Weekend Surf Forecast 19 - 21 August, 2016

18 Aug 2016 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | Weekend Surf Forecast

Forecast issued Thursday, 18 August 2016

Victoria stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to surf-potential; being the recipient of a powerful round of SW groundswell peaking on Saturday morning. This should see two full days of clean, solid surf ranging from 3 to 6ft across the Surf Coast – and South Australia will similarly benefit from this episode for several days to come.

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Across most of the NSW coast, it appears Huey has well and truly moved on. While Saturday sees a small round of NE windswell offering up a bit of fun across the more exposed east facing beaches, this slight pulse is set to dwindle away to tiny/ near flat by Sunday. It’s only further up the coast across southern Queensland and far northern NSW that a small pulse of ESE swell throws up some larger 2 to 3ft sets on Friday and early Saturday before it too gradually dwindles throughout the remainder of the weekend.

Finally, over West, there’s no end in sight to the relentless onshore winds that have plagued the Southwest this winter. Although there are a couple of small windows for lighter winds at dawn, onshore conditions are dominate the surf menu all weekend.

SEE ALSO: The Weak Wrap – When You Search Too Far, Kalani Robb's Olympic Dream & Freestone Vs. John Florence 

You might be hard pressed to find any waves like this around the continent this weekend. Photo: Winter Waves Photo Comp entrant Recker.

You might be hard pressed to find any waves like this around the continent this weekend. Photo: Winter Waves Photo Comp entrant Recker.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
It’s slim pickings across the region this weekend. The good news is a mix of underlying E and NE swells should ensure it’s not completely flat on Friday and Saturday, and there’s even scope for a few sets in the 2ft plus range across the more exposed open beaches as NE windswell peaks on Saturday morning. The bad news is a minor uptick in south swell forecast for Sunday has been largely discounted over the last few days – and it’s increasingly looking like it will be tiny or virtually flat – even across the most exposed south facing locations.

SEE ALSO: Teahupoo Is Calling & How Bout Channel Bottoms?

Friday
Tiny and clean. Mix of slight NE windswell and underlying E swell. Slow 1 - 2ft exposed breaks early, picking up to 1 – 2ft+ during the afternoon. WIND: Early NNW 10 to 20 knots, tending N and freshening during the afternoon.

Saturday
The best of an ordinary bunch. Mix of NE windswell and underlying E swell. Ranging from 1 – 3ft exposed open breaks early, fading during the day. WIND: W 10 to 20 knots.

Sunday
Effectively flat. Mix of tiny E swell and S swells. Up to 1ft exposed beaches, virtually flat elsewhere. WIND: Early WNW 5 to 15 knots, tending light and variable during the day.

It may not be until the final days of August that our south swell window makes a comeback - potentially in the big way. Photo: Winter Waves Photo Comp entrant MissJosieLuisi.

It may not be until the final days of August that our south swell window makes a comeback - potentially in the big way. Photo: Winter Waves Photo Comp entrant MissJosieLuisi.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Compared to locations further south, both southern Queensland and far northern NSW coasts will fare pretty well with respect to surf this weekend. The arrival of a small, mid-period ESE swell building in during Thursday afternoon should reach peaks of 2 to 3ft across the region on Friday before slowly scaling down again over the weekend. So although only small, the tail end of this pulse should still be hovering around the 2ft mark on Saturday preceding a further drop in size by Sunday morning.

SEE ALSO: Troy Dowker Takes On The Mentawais 

Friday
ESE swell peaks. Around 2 – 3ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light WNW tending ENE, then NNE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Good conditions all day. Easing ESE swell. Ranging from 1 – 3ft exposed breaks, inconsistent in the upper range and grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: NW 10 to 15 knots early, tending WSW during the afternoon.

Sunday
More to come next week. Leftover ESE swell. Sets to 2ft exposed breaks. Smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early SW to SSW tending S to SE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

An uptick in ESE swell sees fun-sized surf on offer across exposed beaches all weekend. Photo: Winter Waves Photo Comp entrant Gary.

An uptick in ESE swell sees fun-sized surf on offer across exposed beaches all weekend. Photo: Winter Waves Photo Comp entrant Gary.

Victoria
The region continues to overachieve through the month of August as another winter-scale SW swell lights up the Surf Coast this weekend. If you haven’t had a look at today’s MSLP chart, I encourage you to do so. The rapid intensification of a mid-latitude low below the Great Australian Bight is the source of a steep run-up in WSW groundswell that’s on track to peak on Saturday morning. This holds good potential for clean 4 to 6ft surf across the premier Torquay reefs as winds blow offshore all day, with leftovers still running at 3 to 4ft on Sunday to boot - again groomed by NW winds.

SEE ALSO: Shane Dorian's Perfect Maldivian Score

Friday
Rapid transformation in conditions during the day. New W swell gradually builds. Sets to 2 – 3ft+ across exposed coasts, picking up to 3 – 5ft+ during the afternoon. Virtually flat across the Surf Coast. WIND: NW 10 to 20 knots tending WNW during the afternoon.

Saturday
Clean across the Surf Coast. WSW groundswell. Sets to 6 - 8ft+ across exposed beaches. Wrapping into Surf Coast breaks around 4 - 6ft+. WIND: WNW 15 to 25 knots.

Sunday
Cracking across the Surf Coast all day. Easing SW groundswell. Around 5 – 6ft across exposed coasts early, easing to 4 – 5ft during the day. Sets to 3 - 4ft across the major Surf Coast reefs early, easing to 2 – 3ft and grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: NW 10 to 20 knots.

The Surf Coast will be the place to be this weekend. Photo: Winter Waves Photo Comp entrant Heatwave.

The Surf Coast will be the place to be this weekend. Photo: Winter Waves Photo Comp entrant Heatwave.

Western Australia
Will these persistent onshore winds ever relent? Not this weekend – that’s for sure. A stationary high pressure ridge centred north of Perth ushers in a series of fronts across the coast over the next few days; ensuring moderate to strong westerly quarter winds continue to render conditions less than desirable across the region.

The good news is there are some exceptions to this rule. Saturday afternoon sees a brief window of opportunity opening up as winds briefly swing SSW and ease in strength. Likewise, early Sunday morning also holds potential for light and variable winds inshore before a rejuvenated north-westerly airflow begins to freshen during the day.

SEE ALSO: It's Been Magical In The Mentawais

Friday
Junky onshore. WSW groundswell decreases. Southwest coast: 6-8ft. Perth/Mandurah: 2-3ft. Light and variable wind early, tending N to NW and rising 5 to 15kt in the afternoon.

Saturday
Lumpy and bumpy across exposed breaks. SW groundswell with reinforcing WSW sets rising. Southwest coast: 6-8ft, rising with larger 10ft sets Perth/Mandurah: 2ft, rising with largest sets late. SW winds 5-10kts, tending S and easing in the afternoon.

Sunday
Small window early before onshores freshen. SW groundswell eases under a freshening NW breeze. Southwest coast: 6-8ft+, rising wind swell later. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft+, rising windswell later. Calm wind early, tending NW 10-15kt in the afternoon. Strengthening W 20kt+ late.

There won't be too many of these opportunities on offer across the West Coast this weekend. Photo: Winter Waves Photo Comp entrant Singlefin01.

There won't be too many of these opportunities on offer across the West Coast this weekend. Photo: Winter Waves Photo Comp entrant Singlefin01.

South Australia
There’s no doubt about it – the surf is going to pump across South Oz this weekend. The evolution of an intense low pressure system below the Bight is the source of a major episode, peaking late Friday through early Saturday as swell direction transitions from WSW to SW and finally SSW on Sunday. Although conditions are looking a little windy on Friday, they should steadily improve as winds back off shift WNW to NW over the course of the weekend.

SEE ALSO: When You Put The Best Surfers In The Same Place You Get This...

Friday
On the rise all day. WSW groundswell picks up. 3-4ft across the exposed beaches early, rising to 4 – 6ft during the afternoon. Grading to 1 - 2ft along the Mid Coast. WIND: W 15 to 25 knots tending NW 15-20 knots.

Saturday
Powerful SW groundswell. Solid 4 – 6ft across the exposed South Coast beaches, easing during the afternoon. Grading to 1-2ft along the Mid Coast. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots.

Sunday
Clean SSW groundswell.  3-4ft+ across the exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to 1-2ft along the Mid Coast. WIND: NW 10 to 15 knots.

The arrival of a large SW groundswell supplies SA with powerful surf across exposed breaks all weekend. Photo: Winter Waves Photo Comp entrant Derryn.

The arrival of a large SW groundswell supplies SA with powerful surf across exposed breaks all weekend. Photo: Winter Waves Photo Comp entrant Derryn.

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