Weekend Surf Forecast 18 - 20 May 2018

17 May 2018 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 17 March 2018

Autumn has been good to us through the month of March and for many states this sets the trend leading into the weekend and beyond. The NSW coast in particularly has had it good this week and the fun times will keep coming under a steady run of S groundswell and predominantly light offshore/ variable winds all weekend. Further north, southern Queensland coasts won’t fare so well under the southerly swell-regime, so a drive south of the border could well be on the cards for many surfers this weekend.

Down south, the Southern Ocean brings it to Victoria in spades this weekend as a sustained run of SW groundswell coincides with west to south-westerly winds for days to come; making for several great days of waves across the Surf Coast. While South Australia also pulls in its share of swell, conditions won’t be looking quite so flash under persistent SSW winds. Last but not least, the West Coast sees a string of offshore 2 to 3ft days lending the focus to the most exposed Southwest coasts all weekend.

Let the good autumn times roll on. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Johnte.

Let the good autumn times roll on. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Johnte.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Just as this week’s solid SE/S swell combo begins to fade we have a series of new S groundswells picking up the slack this weekend. As per my previous blog, the first pulse is a small, high period event filling in on Friday; offering up potential for some solid, albeit infrequent 2 to 4ft sets across the region under mostly light winds. The tail end mixes in with a smaller, localised S swell at about 2 to 3ft across southern exposures on Saturday, preceding the arrival of another small S groundswell on Sunday. The entire weekend also features a consistent pattern of early offshore land-breezes tending light and variable or light onshore during the afternoons, so windows of opportunity to get amongst some clean conditions are wide open.

Friday
Leftover S swell speculatively reinforced by new S groundswell during the afternoon. Slow 1 to 3ft south facing beaches early, rebuilding to a slow 2 to 4ft during the afternoon and possibly bigger later. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early WSW 5 to 15 knots tending light and variable, then SSE during the afternoon.

Saturday
Mix of leftover S groundswell and shorter range S swell. Sets to 2 to 3ft across south facing beaches, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early WSW tending variable, then S to SE 5 to 10 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Reinforcing S groundswell. Solid sets to 2 to 3ft+ south facing breaks, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: WSW 5 to 15 knots, tending light and variable during the afternoon.

A series of small to mid-sized S groundswells will keep us in the water along the NSW coast this weekend. Photo: Uploaded by Aquatic_Horizons.

A series of small to mid-sized S groundswells will keep us in the water along the NSW coast this weekend. Photo: Uploaded by Aquatic_Horizons.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
All signs point south of the border this weekend. A dominant S swell regime will continue to neglect southern Queensland coasts by offering up low-levels of refracted energy; mostly ranging from 1 to 2ft along the more exposed beaches, while grading to tiny to near-flat levels elsewhere. In comparison, the more exposed northern NSW breaks will fare substantially better; pulling in consistent sets mostly ranging from 2 to 3ft, with scope for some bigger 3 to 4ft pulses at the right time and place. Saturday is easily shaping up as the pick as a long-period S groundswell fills in at high peak periods of 18 to 20 seconds; offering up slow, but powerful sets all day. On top of that, winds are looking light all weekend; starting out light offshore and tending variable into the afternoons. Happy days.

Friday
SSE windswell around 1 to 3ft northern NSW south facing breaks, grading to 1 to 2ft at best across Queensland’s exposed beaches and near flat along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Light WSW to SW inshore, tending light and variable, then N to NE later.

Saturday
Long period S groundswell fills in. Potential for 2 to 4ft waves across northern NSW southern exposures with long waits between sets. Expect smaller 2 to 3ft sets elsewhere, wrapping at 1 to 2ft exposed Queensland beaches, grading to 1ft or less inside the points and bays. WIND: WSW to SSW 5 to 10 knots tending light and variable to light SE later.

Sunday
Mix of leftover S groundswell and background S swell. Sets to 2 to 3ft exposed northern NSW breaks. Grading to about 1 to 2ft across Queensland’s exposed beaches and near-flat inside the points and bays. WIND: Early lighter WSW to SSW inshore tending variable SE to NE 5 to 10 knots during the arvo.

With no end in sight to the southerly swell-regime it could be some time before southern Queensland turns it on like this again. Photo: Uploaded by Mr Vacation.

With no end in sight to the southerly swell-regime it could be some time before southern Queensland turns it on like this again. Photo: Uploaded by Mr Vacation.

Victoria
A classic autumn pattern featuring solid swell and WNW to SW winds delivers consecutive days of good waves to the Surf Coast. Friday marks the arrival of a strong pulse in SW groundswell that holds potential for large, clean conditions along the Surf Coast – at least until winds swing to the southwest around lunchtime. This sets the trend for the region as SW swell scales down again on Saturday; initially holding around the 4ft mark on the reefs before easing a notch or two into the afternoon. A fresh round of SW groundswell arriving on Sunday then offers up a renewed building trend in set waves throughout the day, with scope for a strong boost into the 4 to 6ft plus range during the afternoon.

Friday
Long-period SSW groundswell peaks early slowly eases under moderate onshore winds. Ranging from 6 to 8ft along the exposed beaches, settling to 5 to 7ft later. Wrapping at 4 to 7ft along the Surf Coast reefs and grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early WNW to WSW 10 to 20 knots, tending SW during the afternoon.

Saturday
SSW groundswell slowly eases. Around 4 to 5ft+ along the exposed beaches, settling to 3 to 5ft later. Wrapping at about 3 to 4ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, easing later. WIND: Early W along the Surf Coast, otherwise SW 10 to 20 knots tending WSW during the afternoon.

Sunday
Mid period SSW swell gradually picks up. Around 4 to 6ft along the exposed beaches, building towards 5 to 7ft later. Around 3 to 4ft along the Surf Coast reefs, picking up to 4 to 6ft later. WIND: Early WNW 10 to 20 knots tending W to SW during the afternoon.

There's SW stacking up inside Victoria's swell window this weekend. Photo: Uploaded by Johnte.

There's SW stacking up inside Victoria's swell window this weekend. Photo: Uploaded by Johnte.

Western Australia
There’s no hiding the fact that the surf is looking pretty small across the region this weekend. The presence of a large, blocking high pressure system over the Bight leaves SW swell trickling in at subdued levels, but that said, it won’t exactly be flat either.  The flipside of the blocking high is a sustained period of offshore ENE to NE winds, making for mostly clean conditions all weekend.   


Friday
Continued small swells, offshore wind combo. South West: Unsettled, 2 to 3ft. Perth/Mandurah: Clean, flat to 0.5ft. WIND: ENE at 10 to 15 knots tending NE then easing variable in the afternoon.


Saturday
No change with small swells and offshore NE winds
. South West: Clean, 1 to 3ft. Perth, Mandurah: Clean, flat to 0.5ft. WIND: ENE to NE at 10 to 15 knots tending northerly then easing variable later.\


Sunday
Distant SW groundswells show under light offshore winds. South West: Clean, 2 to 3ft, rising inco plus sets later. Perth/Mandurah: Clean, 0.5 to 1ft at best. WIND: ENE 5 to 10 knots tending NE then variable in the afternoon.

A full weekend of small, clean waves lends the focus to the most exposed Southwest coasts this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

A full weekend of small, clean waves lends the focus to the most exposed Southwest coasts this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
A solid round of SSW groundswell peaking on Friday offers up the most size across the state over the coming days. A fairly swift easing trend is expected to follow – under mostly light to moderate onshore winds to boot – so it’s worth adjusting your expectations accordingly.


Friday
Reinforced SSW groundswell peaks under WSW winds. South Coast: Semi clean in areas, 4 to 6ft. Largest at magnets. Mid Coast: Unsettled, 0.5 to 1ft at best. WIND: WSW at 10 to 20 knots, possibly lighter early.


Saturday
SSW groundswell eases under moderate ESE to SE winds. South Coast: Unsettled, 2 to 4ft easing. Mid Coast: Clean, 0.5 to 1ft at best, easing. WIND: SSW 5 to 15 knots.


Sunday
SSW swell bottoms out under light morning winds. South Coast: Clean, 1 to 2ft+. Largest at magnets. Mid Coast: Clean, flat to 0.5ft. WIND: Calm, tending SSW 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Opportunities for clean conditions look few and far between across South Aus this weekend. Photo: Uploaded by Jordan Smith.

Opportunities for clean conditions look few and far between across South Aus this weekend. Photo: Uploaded by Jordan Smith.


Tags: Weekend Forecast , Ben Macartney , topnews (create Alert from these tags)

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