Weekend Surf Forecast 27 - 29 April 2018
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
Issued Thursday, 26 April 2018
When the Petshop Boys wrote ‘Go West’, they probably didn’t have the West Coast’s often-epic surf in mind. But if they did, they probably would’ve been signing about the kind of conditions in store for this Saturday. The combination of a large, long-period SW groundswell and light offshore easterly winds sees one of those rare days of large, clean surf; ranging anywhere from 8 to 12ft on deepwater reefs while still producing a wide range of slightly more accessible, but still challenging options across semi-exposed breaks. The same SW groundswell will eventually find its way further east on Sunday afternoon to produce a steep building trend in wave-heights across South Australia and Victoria, leading in a full day of large surf across both states on Monday.
As for the Eastern Seaboard, well, there’s waves to be sure - just not the kind to make a song and dance about. A strong southerly change moving up the coast on Friday and Saturday leads in a sizeable, short period S to SSE windswell; for the most part amounting to a blown-out 3 to 6ft across Sydney and South Coast exposed areas, while offering up smaller surf of dubious quality elsewhere. The alignment of the developing fetch definitely favours locations further north – and this should see some reasonably fun options inside northern NSW bays and southern Queensland’s points both on Saturday and Sunday.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
A cool blast of southerly winds and a large, disorganised southerly windswell doesn’t exactly qualify as classic autumn conditions, but that’s what we’ll have to make do with this weekend. By Saturday morning expect a chunky and junky S windswell to hit peaks of 4 to 5ft plus across southern exposures, while wrapping at much lower levels inside southern corners out of the wind. The localised nature of the swell source should see wave-heights paring back to a still windblown 3 to 4ft by Sunday – and at this stage any inshore south-westerly bias in local winds is likely to be very short lived. Still, there’s swell – and the crowd factor is unlikely to be high.
Large S swell peaks. Windblown 3 to 5ft+ south facing breaks, grading to 2 to 4ft open beaches with size depending on exposure. Easing during the day. WIND: S 15 to 30 knots, easing and tending SSE later.
SSE swell. Around 3 to 4ft south facing breaks early, easing during the afternoon and grading to 2 to 3ft+ elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early S to SSE 10 to 20 knots, easing during the afternoon.
Short range SE swell. Around 2 to 4ft exposed open and south facing breaks. Grading smaller along open beaches with size depending on exposure. WIND: SSE 10 to 15 knots.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Southern Queensland’s points and sheltered bays like Byron are probably some of the best places you could hope to find yourself across the East Coast this weekend. The region’s favourable exposure to a ridge-driven SSE fetch, coupled with a full weekend of strong S to SSE winds, should equate to pretty fun-sized surf at the right spots. This should see chunky, wind-affected sets in the 4ft range at exposed beaches like Duranbah, while wrapping at clean 1 to 3ft levels along the points and bays.
Potential for a steep rising S windswell. Around 2 to 3ft northern NSW south facing beaches, building to 3 to 4ft+ during the afternoon. Up to 1 to 2ft across southern Queensland’s exposed breaks, picking up to 2ft+ later. Mixing with slight E swell at 1ft or so along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early SSW 15 to 25 knots inshore, tending S 20 to 30 knots during the day.
Large SSE windswell. Up to a windblown 4 to 6ft+ northern NSW exposed breaks. Wrapping at 3 to 4ft+ southern Queensland’s exposed beaches, smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: SSW 15 to 25 knots inshore, tending S during the morning and SSE during the day.
Easing SE swell. Around 3 to 5ft northern NSW coasts, grading to 3 to 4ft across southern Queensland exposed breaks, grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early SSW inshore, tending S 15 to 20 knots and SSE during the day.
A spike in SW swell peaking on Friday levels off at a good size across Victorian coasts this weekend; offering up wide-ranging surfing options state-wide. Saturday morning sees the most size; still a good 4 to 5ft along exposed beaches under light winds of 5 to 10 knots, making for reasonably good surface quality wherever you look. Sunday also sees similarly light wind-regime, but unless you’re surfing early, your options will quickly become limited as a new SW groundswell builds in; rapidly transforming exposed beaches into no-go zones during the afternoon. This should start to open up good conditions along the Surf Coast and Western Port throughout Sunday afternoon, leading in a full day of large surf on Monday.
New SW groundswell builds in. Sets around 5 to 6ft+ exposed beaches, wrapping at 3 to 5ft along the Surf Coast reefs and grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light SW to SSW 5 to 15 knots tending S to SSE below 10 knots during the day.
Easing SW groundswell. Solid 4 to 5ft sets along the exposed beaches, grading to 2 to 4ft or so along the Surf Coast reefs and smaller elsewhere. WIND: Light and variable to SE 5 to 10 knots.
Easing WSW swell reinforced by rising SW groundswell throughout the afternoon. Sets to 3 to 5ft along the exposed beaches early, building towards 5 to 6ft+ later. Up to an inconsistent 2 to 3ft across the Surf Coast reefs, picking up later. WIND: Early ESE to SE 5 to 15 knots, turning SW 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.
Across the Southwest, the surf stands head and shoulders above all other regions on – both figuratively and literally. The arrival of a large, long-interval SW groundswell coincides with a full morning of straight offshore easterlies that will gradually turn lighter ENE ahead before turning light S late in the day. So if you’re a fan of the big stuff it’s clearly a day worth planning for. On the other hand, if it sounds like you could be biting off more than you can chew, you might want to wait until Sunday morning. The tail end of the groundswell should still be running at still large, but more accessible 4 to 6ft levels under moderate north-easterlies – and it will be well worth making the most of these conditions before winds turn more north during the day.
Reinforced SW groundswell fills in. South West coast: Unsettled, 3 to 5ft+, rising 6 to 8ft. Perth/Mandurah: Mostly clean, 1 to 1.5ft, rising unsettled 2ft+. WIND: South to SSE at 10 to 15 knots tending SSW for a period in the afternoon. Grading lighter ESE in the morning across Metro waters.
Solid kick in SW groundswell shows under offshore winds. South West: Clean, 10 to 12ft. Perth/Mandurah: Clean, 2 to 3ft, rising 4ft sets. WIND: East at 15 to 20 knots, easing 10 knots ENE before shifting Southerly in the afternoon.
SW groundswell eases off as winds shift northerly South West: Semi clean early, 4 to 6ft+. Perth, Mandurah: Clean, 1 to 3ft, early easing. WIND: NE at 10 to 20 knots shifting NNW 20 to 25 knots before easing late. Grading light variable, offshore across Metro waters.
There’s more waves than you can poke your stick at over the coming days. Friday is clearly shaping up as one of the better days to be targeting an exposed break as a strong SW groundswell coincides with early light NE winds; producing clean 3 to 4ft waves across the South Coast. The tail end of the swell should see similarly good, albeit smaller conditions on Saturday morning, deteriorating as winds turn south during the afternoon. However, Sunday then marks the onset of another, larger SW groundswell that’s set to light up the region under light onshore wins throughout the afternoon.
Long period SW groundswell fills in under light morning winds. South Coast: Clean, 3 to 4ft+. Largest at magnets. Mid Coast: Clean, 1 to 2ft. WIND: Calm, NE tending light sea breezes in the afternoon.
SW groundswell eases off as winds show light from the NE. South Coast: Clean, 2 to 4ft, largest at magnets, easing. Mid Coast: Clean, 1 to occasionally 1.5ft, easing. WIND: NE to ENE at 10 knots tending SW in the afternoon.
New SW groundswell shows as winds freshen into the ESE. South Coast: Messy, 2 to 3ft+ rising 4ft+, largest at magnet. Mid Coast: Clean, 1 to 1.5ft, rising 2ft sets. WIND: ESE 10 to 20 knots tending SE.
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