Weekend Surf Forecast 2 - 4 September, 2016
COASTALWATCH | Weekend Surf Forecast
There’s no shortage of surf-related inspiration on our homepage right now – mostly in the form of video content. Indeed, there’s so much of it that we've dropped one into this very article. Just scroll down the Victorian forecast and prepared to be wowed.
There’s also plenty of inspiration in the national forecast this weekend. Across the entire East Coast, a fleeting pulse of NE windswell produces a full day of fun, mostly clean 2 to 4ft conditions – and this applies to both NSW and Queensland coastlines. Just as this pulse fades away on Sunday a new round of S swell takes up the slack, making for another good day of waves across most of the NSW coast.
Further south, Victoria sees declining levels of SW swell making for a pretty mediocre day state-wide on Saturday. It won’t be until Sunday that a rising WSW swell coincides with WNW winds, making for improving conditions across the Surf Coast throughout the day. Over west, there’s no shortage of swell to point a stick at – and as usual it’s local winds dictating proceedings; starting out onshore on Friday before winds fall to light and variable on Saturday, making for some big, semi-clean waves Down South all day.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
A deepening inland low turns the surf-switch to the “on” position just in time for the weekend. A pre-frontal, northerly fetch developing ahead of the low as it approaches the coast on Friday reaches 25 to 35 knots offshore overnight; setting up just long enough to supply the region with a sizeable pulse of short-period NE windswell; peaking around 3 to 4ft across the more exposed open breaks on Saturday morning before rapidly tapering off into the afternoon.
At the same time the low draws in a strong NW airflow that’s set to swing to the west as the day progresses, so expect surface quality to steadily improve as the day progresses. Although the low’s rapid south-eastward trajectory across the southern NSW coast quickly shunts the northerly fetch away to the east and out of range of the coast on Saturday morning, it simultaneously gives rise to a gale force SSW/SW fetch off the Far South Coast and Bass Strait; and this will see new S swell in the water on Sunday morning ranging from 2 to 4ft across the region all day.
Small combo of NE windswell and S groundswell. 1-2ft across east facing beaches, 1-3ft at south facing beaches with long waits between sets. WIND: Uncertainty due to developing low. Probably light and variable NW to SW early, tending SSW during the day, possibly NNE later.
Directional NE windswell peaks throughout the morning. 2 - 4ft across east facing beaches, easing to 1 - 3ft in the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: NNW 15 to 25 knots tending WNW 20-30 knots during the afternoon.
Go early or just sleep in. New S swell and residual NE swell. 2 - 4ft across southern exposures. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early WNW to WSW 5-15 knots turning S during the morning, then SE to ESE during the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
It’s all about Saturday this weekend. A fleeting spike in NE windswell will be offering up some fun options across the region; initially confined to northern corners offering some shelter from still strong NNW winds.
The good news is winds are set to swing to the west during the day, making for improving conditions across all open breaks as the day progresses. Having said that, this northerly spike is shaping up as a short-lived event; showing most size throughout Saturday morning before rapidly dwindling later in the day – so it’s probably worth getting amongst it sooner rather than later. By Sunday there’s only likely to be much smaller leftovers on offer; mostly in the 1 to 2ft range, with scope for a minor uptick in S swell across northern NSW later in the day.
Tiny and blown out. Small combo of NE windswell and S groundswell. 1-2ft at northern NSW south facing beaches (expect long waits between sets). 1-2ft across NE facing beaches, Grading smaller inside points and bays. WIND: N 15-25 knots, freshening during the day.
Good conditions all day. Mid-sized NE windswell. 2 - 4ft east facing beaches, easing to 1-3ft in the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: NNW 20-30 knots, tending WNW 15-20 knots during the day.
Small to tiny leftovers. NE swell. 1 - 2ft across most beaches. Grading smaller inside points and bays. WIND: WSW 5-10 knots tending S to SE 5-15 knots.
Conditions are looking a little mediocre across the state – at least to begin with this weekend. A steadily declining SW swell is on track to bottom out on Saturday; leaving exposed beaches as the only substantial surfing-options at 2 to 3ft. Winds will, however, be blowing moderate onshore SSW/SW all day – so you might want to flag it until Sunday. The arrival of a stronger round of mid-period WSW sees surf-heights steadily picking up across all coasts during the day. At the same time lighter WNW winds will favour the Surf Coast, making for improving 2 to 4ft conditions as the day progresses.
Light onshore fun. Easing WSW swell. East Coast: 4-5ft early easing to 3-4ft by afternoon. Surf Coast. 2-3ft early easing to 2ft by afternoon. WIND: ESE 0-10 knots tending SE 10 to 15 knots.
Small and junky. WSW groundswell. Small WSW swell. East Coast: 2-3ft. Surf Coast: 1-2ft. WIND: SSW 5-15 knots tending SW 10-20 knots.
Improving across the Surf Coast all day. Easing SW groundswell. Building mid-period WSW swell. East Coast: 3 - 4ft increasing to 5-6ft+ with possible larger sets on dark. Surf Coast: 2 - 3ft building to 3 - 4ft during the afternoon. WIND: WNW 5-15 knots.
*Video below, Victoria Last Sunday by Harry Dott
There are some half-decent surfing options in store across the West Coast this weekend. Friday marks the only day that looks comprehensively blown out by strong WSW winds. By Saturday morning winds will have swung very light offshore, making for still lumpy, but eminently surfable 6 to 8ft conditions Down South. Sunday morning also holds good potential for some large, clean conditions across the Southwest, but it will be worth getting in early before southerly winds begin to erode wave quality during the afternoon.
Yucko onshores. Reinforcement WSW groundswell fills in late. Southwest coast: 6-8ft, occasional plus sets on deepwater breaks. Perth/Mandurah: inconsistent 2-3ft. Light and variable wind in metro areas. W wind 5kt early tending S 10-15kt in southwest.
Light and variable with a lump or two. Overlapping SW swells hold up size under a light SE flow. Southwest coast: 6-8ft+. Perth/Mandurah: inconsistent 1-3ft. Light SE wind early 5kt, tending calm to light and variable in afternoon.
Good inside the bays. New long period SW groundswell increases. Possible calm morning. Southwest coast: 6-8ft with occasional 10ft sets on deepwater breaks. Perth/Mandurah: Inconsistent 1-3ft. SE wind to 10kts early, varying SE to SW in afternoon.
The surf isn’t exactly anything to write home about this weekend – particularly if you already live at home. But there will be waves this weekend – mostly small stuff in the 1 to 3ft range – but waves none the less. Saturday sees a low-point in wave-quality as leftover SW swell is blown out by freshening south-westerlies during the afternoon. The good news is Sunday will see better conditions as a rising SW swell coincides with light WNW winds all day.
Slowly easing. SW groundswell gradually fades. 2 – 3ft across the exposed beaches early, easing to 1 – 3ft during the afternoon. Grading to 0.5ft along the Mid Coast. WIND: SE 5 to 15 knots tending S later.
Residual SW swell. 1 – 2ft across the exposed South Coast beaches. Flat along the Mid Coast. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots, turning SW and freshening during the afternoon.
New SW swell bumps up. 2 – 3ft across the exposed South Coast beaches early, picking up towards 2 – 4ft during the day. Tiny or near flat along the Mid Coast. WIND: WNW 5 to 15 knots.
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