The Weekend Surf Forecast 24 - 26 March, 2017

23 Mar 2017 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Forecast issued Thursday, 23 March 2017
Summary image by Luke Taylor 

Whether or not the surf qualifies as good or just ok is often a matter of perception. From my own experience, conditions only start to light up once I’ve had my morning coffee – and once that’s in the tank it all looks pretty good. But on any given day it’s easy to get two starkly contrasting opinions– just ask two different people exiting the same lineup enough times and you’ll see what I mean.

Seeing as I’ve already had my coffee, this weekend is definitely looking good just about everywhere you look. Across the NSW coast we have a new round of SSE/ SE swell producing great conditions with the early offshores – and although it will wrap in at lower levels further north, the same applies to southern Queensland.

Further south, Victoria’s exposed beaches look like producing two idyllic days of clean, small to mid-sized beachies across exposed coasts – and this also applies to South Australian coasts all weekend. Over west, it’s only Saturday that’s really shaping up as a cranking day of waves, with a strong front and large SW swell looming as a surf-wrecker on Sunday.

SEE ALSO: Burleigh Point At Its Best Ever Over The Weekend

It's shaping up as a cracking weekend to go for a surf, across just about every state. Photo: CW user Trent Flanders.

It's shaping up as a cracking weekend to go for a surf, across just about every state. Photo: CW user Trent Flanders.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
A consistent run of SE swell coincides with light to moderate winds to produce a fine autumn weekend of waves. While Friday sees the bulk of SSE swell peaking in the 3 to 4ft range under less than ideal onshore winds, both Saturday and Sunday hold better potential for cleaner 2 to 4ft conditions, with early inshore westerlies in place on both mornings. The swell should hang in at still solid 2 to 4ft levels on Saturday as early light winds give way to a moderate NE airflow, so get in early for the best of it. Likewise, Sunday should see a full morning of clean 2 to 3ft conditions before moderate north-easterlies spring up during the afternoon.

Friday
SE swell. Sets up to 3 – 4ft exposed open and south facing breaks, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early SSE 10 to 15 knots, tending lighter SE to ESE during the afternoon.

Saturday
SE swell. Semi-clean 2 – 4ft exposed breaks, easing during the day. WIND: Early light W inshore tending light N to NE 10 to 15 knots during the day.

Sunday
SE swell. Slower sets around 2 – 3ft exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light WNW tending NE 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

This is probably a reasonably good representation of what to expect in the AM hours this weekend. Photo: CW user John Cunno.

This is probably a reasonably good representation of what to expect in the AM hours this weekend. Photo: CW user John Cunno.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Just as one swell dissipates, another builds in across the region this weekend. By Friday expect residual e swell to be on its last legs; not amounting to more than 1 to 2ft across the most exposed breaks. However, the onset of a new SSE swell on Saturday should see a gradual improvement underway throughout the day.

Initially this will probably only show with any meaningful size across northern NSW, but by the afternoon there should be some stronger sets wrapping into southern Queensland in the 1 to 3ft range. Sunday sees a peak in SSE swell coinciding with early light offshore winds – and this clearly looms as the pick of the weekend across all coasts. Expect punchy surf ranging from 2 to 4ft across northern NSW coasts, grading a foot or so smaller north of the border.

Friday
Background E swell. Slow sets to 1 – 2ft max exposed QLD breaks, grading smaller inside the points and bays. New S swell bumps up to 1 – 2ft across northern NSW and up to 2 – 3ft later. WIND: Early light WNW to NW around 5 to 10 knots, tending variable ahead of a SSE change 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon/ evening.

Saturday
SSE swell fills in during the day. Ranging from 2 – 3ft northern NSW south facing breaks early, picking up during the arvo. Up to 1 – 2ft exposed QLD coasts and grading to tiny/ flat inside the points and bays. WIND: Early SW to SSW inshore tending SE to ESE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
SSE swell. Consistent 2 – 4ft northern NSW south facing breaks, grading to 1 – 3ft exposed southern QLD breaks and smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: WSW to WNW 0 to 5 knots inshore early, tending light NE during the arvo.

A new, small to mid-sized SSE swell will lend the focus to northern NSW coasts this weekend. Photo: CW user Izac.

A new, small to mid-sized SSE swell will lend the focus to northern NSW coasts this weekend. Photo: CW user Izac.

Victoria
Once again, Victoria’s exposed beaches are the places to be this weekend as small to mid-sized SW swell coincides with mostly light N to NE winds. Friday is the only exception to the rule as strong easterly winds continue to limit wave-quality across all coasts – but having said that it does look like a brief shift in the ENE will open up some fair to good options during the day. Saturday, however, looks undeniably good. A light offshore NE breeze grooms SW swell in the 3ft range to produce a full day of good to great conditions. Sunday sees a notable jump in wave-energy offering up more challenging, albeit equally clean 3 to 4ft conditions; making for a full weekend of good surf state-wide.

Friday
Easing SSW groundswell with improving conditions. Around 2 – 3ft+ exposed beaches early. Slow sets to 1 – 3ft across the Surf Coast, fading during the day. WIND: E 15 to 25 knots tending lighter ENE during the day, then ESE later.

Saturday
Small SW swell. Sets around 2 - 3ft+ exposed coasts, bumping up during the afternoon. Grading to 1 - 2ft+ across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light NE tending light and variable, then SE 5 to 10 knots later.

Sunday
New mid-period SW groundswell. Clean 3 – 4ft sets exposed beaches, reinforced by longer period SW groundswell throughout the afternoon. Sets to 2 – 3ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Calm to light offshore land-breezes tending light ESE 5 to 10 knots.

There are good to excellent conditions in store across the exposed beaches this weekend. Photo: CW user Hewysurf.

There are good to excellent conditions in store across the exposed beaches this weekend. Photo: CW user Hewysurf.

Western Australia
Saturday is the day. If there’s one key message to take away from this blurb – that’s it. While Friday sees a steady building trend in SW swell underway throughout the day, strong SSE winds will keep a lid in wave quality across the exposed breaks all day. But by Saturday morning, it will be on.

A slacking high pressure ridge offers up a short-lived window of light offshore land-breezes throughout the morning – and it’s worth milking this window for all its worth. Winds are set to turn west and freshen ahead of an approaching cold front during Saturday afternoon – and by Sunday it’s pretty much all over. The cold front leads in strong onshore WSW winds across the coast that will invariable limit rideable conditions to the sheltered bays all day.

Friday
Building SW groundswell under moderate south - SSE winds. Southwest coast: 3-5ft, rising 6ft sets. Perth/Mandurah: 1-1.5ft, 2ft sets later. WIND: SSE 20kts early, tending S'ly 10-15kts.

Saturday
Mid sized SW groundswell holds under light morning offshore winds. Southwest coast: 4-6ft. Perth/Mandurah. 1-2ft. WIND: ESE 10-15kts early, tending light variable then WSW to 15kts.

Sunday
Old SW groundswell overlapped by a larger pulse in the afternoon. Southwest coast: 4-6ft, rising 6-8ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft, rising 3ft late. WIND: W’ly 25-30kts tending SW.

Saturday morning is by far the pick of conditions across the West Coast this weekend. Photo: CW user Luke Glassington,

Saturday morning is by far the pick of conditions across the West Coast this weekend. Photo: CW user Luke Glassington,

South Australia
It’s looking like a fine weekend to spend some quality time in the water across the entire state. A predominantly light NE wind-regime coincides with a consistent run of SSW groundswell; mostly hovering around the 2 to 3ft mark throughout Friday and Saturday. Sunday is then looking even better, with light winds forecast to greet a stronger pulse of groundswell pushing up into the 3 to 4ft range. The southerly bias in deepwater swell direction won’t be doing any favours for the Mid Coast; ensuring surf-heights continue to linger at near flat to 1ft levels all weekend – so with the light winds in place it’s well worth spending some time targeting somewhere more exposed.

Friday
Faded SSW groundswell. Clean sets up to 2 - 3ft exposed South Coast beaches, easing later. Grading to 0.5ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: ENE 5 to 15 knots, tending to light seabreezes during the afternoon.

Saturday
Slow rise in new SSW groundswell. Up to 2 - 3ft exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to 0.5ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light and variable, tending SSW during the arvo.

Sunday
Long period SSW groundswell. Sets ranging from 2 - 4ft exposed South Coast breaks. Grading to 1 - 2ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light NE, tending to light seabreezes and then light and variable later.

There will be a myriad of good options across SA as light NE winds greet small to mid-sized SW groundswell all weekend. Photo: CW user Jordan Smith.

There will be a myriad of good options across SA as light NE winds greet small to mid-sized SW groundswell all weekend. Photo: CW user Jordan Smith.

Tags: ben , macartney , weekend , surf , forecast , topnews (create Alert from these tags)

blog comments powered by Disqus
Recent
Sean Doherty: Medina Dominant, John John Back and Zeke On a Mission as Pipe Gets Started

Sean Doherty: Medina Dominant, John John Back and Zeke On a Mission as Pipe Gets Started

1 11 Dec 2019
Which Will Be Called the Best Single Wave From the Last Decade of Hawaiian Winters?

Which Will Be Called the Best Single Wave From the Last Decade of Hawaiian Winters?

1 9 Dec 2019
A Masterclass in Twin Fin Tube-Riding With Torren Martyn

A Masterclass in Twin Fin Tube-Riding With Torren Martyn

2 4 Dec 2019
Nick Carroll: Jack Robbo Seals CT Slot With Epic Sunset Win

Nick Carroll: Jack Robbo Seals CT Slot With Epic Sunset Win

25 3 Dec 2019
Go to Top