Weekend Surf Forecast 14 - 16 November 2014
Forecast issued Thursday, 13 November 2014, by Ben Macartney
If the idiom ‘variety is the spice of life’ is applied to surfing, then Australia is a great place broaden your horizons. At the risk of sounding like an add for Tourism Australia, this vast continent has countless points to reefs and apparently someone counted a total of 10,685 beaches. That sounds like enough to guarantee good waves, somewhere, at any given time. Over the coming weekend only the West Coast looks like producing some quality surf as early light offshore winds coincide with fluctuating SW swell. Victoria and South Australia also receive no shortage of swell, albeit under less-than-ideal local winds. Meanwhile the East Coast reverts to late-spring norm of low scale swells ranging from SSE to E and NE, mostly producing small 1 to 2ft waves all weekend.
Sydney to southern NSW
It won’t be flat, but there isn’t a lot of surf to speak of across the region this weekend. A fading SSE swell drops into the 2ft range by Friday before giving way to a smaller mix of short range NE windswell and underlying S swell this weekend. Both swell trains should maintain 1 to 2ft waves across the more exposed beaches, but surface quality won’t be doing the small surf any favours. Saturday sees an early southerly change tending SE as the day progresses, so expect conditions to deteriorate into the afternoon. At this point there’s less certainty surrounding the outlook for Sunday. The key models are struggling to get a handle on the movement of a deep surface trough and associated low moving across southern NSW and Victoria over the weekend. The most likely outcome sees early N/NW winds turning WSW as a front crosses the coast from the west during the day. If the trough sits further south we may see NW to NE winds throughout Sunday; this will become clearer in Friday’s update.
Mix of leftover SSE and E/NE swells 1 – 2ft+ exposed beaches. WIND: Early light N tending NE 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.
Mix of NE windswell and residual SSE swell 1 – 2ft exposed beaches, grading smaller elsewhere and fading during the day. WIND: Early S change 10 to 20 knots, easing and tending SE during the afternoon.
Mix of NE windswell and background SSE swell 1 – 2ft exposed beaches. S swell bumping up to 2 – 3ft south facing beaches during the late afternoon. WIND: Possibly N to NE 5 to 15 knots. Otherwise early light WNW ahead of a SSE change 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.
Queensland and Northern NSW
This week’s long-range ESE tradewind swell marked a first, fleeting taste of what’s to come, but fleeting is the operative word. Thursday saw an easing trend underway and the swell will continue to fade over the coming days; still hovering around the 2ft mark on Friday before giving way to a mix of smaller-scale NNE windswell and underlying SSE swell over the weekend. Friday afternoon also marks the return of strong northerly winds that are set to persist – at least throughout Saturday before gradually easing on Sunday – so head for sheltered northern corners to make the most of what’s on offer.
Leftover ESE swell around 2ft+ exposed QLD breaks. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. Mixing in with SSE swell at 2 – 3ft across northern NSW south facing breaks. WIND: Early NW 5 to 15 knots tending N 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon.
Residual SSE swell up to 1 – 2ft exposed breaks. Superseded by local NNE windswell rising to 1 – 2ft+ open beaches during the afternoon. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early NNW 15 to 25 knots tending N during the afternoon.
NNE windswell 1 – 2ft+ exposed open beaches. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early NNW 15 to 25 knots tending N and easing during the afternoon ahead of an overnight S change.
Regardless of a fairly substantial run of SW swell, the idea of surfing probably won’t have much appeal across Victorian coasts over the next few days. A robust SSW change arriving early Friday effectively cancels out the prospect of any quality surf across the region. Although onshore SSE to ESE winds persist on Saturday, speeds are set to drop back to 5 to 10 knots during the morning, thereby opening up some rideable, albeit lumpy conditions. Sunday morning then marks the onset of another strong SW change that will probably leave little be desired. However, it may well be worth a late check along the Surf Coast with winds forecast to ease and swing west into the afternoon.
New SW groundswell 3 – 4ft+ early, rising to 5 - 6ft exposed breaks. Around 1 – 2ft early, rising to 2 - 3ft across the Surf Coast during the day. WIND: Early SSW change 15 to 25 knots, easing and tending S during the afternoon.
SW groundswell 5 - 6ft exposed breaks. Around to 2 - 3ft+ across the Surf Coast, gradually easing during the arvo. WIND: Early S 5 to 15 knots tending SSE during the afternoon.
SW swell 3 – 5ft+ exposed beaches. Sets around 2 to 3ft across the Surf Coast, easing during the afternoon. WSW windswell rising during the afternoon. WIND: Early WSW 15 to 25 knots, easing and tending W during the afternoon.
This week’s unruly round of SW storm-swell gradually settles to produce some rather nice conditions over the next two days. Friday sees the most size as easing SW swell combines with an acutely directional S swell to maintain 4 to 6ft waves under early light offshore winds Down South. Saturday morning sees considerably smaller, but much cleaner SW swell producing very accessible 3ft conditions across the Southwest’s exposed breaks. Sunday then marks the arrival of a new round of SW swell that should push surf heights back up into the 4 to 6ft plus range during the day, making for good conditions under a early light winds tending SSE and gradually strengthening as a surface trough deepens near the coast.
SSW swell decreasing. Southwest coast: 4-6ft tending 3-4ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft fading 1ft. E wind early 5-10kt, tending light variable sea-breeze in afternoon.
Faded SSW swell. Southwest coast: 2-4ft. Perth/Mandurah: 0-1ft. Light NE wind early 5-10kt, tending light sea-breeze in afternoon.
New SW swell. Southwest coast: 3 - 4ft+ early rising to 4 – 6ft during the day. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft. Light and variable SE winds, tending SSE 10 - 15kt in afternoon.
There’s plenty of swell inbound from a directional band well suited to South Coast breaks this weekend, but you’ll be contending with less-than-ideal local conditions both on Saturday and Sunday. Friday marks a the arrival of a first push in SW swell that should restore surf heights to 2 to 3ft levels – albeit under strong SSE winds, kicking in at strength as a high pressure system below Western Australia extends a broad ridge across the coast. The onshore flow should ease and swing to the east overnight, making for still lumpy, but improving conditions as SSW swell pushes up to stronger levels across the region. The swell should continue to run at a similar size throughout Sunday as winds swing WSW at strength in the wake of a cold front.
SW groundswell. Sets to 2 – 3ft most exposed South Coast beaches. Around 1ft+ across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early SSE 15 to 20 knots tending SE during the afternoon.
SSW swell. Around 2 – 4ft exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to 1ft or so along the Mid Coast. WIND: Early ESE 5 to 15 knots, easing during the day before turning S and freshening later.
SSW swell. Ranging from 2 – 4ft most exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to 1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: WSW 15 to 20 knots tending W into the afternoon.
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