Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 10 – 20 August, 2016

9 Aug 2016 0 Share

Matt McKay

Swell Forecaster

The Mentawais this month, Photo by Nick O'Brien

The Mentawais this month, Photo by Nick O'Brien

COASTALWATCH | Bali, Indo Forecast

Forecast Issued Tuesday, 9 August 2016 by Matt McKay

In comparison to last week’s large, long period groundswell which saw Padang Padang fire, this coming forecast period is a bit of a letdown, that is if you love the big stuff. If you’re an average Joe like myself, then you have plenty to look forward to as the Indonesian Archipelago is set to see a fun-filled week of waves. 

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Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali pick up a new long range SSW groundswell entering the region by Monday August 16

Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali pick up a new long range SSW groundswell entering the region by Monday August 16

SHORT FORECAST

Moderate to small wave heights are forecast over the next 5 days peaking tomorrow before gradually easing throughout the rest of the week. Sunday marks a low point in wave energy, before a steady rise in wave energy throughout the Monday. Beyond this, there appears to be no shortage of swell over the coming fortnight as a series of storms continue their journey across the deep Southern Ocean.

DAILY SUMMARY

Wednesday August 10
Moderate SSW swell. 4-5ft building to 5-6ft+ at exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE 10-15 knots.

Thursday August 11
Mid-sized SSW swell. 4-5ft at exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE 15-20 knots.

Friday August 12
Fading SSW swell. 2-4ft decreasing to 2-3ft by the afternoon at exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND Light and variable tending ESE 10-15 knots.

Saturday August 13
Small SSW swell. 2-3ft at exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE 15-20 knots.

Sunday August 14
Low scale SSW swell. 2ft at exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: ESE 15-20 knots.

Monday August 15
New SSW groundswell fills in. 3-5ft increasing to 5-6ft at exposed breaks with larger inconsistent sets likely. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE 10-15 knots.

Tuesday August 16
Fun SSW groundswell. 4-5ft at exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE 10-15 knots.

Latest Wavetracker model run showing wave heights in excess of 20ft in the south-western Indian Ocean by Saturday August 13, setting up a solid pulse of SSW swell for Indonesia.

Latest Wavetracker model run showing wave heights in excess of 20ft in the south-western Indian Ocean by Saturday August 13, setting up a solid pulse of SSW swell for Indonesia.

OVERVIEW

Today’s episode of SSW swell was generated by a deep low pressure system located in the deep Southern Ocean. The strength of this storm was compounded by the subtropical high pressure belt firmly positioned over much of the Indian Ocean. Satellite passes recorded wind speeds in excess of 45 knots along the western flank of this storm which generated open ocean wave heights of 20-30ft. As these waves propagated north, Indonesia and neighbouring countries were able to reap the rewards. A solid, long period SSW groundswell filtered across the region with some great 4-5ft waves reported at some well-known breaks. This swell is currently forecast to peak tomorrow afternoon, topping out at 5-6ft+. As this low advances beyond our swell window, we will see a gradual decline in wave energy.

An unseasonal southward shift of the subtropical high pressure belt and a corresponding deactivation of the long wave cycle will prevent any significant swell from reaching the shores of the Indonesia over the coming few days. Broad high pressure systems and relatively weak low pressure systems trapped along the Antarctic belt aren’t exactly the ideal ingredients when it comes to wave propagation. So with no swell producing scenarios likely, we can expect a residual SSW swell to filter across the region, bottoming out at just 2ft on Sunday.  The wind regime over this same time will consist of light and variable winds early before the ESE trades inevitably kick in around lunch time once the land heats up.

There is one notable low pressure system that is currently tracking below South Africa which is forecast to edge north later this week.  Once this storm interacts with the high pressure band to the north, we should see a decent pressure gradient to set up over its western flank. Current GFS model guidance is showing a narrow fetch of sustained south-westerly winds which will be supported by a broader fetch of west-southwest winds in excess of 40 knots. This should generate waves in the 3 to 5 feet range by Monday morning. By the afternoon, we expect the bulk of the energy to arrive, speculatively peaking at 5-6ft across the exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere.

LONG RANGE

The lull in Southern Ocean storm activity appears to be short-lived. Judging by the long range model guidance, there’s plenty to look forward to over the coming fortnight. A number of low-pressure systems are showing some early potential to deliver some great waves. It looks like Monday’s swell is a sign of things to come. Both GFS and WWIII are favouring the arrival of a solid SW groundswell by Thursday August 18. Whilst it is a little too far out to nail down exact wave heights, my guess would be somewhere between 6 and 8 feet.  At this stage, this swell should hang around for a few days before plateauing by Sunday, August 21. It is important to note that due to the long range nature of this forecast there is obvious divergence amongst global weather and wave models so please check back next week for an update.

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

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