Weekend Surf Forecast 14 - 16 July, 2017
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
Forecast issued Thursday, 13 July 2017
The usual asymmetries in surfing conditions prevail around the country this weekend. Across the East Coast, conditions continue to look more like spring than mid-winter. Fading SE swell is set to drop back to a smaller 1 to 2ft or so across the NSW coast and southern Queensland by Friday, before fading to tiny or near flat levels by Saturday. This should precede a minor rise in refracted S swell showing maximum size across Sydney and the South Coast early on Sunday; probably culminating in the best conditions you’re likely to see across the region this weekend.
Down south, Victoria and South Australia cop a large pulse of WSW groundswell on Saturday; peaking in the vicinity of 6 to 8ft across exposed Victorian beaches, while wrapping in at anywhere from 3 to 6ft across the Surf Coast. This will be followed by a fairly steep decline on Sunday, opening up improving conditions across the more exposed beaches as winds swing to the north.
Last but not least, the Southwest Coast feels the brunt of a typical winter pattern; characterised by strong onshore NW to SW winds and a steep rising SW groundswell. While this will leave little to be desired across Perth’s metro beaches and the Southwest, it will translate into great conditions across the remote Northwest.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
The good news is the weather will be fine and winds will blow from the west over the next few days. Otherwise, it looks like pretty slim surf-pickings across the entire East Coast all weekend. In the short term an inexorable decline in SE swell follows the passage of a new high pressure system moving over the southern Tasman Sea; resulting in much smaller surf not exceeding 1 to 2ft across the region on Friday. That leads in a day of tiny to near flat conditions on Saturday as traces of ESE and S swell fluctuate around the 1ft mark. That leaves Sunday as your best chance for something more substantial, with a new round of refracted S swell holding reasonable chances for a push into the 1 to 3ft range across south facing breaks; probably showing most size early before fading again as the day progresses.
Background S and SE swells. Slow sets to 1 – 2ft exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: NNW 10 to 15 knots early, freshening to 15 to 20 knots during the day and tending NW later.
Tiny ESE and S swells. Around1ft exposed open and south facing breaks, virtually flat elsewhere. WIND: Early WSW 5 to 15 knots, freshening during the afternoon.
New S windswell. Inconsistent sets to 1 - 3ft south facing beaches, fading during the afternoon. Grading to 1 – 2ft elsewhere. WIND: Early WSW 5 to 15 knots, tending light and variable later.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
If you have a big appetite for small to tiny surf then you can look forward to plenty of time in the water over the next few days. The current run of SE swell is on a downhill slide that will culminate in tiny leftovers by Sunday; probably hovering around the 1ft mark across exposed breaks. Until then, it’s well worth making the most of what’s on offer. Friday should continue to see rideable 1 to 2ft waves on offer across southern Queensland, grading slightly larger south of the border. Expect another incremental drop in size by Saturday, making for inconsistent sets still materialising at a slow 1 to 2ft across the more exposed breaks. Both Friday and Saturday see a north-westerly slant in local winds favouring the more exposed, south facing coasts, preceding the arrival of a weak south-westerly wind-shift early on Sunday morning.
SE swell. Sets to 2 - 3ft exposed northern NSW breaks, grading to 2ft+ exposed QLD coasts and 1 to 2ft inside the points and bays. WIND: Early WNW 5 to 10 knots, tending NNW 10 to 20 knots later.
Leftover SE swell. Sets to 2ft exposed northern NSW breaks. Up to 1 – 2ft exposed QLD coasts and smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: WNW to NW 5 to 15 knots.
Residual SE swell. Around 1 – 2ft exposed breaks, grading to tiny to flat inside the points and bays. WIND: Early inshore SW to SSW 10 to 20 knots, tending light S during the day and lighter ESE later.
Expect a full weekend of solid surf across Victorian coasts as a couple of overlapping WSW groundswells kick in across the region. Friday sees a first, smaller pulse opening up a wide variety of good options under moderate NNW winds. This precedes the arrival of a second, larger and longer period episode filling in on Saturday; large enough to shut down exposed beaches while offering up solid sets in the vicinity of 4 to 6ft across the premier Surf Coast reefs. The only disclaimer here is the likelihood of inconsistency in the upper range, owing to a strong WSW bias in swell direction. The tail end of Saturday’s peak in size is projected to taper off pretty quickly overnight; leaving more accessible options across the Surf Coast and exposed beaches as winds revert to the north as the day progresses.
WSW groundswell fills in. Sets to 4 – 5ft+ exposed beaches. Wrapping in at 3 – 4ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: NW to NNW 15 to 25 knots early, tending WNW during the afternoon.
Larger WSW groundswell peaks during the day, probably undersized early. Around 5 – 8ft exposed beaches. Grading to 4 – 6ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early W 10 to 20 knots, tending lighter WSW during the arvo.
SW swell slowly eases. Around 4 – 5ft+ exposed beaches early. Sets to 3 – 4ft across the Surf Coast, easing a tad during the afternoon. WIND: Early NW to NNW 10 to 20 knots, tending N and freshening during the afternoon.
It’s definitely not going to be a picturesque weekend of surfing across the West Coast. The spectre of freshening onshore north-westerly winds will see conditions going from bad to worse on Friday. By Saturday winds are set to further freshen out of the WNW before starting to turn WSW during the afternoon, leaving little to the imagination across the region all day. The onshores coincide with a steady building trend in SW groundswell that’s set to culminate in large, stormy conditions all weekend. The only upside is comes in the form of moderating south-westerly winds on Sunday, opening up some reasonable options inside the bays.
Decreasing WSW swell under light N'ly wind early. South West: 6-8ft fading 4-6ft. Perth/Mandurah: 2ft dropping 1ft. WIND: Varied N to NE'ly early 0-10kt, increasing NW 10-20kt in afternoon.
WSW groundswell with strong WNW windswell rising under heavy onshores. South West: textured 4-6ft+ with building seas. Perth/Mandurah: rising lumpy 2ft+. WIND: NW 20-30kts shifting W in the afternoon.
Combination W swells holds as winds ease from SW. South West: 6-8ft+. Perth/Mandurah: 2-3ft. WIND: SW 15-20kts early, easing SSW 10kts.
A chunky round of SW groundswell is on course to hammer South Australian coasts on Saturday; making for solid, albeit wind-affected conditions across the South Coast all day. Prior to the groundswell’s arrival, the surf will be smaller and windier on Friday, with the passage of a cold front leading in strong 20 to 30 knot westerlies, turning SW as the day progresses. Winds won’t be ideal on Saturday morning either – but they will be much lighter as the groundswell hits full stride. Otherwise, there’s always Sunday for some smaller surf in the vicinity of 2 to 4ft across the South Coast under more favourable NNW winds.
New SW groundswell builds in. Sets to 2 – 3ft exposed South Coast beaches early, picking up to 3 – 4ft during the afternoon. Around 0.5ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early W 20 to 30 knots, tending SW during the day, then easing later.
Large SW groundswell peaks. Sets 3 – 5ft exposed South Coast breaks, grading to 1 – 2ft+ across the Mid Coast,. WIND: Early inshore W to SW 5 to 15 knots, tending NW during the afternoon.
Easing SW groundswell. Sets 2 – 4ft exposed South Coast breaks, dropping into the afternoon. Around 1ft across the Mid Coast, smaller later. WIND: NNW 15 to 25 knots.
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