Season Opener: Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 7 - 14 April 2016

6 Apr 2016 1 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH SURF FORECAST | Bali, Indonesia

Forecast Issued Wednesday 6 April, 2016

Indonesia is back. Not that it went anywhere – it just tends to slip below the radar as a surf-destination during the summer months as mean wave-height ebbs to low levels compared to other seasons. But the fact is, Indonesia is still there, right where it has been for millions of years – and so are all the west-facing reef-breaks that turn on under ESE tradewinds. Speaking of which, early April has already seen several days of excellent surf across the archipelago, with a series of mid-sized SSW groundswells combining with a light wind-regime, fluctuating between light and variable and E at 5 to 10 knots.

SEE ALSO: Surf Forecast & Breakdown, Drug Aware Pro Margaret River

Late season Indo, Photo by Hayden O'neill

Late season Indo, Photo by Hayden O'neill

Short Forecast

A minor rise in SSW swell sets in on Friday and continues to run at low-levels throughout the weekend and early to mid next week. Light easterly quarter winds prevail throughout the outlook period.

Daily Summary

Thursday 7
Residual SSW swell. Slow 1 – 3ft exposed breaks. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE 5 to 10 knots.

Friday 8
New S swell bumps up during the day. Inconsistent 2 – 3ft+ exposed breaks early, picking up to 3 – 4ft during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending SE 5 to 10 knots.

Saturday 9
SSW groundswell 3 - 4ft exposed breaks early, fading to 2 – 3ft during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending S up to 5 knots later.

Sunday 10
New, reinforcing SSW groundswell 2 – 3ft early rising to 3 – 4ft exposed breaks during the day. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Light and variable tending S around 5 knots later.

Monday 11
SSW groundswell 2 – 4ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending S around 5 knots.

Tuesday 12
Fading SSW groundswell. 1 – 3ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure and easing into the afternoon. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 5 to 15 knots.

Overview

There’s a consistent run of small-scale SSW groundswell on tap for the Archipelago this week, lending the focus to the most exposed Indonesian swell-magnets right through to mid-April. These subdued conditions are the knock on effect of a quasi-stationary high pressure system that’s been anchored over the south-eastern Indian Ocean – immediately southwest of the Margaret River region for several days. This large, blocking high pressure fluctuates in strength – initially weakening through the remainder of the week before rebuilding over the weekend. It’s enduring presence keeps a lid on SSW swell potential for Indonesia for some time to come; steering a series of frontal progressions developing over the south-eastern Indian Ocean poleward, below the high’s southern flank.

The upshot is a series of diminutive SSW pulses spreading radially off associated, zonal (westerly) fetches setting up below Indonesia. The first of these bumps up into the 3ft range across exposed reefs on Friday and continues to run at lower levels over the course of the weekend. Sunday and Monday mark the onset of a new, smaller pulse of SSW groundswell that again holds marginal surf-potential for the archipelago: generating slow 2 to 3ft sets across the most exposed reefs on both days before dropping a notch to about 2ft on Tuesday 12 April.

Wednesday may see even smaller, background SSW swell prevailing at 1 to 2ft – speculatively marking a low point in surf preceding the arrival of a new SW groundswell on Thursday – potentially enough to produce some slightly larger 2 to 4ft sets across the region. This emanates from a deep, mid-latitude low currently positioned south of Madagascar. Over the next 24 hours the low supports a compact SSW fetch in tandem with a high pressure below South Africa. As the low deepens, wind-speeds ramp up to 30 to 45 knots below Madagascar on Thursday and early Friday, giving rise to an area of 20 to 30ft deepwater swell over the region.

Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali reflect a consistent run of small-scale SSW swell inbound over the coming week.

Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali reflect a consistent run of small-scale SSW swell inbound over the coming week.

Long Range

A long-period pulse of groundswell spreading radially across the Indian Ocean is anticipated to make landfall on Thursday – and this may be followed by an even stronger SW swell, showing up throughout Friday 15 and the weekend of Saturday 16 April. This arises from a more stable, longer-lasting extratropical low forecast to intensify southwest of South Africa over the coming days before weakening as it tracks east into the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday and Monday.

This broader-scale storm-system exhibits a larger, longer-lasting fetch – and this holds substantially better swell potential for the region. SW groundswell generated by this system shows up on Friday and over the weekend of Saturday 16: speculatively producing several days of surf in the 3 to 5ft range across exposed breaks. Given the extensive lead time on these developments there’s still plenty of scope for revisions to these estimates in next week’s update.

Tags: indo , forecast , bali , surf (create Alert from these tags)

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