Easter Long Weekend Surf Forecast 25 - 28 March, 2016

23 Mar 2016 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

FORECAST | Weekend Surf Forecast

Forecast issued Thursday, 24 March, 2016

Surf-expectations tend to run high over the Easter Long weekend – and for good reason.

The onset of autumn usually brings cool relief over the land, while the lagging sea-surface temperatures remain deliciously balmy. The net-effect is offshore land-breezes most mornings that, by-and-large, tend to coincide with swell-galore. This is largely a result of concurrent swell-activity – originating from both a rejuvenated Southern Ocean storm track and still highly active tropical and sub-tropical sources - fed by the latent ocean heat still present from the summer months.

It’s probably fair to say that high expectations are justified – just about everywhere this year. While the Eastern Seaboard benefits from two distinct swell-trains arriving in Tandem, both Victoria and South Australia wear the brunt of several, overlapping SSW groundswells – the third of which is set to deliver large to heavy surf across both states throughout Sunday.

Further afield, the West Coast sees a steady run of typically good to excellent conditions – characterised by predominant offshore winds and mid-sized SW swells. Happy Easter folks.

SEE ALSO: Updated Surf Forecast For Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach 

Happy hunting this Easter folks, whether it be for waves, eggs, or just a cup of tea and a lie down. Photo: CW user Jackson Jones.

Happy hunting this Easter folks, whether it be for waves, eggs, or just a cup of tea and a lie down. Photo: CW user Jackson Jones.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
The usual lulls – or virtual flat-spells that tend to intersperse significant swell-events across the Eastern Seaboard have been non-existent so far this year – and this perpetual run of good surf is set to continue throughout the Easter Long Weekend.

As this week’s SSE swell fades away we have two new swells taking up the slack. The primary one is a mid-period easterly swell originating out of the Southwest Pacific – the leading edge of which was already showing at solid 3 to 4ft levels on Thursday morning. This long enduring episode maintains peak size throughout Friday before gradually tapering off throughout the Long Weekend. Still, the more exposed beaches can expect a steady supply of 3ft plus surf on Saturday before easing a notch into the 2 to 3ft range on Sunday and Monday.

The icing on the cake takes the form of two back-to-back S groundswells arriving concurrently with the E swell; adding some complexity to conditions. A first, fractional pulse arriving at low-levels on Friday and Saturday isn’t anticipated to have a dramatic impact across open beaches – probably adding some small 2ft sets into the mix across southern exposures on both days. However, the second pulse, due on Sunday and Monday has been upgraded over the last 24 hours – and this may well emerge as the dominant swell at 3 to 4ft across southern exposures on Sunday and Monday.

Given the directional, long-range characteristics of this energy, it’s fair to assume select, south facing breaks will pull in the bulk of energy while the majority of open beaches are almost entirely bypassed. Either way, it’s shaping up as a pretty happy Easter for all surfers across the East Coast this year.

SEE ALSO: Fantasy Surfer 101 + The Coastalwatch Picks

Friday
Sick pits everywhere. Mix of primary, mid period E swell and smaller, longer period S groundswell. Sets around 3 – 4ft+ exposed open breaks grading to 2 – 3ft southern exposures. WIND: Early light WNW to NNW tending NNE, then light and variable later.

Saturday
Cranking across eastern exposures early. Easing mid period E swell. Around 2 – 4ft exposed open beaches, mixing with small S swell at 1 – 3ft southern exposures. WIND: Early WSW tending SSW mid morning and SSE 15 to 20 knots later.

Sunday
More Easter Long Weekend madness. Fading E swell reinforced by powerful, long range S groundswell. 1 – 3ft exposed open breaks, grading to 3 – 4ft south facing beaches. WIND: Early WSW 10 to 15 knots tending SSE during the afternoon.

Monday
Pumping, if you’ve still got some gas in the tank. Long period S groundswell dominates. Long period S groundswell. Inconsistent 3 – 4ft+ sets south facing beaches, mixing with residual E swell at 2 – 3ft open breaks. WIND: Early light and variable tending S 15 to 20 knots.

A few nuggets like this would do just fine thanks. Photo: CW User Jack Barripp.

A few nuggets like this would do just fine thanks. Photo: CW User Jack Barripp.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
The onset of a new E swell-event has impeccable timing for the Easter long weekend. The swell was already evident at 3 to 4ft across the region on Thursday and it’s set to keep pulsing at slightly stronger levels on Friday before tapering off from there – but still maintaining at a fun-sized 2 to 3ft right through to Monday.

If you’re planning to stuff your face with Easter eggs, what better way to burn off all those calories than to surf, every day of the long weekend? Happy Easter.

SEE ALSO: 2016, The Best Gold Coast Summer

Friday
Cranking. Mid period ESE tradewind swell. Sets around 3 – 5ft exposed breaks, gradually easing during the day. WIND: Early light WSW to SSW tending ESE 5 to 15 knots and light ENE later.

Saturday
Hit it early. Easing ESE tradewind swell. Ranging from 2 – 4ft exposed beaches early, easing towards 2 – 3ft later. WIND: Early light WSW to WNW tending NNE 10 to 20 knots later.

Sunday
Better than foraging for Easter eggs. E tradewind swell 2 – 3ft exposed breaks, grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early WNW tending E to NE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Monday
Get out there, back to work tomorrow. Fading E tradewind swell and secondary S groundswell. Inconsistent sets to 2 – 3ft exposed breaks,. WIND: Early light and variable ENE during the afternoon.

Another substantial bout of easterly tradewind swell peaking on Thursday and Friday slowly tapers off across the region this weekend. Photo: CW user Matty Bond.

Another substantial bout of easterly tradewind swell peaking on Thursday and Friday slowly tapers off across the region this weekend. Photo: CW user Matty Bond.

Victoria
Back in the day, before the rise of the World Surf League, Coastalwatch was the official forecaster for the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach. If that were still the case, I’d be on my way there right now, computer in one hand and board-bag in the other; ready to immerse myself into the cool Torquay waters and into the pro-surfing juggernaut that is the Rip Curl Pro.

If that were the case, I’d be packing my shortboard in anticipation of getting a few 2 to 4ft waves at breaks north and south of Bells Beach on Friday and Saturday - and also something a bigger - not like a 7’0 or anything – but a step-up several inches longer than the shorty with a rounded pin. That would be in anticipation of a stronger push in SSW groundswell that’s been upgraded for Sunday, presenting high chances for powerful 6 to 8ft sets across the Torquay reefs throughout the day.

Although winds aren’t looking ideal, the peaking swell will present a multitude of good surfing options along the Great Ocean Road – and the same goes for Monday as the swell slowly abates.

SEE ALSO: The Maldives Right Now; Beyond Perfect

Friday
Surf Coast or bust. SSW groundswell. Sets around 4 – 6ft exposed beaches, grading to 2 – 4ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early WSW tending SW to S 5 to 15 knots later.

Saturday
Excellent across the Surf Coast all morning. New, reinforcing SSW groundswell builds in. Around 4 – 6ft exposed beaches. Grading to 3 - 4ft+ across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light WNW tending SW to SSW 10 to 15 knots later.

Sunday
50 year swell. Look out for Bohdi. Powerful SSW groundswell peaks. In the 8ft+ realm exposed beaches. Wrapping into Surf Coast breaks at 6 – 8ft. WIND: Potential for lighter W inshore across Torquay, otherwise SW 10 to 15 knots, easing later.

Monday
Easing SSW swell. Around 6 – 8ft+ exposed beaches early, easing later. Grading to 5 - 6ft+ across the Surf Coast early, easing towards 4 – 6ft. WIND: Early light W across Torquay early, tending SSW 5 to 10 knots.

The action is likely to get underway at Bells early in the waiting period at the Rip Curl Pro this year. Photo: WSL/ Cesari.

The action is likely to get underway at Bells early in the waiting period at the Rip Curl Pro this year. Photo: WSL/ Cesari.

Western Australia
There’s some pretty tasty looking conditions on offer over the coming days.  The arrival of a new, mid to large SW swell on Friday and Saturday coincides with two full days of early easterly quarter winds, making for excellent conditions across the exposed Southwest breaks on both mornings.

It’s worth making the most of these two windows while they last. Although there will still be some waves leftover on Sunday a freshening SSE flow developing across the region will see smaller, wind-affected conditions  all day.

SEE ALSO: Samoa, Our Tropical Wave Rich Neighbours

Friday
Get in early before the hoards from the north arrive. Ease in SW swell under easing offshore winds. Southwest coast: 3-4ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft. 15-20kt ESE winds easing variable then tending S'ly.

Saturday
Cranking across the Southwest all day. New SSW swell shows under fresh ESE winds early, easing. Southwest coast: 3-4ft+. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft+. 20kt ESE winds early, easing E'ly before an afternoon sea breeze.

Sunday
Groundhog day. Slight reinforced SSW swell early under a possible light offshore breeze. Southwest coast: 3-4ft, easing. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft at exposed beaches. E wind 10kts tending SE 10-15kts.

Monday
Time for a sleep in. Fading SSW swell under moderate offshore winds. Southwest coast: 2-3ft. Perth/Mandurah: 0.5-1ft. 10-15kt E'ly winds easing before tending SE.

This is likely to be a common sight across the Southwest over the Easter long weekend. Photo: CW user Asher Semels.

This is likely to be a common sight across the Southwest over the Easter long weekend. Photo: CW user Asher Semels.

South Australia
The prospect of two powerful, overlapping pulses of long-period SSW groundswell arriving just in time for the Easter long weekend is only slightly tarnished by light onshore winds across the region.

Thursday’s onset of a first, solid round of SSW swell is set to hang in at similar – or slightly larger 4ft levels throughout Friday and Saturday as a weak ridge maintains light southerly winds – generally only ranging from 5 to 10 knots.

Easter Sunday marks the arrival of a larger, longer period episode that will have you reaching for a few Easter Eggs before you paddle out; generating solid 4 to 6ft surf across the South Coast, while producing much larger surf across breaks fully exposed to the brunt of the swell.

Friday
Solid SSW groundswell 3 - 4ft+ across the exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to 0.5-1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: SSE mostly 5 to 10 knots throughout the day, tending SSW later.

Saturday
Solid SSW swell 3 - 4ft+ along exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to 0.5 – 1ft across the Mid Coast WIND: SW 5-15 knots.

Sunday
Larger SSW groundswell peaks around 3 - 6ft exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to 1ft+ along the Mid Coast. WIND: S to SE 5-15 knots.

Monday
Easing groundswell 3 - 5ft exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to 1ft along the Mid Coast WIND: SSE 5 to 10 knots.

A wave-filled long weekend looms for South Australian coasts. Photo: MJKaye.

A wave-filled long weekend looms for South Australian coasts. Photo: MJKaye.

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