Weekend Surf Forecast 4 - 6 November, 2016

3 Nov 2016 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | Weekend Surf Forecast

Forecast issued Thursday, 3 November 2016

The vagaries of Mother Nature occasionally throw curve-balls into the forecast – usually when you least expect it. Such has bee the case across the NSW coast this week, with consistently larger than projected surf materialising across the region put down to stronger-than-projected wind-speeds and slight skews in wind-vectors. These variances usually don’t persist beyond a few days – so prima-facie, the forecast set out below should be pretty solid.

A new round of S swell inbound across the NSW coast this weekend holds good potential for solid surf ranging either side of 4ft across southern exposures on Sunday morning – but most of this energy won’t show across northern parts of the coast until Monday.

Down south, both Victoria and South Australia feel the brunt of a heavy SW storm-swell; more reminiscent of winter than late spring. This is set to peak on Saturday before gradually settling as conditions improve on Sunday. Across the West Coast there’s also tons of swell inbound this weekend – but only Saturday will be offering up favourable offshore winds.

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Most regions look more like winter than spring this weekend. Photo: CW user Photos13.

Most regions look more like winter than spring this weekend. Photo: CW user Photos13.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Now these are the kind of spring conditions we like to see. Just as this week’s sustained run of SSE swell begins to taper off, we can expect a powerful round of S swell to jump up over the weekend; initially showing at modest levels on Saturday afternoon before peaking early on Sunday; probably at pretty chunky 3 to 5ft levels across southern exposures under light offshore winds. A weak ridge lying across the coast points to relatively light onshore winds during the afternoon, so it will be well worth putting most of your surfing eggs into Sunday’s basket.

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Friday
Not pretty early, turning ugly later. Leftover S swell mixing with background E swell. Sets to 2ft exposed breaks, fading later. WIND: WNW 5 to 15 knots tending NNE 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Small and weak early, muscling up later. Mix of slight NE swell and background S swell. Inconsistent 1 - 2ft exposed open beaches early, new S swell picks up towards 2 – 3ft+ during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early WNW 10 to 20 knots shifting WSW during the day before easing and tending light S to SE during the afternoon.

Sunday
Cracking all day. S swell peaks. Solid 3 - 5ft south facing beaches early, easing during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light WNW tending NE 5 to 15 knots later.

A chunky round of S swell lights up the entire NSW coast this Sunday. Photo: CW user SSC.

A chunky round of S swell lights up the entire NSW coast this Sunday. Photo: CW user SSC.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Small to tiny surfing options persist across the region – and in the short term it’s only expected to get smaller before it gets bigger. That means Friday will probably be better than Saturday, with background ESE and SSE swells both anticipated to fade considerably. The good news – at least if you live south of the border – is the arrival of a new round of S swell throughout Sunday. Although this new energy should start out pretty small throughout the morning, it’s projected to pick up into the respectable, 3ft realm during the afternoon, ahead of peak in size showing early on Monday.

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Friday
Small and fun. Mix of background ESE swell and SSE swell. Around 1 - 2ft exposed QLD breaks. SSE swell up to a larger 1 – 3ft northern NSW south facing breaks. WIND: Light NNW tending NNE later.

Saturday
Tiny and not so fun. Mix of short range NE windswell and background swells. Around 1ft+ exposed breaks. NE windswell picks up during the afternoon. WIND: Early NW to NNW tending N and freshening to 15 to 25 knots later.

Sunday
Picking up during the afternoon. S swell Around 1 - 3ft northern NSW south facing breaks early, building to 2 – 4ft during the afternoon. Mixing with slight NE windswell at 1ft+ exposed QLD breaks. WIND: Early light SSW to SSE tending SE to NE 5 to 15 knots later.

Only locations south of the border are expected to pull in much size and a new S swell picks up on Sunday. Photo: CW user Rex Whiticker.

Only locations south of the border are expected to pull in much size and a new S swell picks up on Sunday. Photo: CW user Rex Whiticker.

Victoria
The forecast has a distinctive winter feel that’s in stark contrast to the late spring norm. The onset of a heavy, windblown round of WSW storm-swell is set to transform the exposed beaches into monstrous, churning no-go zones – and this will invariably leave the Surf Coast and other semi-sheltered breaks as the only sensible surfing options. Even so, latest model runs have upgraded the dimensions of this episode, so even the Torquay reefs are likely to be producing windy, challenging conditions throughout Saturday’s peak. It won’t be until Sunday that lighter WNW winds coincide with a still solid, but more accessible SW swell, making for a full day of excellent conditions across the Surf Coast.

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Friday
Pretty good just about everywhere you look. SW groundswell. Around 4 – 5ft exposed coasts early, rebuilding towards 5 – 6ft+ during the late afternoon, bigger in the evening. Sets to 2 – 4ft across the Surf Coast, bumping up during the afternoon. WIND: Early light NW 10 to 15 knots, freshening to 15 to 25 knots ahead of a late WSW change.

Saturday
Heavy and unruly. Large and stormy WSW swell. 8 – 10ft+ exposed coasts, grading to 5 – 8ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: WSW 20 to 35 knots, easing to 15 to 25 knots later.

Sunday
Pumping across the Surf Coast. WSW swell. Sets to 5 – 8ft exposed breaks. Grading to 4 - 5ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots, shifting WSW during the day then lighter W to WNW into the afternoon.

Expect some big, clean sets across the Surf Coast on Sunday. Photo: CW user Taylorve.

Expect some big, clean sets across the Surf Coast on Sunday. Photo: CW user Taylorve.

Western Australia
While there’s no shortage of powerful swell inbound over the next few days, you’ll have to work with limited periods of favourable winds to get some quality time in the water this weekend. Saturday morning is undoubtedly the best window of opportunity; with light offshore SE to ESE winds offering up excellent conditions across the exposed stretches. The favourable surface conditions greet leading forerunner swells associated with a long-range, long-period WSW groundswell gradually filling in during the day, with set waves expected to ramp up in size as winds swing to the SSW during the afternoon. Although the bulk of this groundswell will fill in on Sunday at a solid 6 to 8ft, a looming onshore wind shift is set to mar what would otherwise have been an epic day of waves across the Southwest.

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Friday
Some morning sickness, improving during the day. New mid period SW swell holds under improving wind conditions. Southwest coast: 3-5ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft+. SE winds 10-15kts tending SSW 10-20kts.

Saturday
Clean and on the rise. Extra long period SW groundswell shows rising inconsistent sets. Southwest coast: 3-4ft early, rising with inco 6-8ft sets. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft, rising 2ft+. ESE winds 10-15kts tending SSW 10-15kts.

Sunday
Powerful groundswell hampered by onshore winds. Long period WSW swell holds. Southwest coast: 6-8ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft+, larger sets likely at exposed beaches. South/SSE winds 5-10kts early tending SSW 20-25kts.

There will be some good, if not excellent surfing options across the Southwest on Saturday. Photo: CW user Jake Hayes.

There will be some good, if not excellent surfing options across the Southwest on Saturday. Photo: CW user Jake Hayes.

South Australia
The arrival of a heavy round of SW swell and associated onshore winds are set to keep a lid on quality surfable options across the South Coast on Saturday.  This episode follows he passage of a deepening mid-latitude low tracking swiftly below the state on Friday, leading in a big spike in energy on Saturday morning. The good news is winds should steadily ease and tend W during the afternoon – perhaps opening up some better options late in the day. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until Sunday – by which time it will be clean and cooking across the South Coast. SW swell slowly abates from still powerful 3 to 5ft levels under favourable NW winds, making for a full day of quality waves across the region.

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Friday
Fun early, turning ugly later. SW groundswell 2 – 3ft+ across exposed South Coast beaches, bumping up during the afternoon. Grading to 1ft+ along the Mid Coast. WIND: Light NNW 5 to 10 knots, tending W before shifting WSW 15 to 25 knots later.

Saturday
Heavy, unruly SSW storm-swell peaks. Ranging from 4 – 6ft+ across the exposed South Coast beaches with size depending on exposure. Up to 2 - 3ft along the Mid Coast. WIND: SSW 10 to 20 knots, tending WSW during the afternoon.

Sunday
Pretty good and getting better during the day. SW swell. Ranging from 3 – 5ft across the exposed South Coast beaches early, easing to 3 – 4ft during the afternoon. Up to 1 – 2ft along the Mid Coast. WIND: WNW 5 to 15 knots, tending NW during the afternoon.

It won't be until Sunday that lighter offshore winds make for better conditions across the South Coast. Photo: CW user Bodhitodd.

It won't be until Sunday that lighter offshore winds make for better conditions across the South Coast. Photo: CW user Bodhitodd.

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