Weekend Surf Forecast 28 - 30 July, 2017

27 Jul 2017 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Forecast issued Thursday, 27 July 2017

There’s something lacking from the forecast around Australia this weekend. I’m calling it the Goldilocks factor because wherever you look, something is just not quite right.

Across the West Coast, the swell is too big and the wind far too strong out of the west. Across Victoria and South Australia there will be plenty of good waves at the right time and place, but on Saturday particularly the swell is far too west in direction and the wind too strong out of the north. For southern Queensland, the swell is too south and hence way too small. Along the NSW coast, Friday and Saturday are looking ok, but on Sunday the swell is just far too small. If there’s one place that’s definitely looking just right, it’s Western Australia’s far northwest coast, where large SW groundswell is set to coincide with offshore winds all weekend.

DON'T FORGET: Vote For Your Fave Wave From Last Weekend's Swell! 7 Incredible Waves, 1 Winner

Not too big or too windy: just right. That was last weekend. Photo: Dan Bielich.

Not too big or too windy: just right. That was last weekend. Photo: Dan Bielich.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Compared to what transpired last Saturday and Sunday, it’s all looking a little bit ho-hum across the NSW coast this weekend. This week’s non-stop run of S swell is set to fade to lower levels by Friday ahead of, you guessed it, some more south swell on Saturday. This is shaping up as an energetic push in directional, short-period S swell; peaking at a solid 3ft plus across south facing breaks before steadily declining from there.

It looks like it will be well worth making the most of what’s on offer on Saturday, with current guidance indicating there will be very little leftover beyond the odd 1 to 2ft set at best across south facing breaks by Sunday morning, with a further dwindling in size culminating in near flat conditions as the day progresses.

SEE ALSO: The Best Surf Trip I've Ever Been On, With Creed McTaggart

Friday
Mix of leftover S swell and background SSE groundswell. Slow sets to 2 – 3ft south facing breaks, grading to 1 – 2ft+ elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early NW to WNW 10 to 15 knots tending WSW and freshening during the afternoon.

Saturday
Background S and SSE swells. Ranging from 2 – 3ft+ south facing breaks early, gradually easing throughout the day. Grading to 1 – 3ft elsewhere. WIND: Early WNW 5 to 10 knots tending NW to NNW and freshening later.

Sunday
Background S swell to 1ft+ south facing breaks, virtually flat elsewhere. WIND: NW to NNW 10 to 20 knots, easing later.

Saturday morning holds your best chances for a few clean, solid sets across southern exposures. Photo: CW user Peter Breath.

Saturday morning holds your best chances for a few clean, solid sets across southern exposures. Photo: CW user Peter Breath.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
The winter south-swell regime continues to produce wide variances in surf heights throughout the region this weekend. As per usual, far northern NSW breaks will pull in the lion’s share of surf as a new, directional round of mid-period S swell builds in during Thursday arvo and Friday morning; pushing up to stronger 3 to 5ft levels across those select breaks focussing the swell.

By the time the swell bends around Cape Byron and into Gold Coast most of this wave energy will be eroded via shoaling and refractive processes; leaving little on offer beyond 2ft across the more exposed breaks like Duranbah. This sets the trend of the weekend as a smaller, reinforcing round of mid-period S swell continues to favour northern NSW; keeping set waves running at 2 to 3ft at best across southern exposures while wrapping in further north at small to tiny levels both on Saturday and Sunday.

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Friday
S swell slowly eases. Sets to 3 - 5ft exposed northern NSW breaks, mixing with background E swell at 1 - 2ft+ exposed QLD coasts and tiny inside the points and bays. WIND: Early W 5 to 10 knots, tending NW to N 10 to 15 knots later.

Saturday
Leftover S swell. Sets to 2 – 3ft exposed northern NSW breaks. Mixing with background E swell at 1ft+ exposed QLD coasts, grading to near flat inside the points and bays. WIND: Early WSW to SSW 10 to 15 knots turning light and variable, then light ESE 5 to 10 knots later.

Sunday
Small-scale S swell. Sets ranging from 1 - 3ft exposed northern NSW breaks, grading to 1ft+ across southern Queensland’s exposed breaks and near flat inside the points and bays. WIND: WNW to NW 5 to 10 knots, tending N and freshening during the afternoon.

Northern NSW coasts will continue to fare the best under a persistent S swell regime this weekend. Photo: CW user palmy_surfer.

Northern NSW coasts will continue to fare the best under a persistent S swell regime this weekend. Photo: CW user palmy_surfer.

Victoria
Compared to Friday and Saturday, you will be surfing a very different ocean on Sunday. While  next few days. A persistent north-westerly wind-regime continues to groom mostly small-scale surf on Friday and Saturday; fluctuating around the 1 to 3ft mark across the Torquay reefs, while amounting to a larger, more wind-affected 3 to 4ft along the exposed beaches. Come Sunday the swell is set to muscle up significantly with the arrival of a new, long-period SW groundswell. This is looking substantial enough to result in plenty of hard 4 to 6ft work across exposed stretches, while translating into far more appealing 3 to 5ft lines across the Surf Coast.

SEE ALSO: Simon Anderson Recreates His Winning Thruster For Bells

Friday
Mixture of smaller, underlying SW groundswell and larger, short-period W swell. Sets to 3 – 4ft exposed beaches. Inconsistent sets ranging from 1 – 3ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots early, becoming lighter and tending NW to N during the afternoon.

Saturday
Mix of small, underlying SW groundswell and larger W swell. Around 2 – 3ft+ exposed beaches. Grading to a slow 1 – 2ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: N 15 to 30 knots, tending NNW during the afternoon.

Sunday
Large, directional WSW groundswell builds in. Possibly undersized early at 4 – 6ft+ across exposed beaches, picking up to 6 – 8ft during the day. Grading to 2 – 3ft+ across the Surf Coast, picking up to a slow 3 – 4ft during the day and bigger later. WIND: WNW 15 to 25 knots, tending lighter W during the afternoon.

It won't be until Sunday that a large WSW swell starts to crank wave-heights back up across the Surf Coast. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

It won't be until Sunday that a large WSW swell starts to crank wave-heights back up across the Surf Coast. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

Western Australia
It’s looking monstrously big and monstrously blown out for several days. A vigorous frontal system bearing down on the West Coast not only rules out surfing across the Southwest Coast (with the exception of select, super sheltered breaks), but it’s also likely to have you watching your roof doesn’t come off as 30 to 40kt westerlies rip through the region. It won’t be until Sunday morning that the onshore winds briefly relent – only to freshen once more from the northwest during the day. There’s only two conclusions to draw based on this forecast: either drive/ fly somewhere north of the maelstrom, or just batten down the hatches.

Friday
Large XXL swell mix with stormy onshore winds and heavy rain. South West: messy 12-15ft, inco larger sets at deep water reefs. Perth/Mandurah: windblown 3-5ft. WIND: Strong W 30-35kts with higher gusts.

Saturday
Strong large WSW swell continues and swell direction tends SW. South West: 10-12ft, inco larger sets at deep water reefs. Perth/Mandurah: 3-4ft. WIND: SW 20-25kts, tending 15-20kt Perth/Mandurah in afternoon.

Sunday
SW swell mix decreases with southerly shift easing. South West: 8-10ft early, fading quickly below 6ft by afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: morning 3ft sets, dropping 1-2ft. WIND: SW 10-15kts, easing to light 10kts in afternoon.

You'll be dreaming of smaller, cleaner days as heavy storm-swell and howling westerlies prevail across the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

You'll be dreaming of smaller, cleaner days as heavy storm-swell and howling westerlies prevail across the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
There’s plenty of surfing opportunities across the state this weekend. A mix of mid-period SW swell and smaller, underlying SSW groundswells keep wave-heights ranging between 2 and 4ft across the South Coast on Friday, with a favourable northerly wind-shift seeing improving conditions as the day progresses. Saturday is looking smaller and windier, with a strengthening NNW flow still making for some reasonably good conditions all day. However, it won’t be until Sunday that the arrival of a much larger WSW groundswell ramps surf-heights up across all coasts under lighter WNW winds.

Friday
Mix of mid period SW swell and long range SSW groundswell. Sets to 2 – 4ft exposed South Coast beaches, easing during the afternoon. Around 0.5 - 1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light NW tending N to NNE and freshening to 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon, stronger later.

Saturday
Small SW swell mixing with long range SSW groundswell. Slow sets 1 – 3ft exposed South Coast breaks, bumping up during the afternoon. Grading to 0.5 - 1ft across the Mid Coast,. WIND: NNW 20 to 30 knots, turning NW and easing during the afternoon.

Sunday
Larger WSW groundswell picks up. Sets 3 – 5ft+ exposed South Coast breaks. WSW swell up to 2 – 3ft+ across the Mid Coast. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots, tending W later.

Strong offshore northerly winds will make for some interesting conditions across the state on Saturday. Photo: Dan Bielich.

Strong offshore northerly winds will make for some interesting conditions across the state on Saturday. Photo: Dan Bielich.


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