Weekend Surf Forecast 9 - 11 February, 2018

8 Feb 2018 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 8 February 2018

If it’s not completely flat, then surfing is always a good idea – even if it’s just a means of getting wet and washing away the cobwebs. Around every corner of our surfable coastline there’s plenty of good reasons to get out there this weekend.

A minor rise in E swell across the Eastern Seaboard holds great potential for some fun-sized conditions; probably not pushing beyond 2 to 3ft across Sydney and locations south on Sunday, but probably arriving at about a foot bigger across southern Queensland and northern NSW. Further south, a virtual flat-spell currently plaguing Victoria breaks with the arrival of a modest WSW swell; just big enough to restore surf-heights to a fun-sized 2 to 4ft along the more exposed beaches all weekend.

Likewise, South Australian coasts will also benefit from a similarly modest upswing in SW swell, with light offshore winds on Sunday morning shaping up as the pick. Last but far from least, the West Coast sees two fully days featuring mid-sized SW swell in the 4ft range, making for good conditions under prevailing south-easterly winds both on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

A rock with a view. Photo: Maxswellphoto.

A rock with a view. Photo: Maxswellphoto.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
There’s a few little waves around over the next couple of days, but little is the operative word – at least until a new pulse of E swell fills in on Sunday. A tiny, long-range SSE groundswell arriving on Friday and Saturday looks more interesting in the theoretical sense than in reality. The vast distance between the swell source and the NSW coast (over 2,000 nautical miles) and the fleeting duration of the swell producing winds points to a small, inconsistent pulse. For all intents and purposes this is likely to see tiny surf persisting across the vast majority of open breaks on both days, while only showing size in the 2ft range with the odd larger set at the most prominent southern exposures.

Saturday evening sees the leading edge of a new E swell starting to show across the region, leading in the bulk of swell on Sunday morning. Given latest model runs have further downgraded the strength of the swell source, it’s only anticipated to come in at 2 to 3ft max along the most exposed open beaches, while grading smaller elsewhere. The arrival of a southerly change early on Sunday will keep a lid on clean surfable options, so you might want to set the alarm clock for the dawn patrol for a short window of light winds preceding its arrival.

Friday
Slight NE windswell up to a junky 2ft open breaks, reinforced by small, long-range SSE groundswell rising to an inconsistent 1 to 2ft+ southern exposures during the afternoon. WIND: Early light N tending NE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Long range SSE swell reinforced by new E swell. Slow sets to 1 to 3ft south facing breaks early, mixing with E swell around 1 to 2ft open breaks. WIND: Early light S to SE 5 to 10 knots, tending E to NE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Mid-period E swell. Up to 2 to 3ft exposed open beaches, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Light N to NW 5 to 10 knots ahead of an early S change 15 to 25 knots during the morning, quickly easing and tending SSE later.

A combination of small E swell and strong southerly winds keeps clean options to a minimum across the region on Sunday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Bodhitodd.

A combination of small E swell and strong southerly winds keeps clean options to a minimum across the region on Sunday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Bodhitodd.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
A gradual building trend in ESE swell sets in over the next few days; culminating in a pretty substantial day of surf on Sunday.  This should start with a subtle uptick in height and period on Friday; probably still producing more substantial set waves in the 2 to 3ft range across the most exposed breaks all day. A more substantial increase in wave period follows on Saturday morning as the leading edge of a new ESE pulse fills in; generating better quality surf as it continues to pick up throughout the day; probably showing peak size late on Saturday through early Sunday in the 3 to 4ft range.

While there’s no shortage of swell, local winds are set to swing north this weekend; initially turning light to moderate NE on Saturday afternoon, before tending north and freshening on Sunday. That means opportunities for clean conditions along the points are likely to be limited to Friday and Saturday morning. From Saturday arvo onwards you might be better off hitting a sheltered northern corner or more south facing stretch for some better cross-shore conditions.

Friday
Mix of slow building ESE windswell and fading S swell. Around 2ft+ exposed open beaches, mixing with S swell at similar levels across northern NSW south facing breaks. Wrapping at lower levels inside the points and bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early lighter SSW 10 to 15 knots inshore, tending SSE to SE during the day.

Saturday
Potential for building ESE swell. Consistent 2 to 3ft along exposed beaches, picking up to a stronger 3 to 4ft during the afternoon. Wrapping at 1 to 3ft inside the points and bays with size depending on exposure WIND: Early light WSW to SW inshore, tending variable, then NE to NNE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Potential for solid ESE swell. Speculatively 3 to 4ft exposed breaks, wrapping at 2 to 3ft inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light WNW to SSE inshore, tending NNE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Northerly winds aside, a slow building E swell sees improving options across the region this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by rgl.

Northerly winds aside, a slow building E swell sees improving options across the region this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by rgl.

Victoria
Saying the surf is going to pick up over the next few days isn’t necessarily saying much in light of Thursday’s tiny to near flat conditions. Still, Friday morning should see wave-heights back up to a fun-sized 2 to 3ft along the exposed beaches; albeit under light onshore SSE winds – so it won’t exactly be anything to write home about.  Although this pulse should ease marginally by Saturday morning, offshore winds will be making for far more appealing conditions – at least until winds turn NW and freshen ahead of a strong SW change arriving during the afternoon. The arrival of the change leads in a full day of windblown 2 to 3ft waves along exposed beaches throughout Sunday – so it’s well worth making the most of Friday and Saturday’s conditions while they last.

Friday
WSW groundswell peaks early. Clean sets up to 3 to 4ft along exposed beaches, grading to 2ft or so across the Surf Coast with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending SE around 10 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Leftover WSW swell levels off at a clean 2 to 3ft along the exposed beaches early, wrapping at 1 to 2ft along the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light N to NNE, shifting NW ahead of a SW change 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Stronger building trend in SW swell sets in. Probably undersized at a choppy 2 to 3ft+ along exposed beaches early, building into the 3 to 4ft range during the afternoon. Wrapping in at cross-shore 1 to 2ft along the Surf Coast, bigger later. WIND: SSW 10 to 15 knots, tending S to SSE and easing later.

A minor rise in SW swell returns surf to a fun size across exposed Victorian breaks this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Seaandlandphotos.

A minor rise in SW swell returns surf to a fun size across exposed Victorian breaks this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Seaandlandphotos.

Western Australia
While there’s no shortage of mid-sized SW swell on tap it’s going to be hard to beat Thursday morning’s clean offshore conditions over the next few days. Early Friday sees a southerly change adding little appeal to conditions across the region. It won’t be until Saturday morning that we see a return to mostly clean surf under early lighter south-easterlies, making for a full morning of good quality 3 to 5ft waves until the southerly kicks in during the arvo. This sets the trend for Sunday as early south-easterlies again produce the best window of opportunity as the SW swell gradually recedes.

Friday
Swell backs off further as winds freshen into the south. South West: Cross shore wind affected, 3 to 4ft, easing. Perth, Mandurah: Cross-shore wind affected, 0.5 to 1ft, rising wind swell later. WIND: S at 15 to 20 knots, freshening 20 to 30 knots Southerly.

Saturday
Reinforced SSW groundswell fills in as winds shift back into the SE. South West: Mostly clean, 3 to 5ft early, largest at south exposed breaks. Perth/Mandurah: Semi clean 0.5 to 1ft, rising with wind swell in the mix. WIND: SE at 15 to 20 knots, easing before shifting southerly and freshening 25 knots.

Sunday
SSW groundswell slowly eases as winds freshen from the SSE. South West: Cross offshore wind affected, 3 to 4ft, possible larger sets at dawn before easing. Perth/Mandurah: Unsettled 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: SSE at 20 to 25 knots.

Friday's southerly winds give way to early SE breezes across the region just in time for Saturday morning. Photo: Dan Wyer.

Friday's southerly winds give way to early SE breezes across the region just in time for Saturday morning. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
An overnight rise in WSW swell sees surf-heights back up to a fun size across the South Coast by Friday morning, making for good 2 to 3ft conditions under early ENE winds, grading to near-flat across the Mid Coast. From there conditions are set to gradually deteriorate. Saturday isn’t looking quite as good, with light onshore winds greeting a slightly smaller SW swell – but at least there will be a few fun waves to be had. Persistent southerly winds don’t bode too well for Sunday. Regardless of the onshores, a renewed upswing in mid-period SW swell will keep set waves up around 3ft along the South Coast all day, but still tiny to near flat across the Mid.

Friday
New WSW groundswell. South Coast: Clean, 2 to 3ft. Largest at magnets. Mid Coast: Clean 1 to 2ft early, easing. WIND: Variable at 5 to 10 knots tending SW at 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday
Onshore winds and a small swell, rising late. South Coast: Unsettled, 1 to 3ft, largest at magnets, rising late. Mid Coast: Unsettled, 0.5ft to 1ft. WIND: SSW at 10 to 15 knots, freshening 20 knots.

Sunday
Minor increase in SSW swell as winds show from the SSE. South Coast: Unsettled, 2 to 3ft, largest at magnets. Mid Coast: Clean although tiny. WIND: SSE 10 to 15 knots.


Low levels of SW swell keep wave heights running at a fun size across the state all weekend. Photo: Dan Colley.

Low levels of SW swell keep wave heights running at a fun size across the state all weekend. Photo: Dan Colley.


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