WEEKEND SURF FORECAST: October 12 - 14, 2012

11 Oct 2012 0 Share

There's no doubt there will be plenty SSE swell running this weekend. but finding waves of this quality is another matter altogether.

There's no doubt there will be plenty SSE swell running this weekend. but finding waves of this quality is another matter altogether.

The East Coast is shaping up as the place to be this weekend. The imminent development of an East Coast Low off the South Coast is set to transform conditions over the next few days, generating a large spike in S swell on Friday that should rapidly settle down this weekend, combining with early offshore winds to produce good conditions across the region. As far as the rest of the continent goes, there’s not too much to get excited about. The West Coast will fare the worst as strong onshore, WNW winds leave little to the imagination.

Victoria fares a little better, with strong onshore SSW winds on Friday and Saturday giving way to lighter WNW winds by Sunday – offering up at least one day of reasonably good conditions.  Likewise, South Australia sees relatively light N to NE winds maintaining clean conditions all weekend.

Source: BOM. The forecast chart for Friday morning shows the intense ECL situated just off the South Coast. A steep increase in SSE swell follows into the afternoon.

Source: BOM. The forecast chart for Friday morning shows the intense ECL situated just off the South Coast. A steep increase in SSE swell follows into the afternoon.

NSW and the South Coast

If you reside on the South Coast it’s just about time to batten down the hatches. A low pressure system deepening just offshore generates a vigorous wind fetch across its south-western flank on Thursday afternoon; initially kicking in out of the ESE at 30 to 40 knots before shifting SSE and strengthening to strong gale to storm force (35 to 50 knots) for a time on Thursday evening;

Latest Wavetracker runs show a heavy spike in S swell arriving across Sydney and surrounds during Friday afternoon.

Latest Wavetracker runs show a heavy spike in S swell arriving across Sydney and surrounds during Friday afternoon.

A subsequent, steep increase in SSE swell impacts locations from Jervis Bay south later Thursday before filling in across Sydney and the Illawarra overnight; probably starting out at a manageable three to five feet or so at first light, ahead of a steep increase in wave heights throughout the morning. Although latest model runs have downgraded the projected size of this episode, it’s still shaping up as a big spike in SSE swell, picking up to four to six feet across south facing beaches during the morning ahead of a further push to a stormy six to eight foot plus during the afternoon.

NSW Summary

Friday: Expect a steep increase in SSE swell from 3– 4ft south facing beaches early towards 4 – 6ft during the morning, then peaking at a stormy 6 – 10ft during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early WNW 15 to 25 knots shifting WSW 20 to 30 knots during the morning and then SSW 20 to 40 knots during the day before easing in strength into the afternoon.

Saturday SSE swell 5 – 6ft south facing beaches early, grading to 3 – 5ft elsewhere depending on exposure. Easing during the day. WIND: Early WSW 10 to 20 knots tending SSW during the morning and lighter SSE into the afternoon.

Sunday SE swell 3 – 4ft exposed coasts, grading smaller elsewhere. Early clean conditions deteriorating during the day. WIND: Early SW 5 to 15 knots tending S to SE during the day.


Summary: QLD and Far Northern NSW

The looming East Coast low delivers a diluted version of this swell to the region; kicking in across northern NSW on Saturday at a solid three to five feet and it should hang in at slightly lower levels on Sunday. The straight southerly swell direction will inevitably limit the swell’s impact across south-east Queensland; generating two to three foot waves across the more exposed beaches, but only around one to two foot at best inside the points and bays.

Friday Residual SE swell 1ft south-east QLD exposed beaches. NE windswell up to 2ft northern NSW open coasts, fading during the day. WIND: W 15 to 20 knots, tending WSW during the afternoon.

Saturday S swell 1 - 2ft+ south-east QLD exposed beaches. Up to 3 – 4ft+ across northern NSW. WIND: Early SW 5 to 15 knots tending light SE to NE during the afternoon.

Sunday SSE swell 1 - 3ft most exposed south-east QLD exposed beaches. 3 – 4ft northern NSW exposed coasts. WIND: Early SW 5 to 15 knots tending SE to NE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Victoria

A new, reinforcing SW groundswell maintains solid three to five foot surf across the open coasts on Saturday, grading to a smaller two to three feet or so across the Surf Coast. This arises from a distant low pressure complex that traversed across the southern Indian Ocean early this week before petering out short of Western Australian longitudes. 

However, a cut off low approaching south-western Australia on Saturday has been thoroughly downgraded. Hence a further drop in size is expected by Sunday; still up to three to four feet across the exposed beaches, grading to a smaller two feet or so across the Surf Coast. Sunday finally sees a return to lighter WNW winds across the region, so it will be well worth a paddle.

Summary

Friday
SW swell around 5 – 6ft across exposed beaches. Around 3 – 4ft across the Surf Coast, easing during the day. WIND: SSW 15 to 25 knots tending SW during the afternoon.

Saturday
SW swell 3 – 4ft+ exposed beaches. About 2 - 3ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: WSW 10 to 20 knots, easing during the day.

Sunday
SW swell 3 - 4ft across the exposed beaches early, grading to 2ft+ across the Surf Coast, easing during the day. WIND: WNW 5 to 10 knots tending N to NE during the day.

Western Australia:

Although there will be plenty of swell about, it’s not exactly going to be a picturesque weekend of waves across the West Coast this weekend. A strengthening onshore, north-westerly flow develops across the coast ahead of a strong frontal low approaching the coast on Friday and Saturday; thoroughly blowing out a building round of mid period SW swell.

The swell is set to jack up once the front moves through on Sunday, but winds are expected to blow even stronger onshore, blowing straight W at 20 to 30 knots during the morning before easing and turning WSW during the afternoon.

Summary;

Friday Smaller SW swell, onshore wind shift
Southwest Coast: 2-3ft+
Perth: flat
WIND: S 10 to 20 knots tending SSW during the day.

Saturday SW swell rising, poor conditions
Southwest Coast: increasing 3-4ft+ 
Perth: 1-2ft
WIND: SSW 10 to 15 knots tending W 15 to 20 knots during the day.

Sunday Variable with chance for close range new SW swell and poor conditions
Southwest Coast: potentially mixed 6 - 10ft, check back for updates
Perth: 2ft+ windwaves possible
WIND: W to SW wind 15 to 25 knots, easing in arvo.

Tags: Forecast , NSW , QLD , east coast low , October , Ben Macartney (create Alert from these tags)

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