across southern QLD coasts. Mixing with underlying S groundswell at an inconsistent 1 – 2ft+ across northern NSW south facing breaks. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light W/SW tending ENE to NE 10 to 15 knots.
Small to tiny leftovers. Slight NE swell. Around 1ft across southern QLD coasts. Mixing with underlying S groundswell at an inconsistent 1 – 2ft+ across northern NSW south facing breaks. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light WNW tending SSW/SSE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.
There are all sort of good surfing options on the radar across the state this weekend. Friday kicks off with a more accessible day of SW swell offering up pretty good waves across all coasts. Saturday then offers up an excellent window across the exposed beaches as fresh NNW winds lend the focus to the more exposed stretches as a new SW swell builds in. It’s worth getting in early on Saturday to beat the arrival of a SW change during the afternoon, but if you’re all tied up until Sunday then you’ll be pleased to hear there will still be good waves on offer across the Surf Coast, with larger SW peaking under much lighter W to SW winds.
Pretty good everywhere you look. Easing SW groundswell. Around 3 – 5ft exposed coasts, easing towards 3 – 4ft during the afternoon. Grading to a slow 2 – 3ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: NW 10 to 15 knots, tending NNW later.
Cooking across the exposed beaches early. New SW groundswell builds in. Sets to 3 - 4ft+ across exposed beaches, picking up to 4 – 6ft+ during the day. Wrapping into Surf Coast breaks at an inconsistent 2 - 3ft, up to 3 – 4ft later. WIND: NW 5 to 15 knots tending light NE during the afternoon.
Surf Coast has the most. SW groundswell peaks. Sets around 5 – 6ft+ exposed breaks, grading to 3 – 4ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light NW to N tending SW during the afternoon.
It’s all about Saturday morning. It doesn’t mean you won’t be able to surf on Friday and Sunday – to the contrary; there will be solid waves on tap for days to come. But if you’re looking for the kind of picture perfect, 6 to 8ft conditions the Southwest is renowned for, then Saturday morning is it. However, if you’re otherwise committed on Saturday, then early on Sunday is your best bet; with a period of lighter inshore winds preceding freshening onshore WNW winds throughout the day.
Head for the bays. SW groundswell peaks under a moderate S'ly breeze. Southwest coast: 6-8ft+, larger sets likely at open ocean breaks. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft+. South wind 15-20kts, easing. Lighter SE winds Perth/Mandurah early.
Cranking all morning. Ease in SW groundswell under a light variable breeze. Southwest coast: Clean 6-8ft early, easing. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft+, easing. NE winds 5-10kts, tending variable.
The earlier the better. Wave heights ease under a possible light winds early. Southwest coast: 4-6ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft. Variable winds 10kts early, freshening WNW 20-30kts.
The appeal of a renewed building trend in SW groundswell is only tarnished by a brief period of onshore winds this weekend. While all of Friday and early Saturday offer up clean conditions across the South Coast, the arrival of a strong SW change late morning will quickly spell the end of proceedings into the afternoon. The good news is the onshore flow should steadily peter out throughout Sunday; making for improving conditions as SW groundswell continue to run at solid 3 to 5ft levels all day.
Easing SW groundswell. 3 – 4ft across the exposed beaches early, easing to 2 – 3ft+ during the afternoon. Grading to 1ft+ along the Mid Coast. WIND: NNW 10 to 20 knots tending lighter N later.
Clean early, deteriorating with the change. SW groundswell picks up. Around 2 – 4ft across the exposed South Coast beaches, rising to 3 – 5ft. Up to 1 – 2ft along the Mid Coast. WIND: WNW 10 to 15 knots, turning SW and freshening during the afternoon.
Solid onshore conditions gradually improve. SW swell 3 – 5ft across the exposed South Coast beaches early, picking up towards 2 – 4ft during the day. Tiny or near flat along the Mid Coast. WIND: SW 10 to 15 knots tending lighter W during the afternoon and variable later.
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