Weekend Surf Forecast 10 - 12 August 2018

9 Aug 2018 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 2 August 2018 

Like starving, dehydrated souls lost in the desert, surfers will flock to the coast in droves as this week’s swell-drought breaks across the East Coast. Admittedly, the arrival of a long-range E swell will only produce small waves, punctuated by long-waits between sets – but at least there’s waves. Southern Queensland and northern NSW should pull in the best of it at a stronger 2 to 3ft, but the shadowing effects of New Zealand’s North Island will come into play from Newcastle south, making for smaller, less frequent sets – particularly across Sydney and the South Coast.

Across the southern states an active winter storm-track remain in full effect as overlapping WSW groundswells supply both Victoria and South Australia will plenty of good surf all weekend. It’s only across the West Coast that the active winter storm-track continues to wreak havoc on conditions; producing yet another weekend featuring large WSW and SW swell under strong onshore winds.

At sea level. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Aquatic_horizons.

At sea level. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Aquatic_horizons.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast.
This week’s swell drought is about to break – by no means in spectacular fashion – but break none the less. Friday marks the arrival of a new, long-range easterly swell; showing just enough size to justify a surf as it reaches a peak on Friday and Saturday – but I wouldn’t be expecting much in the overhead range. The origin is remote; arising from a tropical low that set up deep in the Southwest Pacific, well east of the dateline – and for Sydney and locations south that means the shadowing effects of New Zealand’s North Island will further dilute its size and frequency, limiting set waves to about 2ft with odd bigger ones.

The good news is a more substantial building trend in south swell will follow throughout Sunday afternoon; in all likelihood picking up into the 2 to 3ft range across south facing beaches, with scope for some bigger sets late in the day. For now model guidance remains a little loose on the timing of the increase so stay tuned to Friday’s detailed update for clarification.

Friday
Minor E groundswell. Up to a slow 1 to 3ft exposed open beaches, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: WNW to NW 5 to 10 knots tending NNE at 20 to 25 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Minor NE wind swell mixes with a distant E groundswell. Inconsistent sets around 2 to 2ft+ across the most exposed open beaches, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: N 10 to 20 knots turning NNE 15 to 25 knots later.

Sunday
Mix of slight NE swell and residual E groundswell around 1 to 2ft+ exposed open breaks early, fading as refracted S swell picks up to 1 to 2ft across south facing beaches during the late afternoon, potentially bigger in the evening. WIND: WSW to SW 20 to 25 knots, shifting S during the day.

While not of such appealing dimensions, the arrival of a small, long-range easterly swell should offer up fun conditions across the region all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Ben McGrath.

While not of such appealing dimensions, the arrival of a small, long-range easterly swell should offer up fun conditions across the region all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Ben McGrath.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Thursday saw the leading edge of a new, long range ESE groundswell showing at inconsistent 2ft levels across the region; hardly qualifying as a spectacular new episode – but it will muscle up a bit as the bulk of energy arrives throughout Friday and Saturday. Expect long-lined sets arriving in the 2 to 3ft range on both days, albeit punctuated by long lulls. Initially Friday morning sees mostly idyllic surface quality; featuring early light land-breezes that will eventually give way to light easterlies. However, northerlies are set to spring up on Saturday, so if you’re hell-bent on finding some good surf you’ll be wanting to target a sheltered northern corner. From there, early WNW winds will lend the focus to exposed open beaches early on Sunday, with conditions improving with the arrival of WSW change during the day.

Friday
Long range ESE groundswell holds at a slow 2 to 3ft exposed open beaches, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Light offshore land breezes early, tending ESE to ENE during the arvo at around 10 knots.

Saturday
Easing, long range ESE groundswell mixes with slight rising NE swell. Inconsistent sets around 2 to 3ft exposed beaches, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light WNW to NNW, tending N, NNE and freshening to 15 to 20 knots later.

Sunday
Fading ESE groundswell mixing with short period NE windswell around 1 to 3ft exposed areas, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early WNW 15 to 20 knots tending W and easing, then WSW to SW during the afternoon and freshening later.

Check the Duranbah cam as the long-range ESE swell fills in.

Victoria
Successive pulses of WSW groundswell keep the good times rolling across Victoria. The combination of a solid WSW groundswell and howling northerly winds will present some good, if not challenging surfing options across the most south facing areas on Friday. If you’re a fan of such conditions it’s well worth making the most of it as by Saturday winds will be back in the west – and they’re forecast to remain that way all weekend. This will lend the focus to the Surf Coast for clean surf, ranging anywhere from 2 to 4ft depending on time and place.

Friday
Reinforcing WSW groundswell fills in under fresh offshore north winds. Around 4 to 6ft+ along exposed beaches early, rising with scope for larger 5 to 8ft sets during the afternoon. Wrapping at slower 2 to 3ft+ across the Surf Coast reefs picking up with 3 to 4ft sets during the afternoon. WIND: N 20 to 35 knots, easing and tending NNW ahead of an overnight SW change.

Saturday
Easing WSW groundswell. Ranging from a messy 5 to 7ft exposed beaches, easing to foot or so later. Inconsistent sets wrapping mostly clean 2 to 4ft along the Surf Coast, easing later. WIND: Early WNW 15 to 20 knots, tending W during the afternoon.

Sunday
Easing WSW groundswell reinforced by new SW groundswell during the afternoon. Ranging from a messy 4 to 5ft across exposed breaks, picking up to 5 to 6ft+ later. Initially clean 2 to 4ft range along the Surf Coast, picking up to 3 to 4ft+ later. WIND: Early WNW tending WSW to SW 10 to 15 knots later.

A full weekend of solid WSW groundswell and westerly quarter winds offers up appealing conditions across the Surf Coast all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jordan Smith.

A full weekend of solid WSW groundswell and westerly quarter winds offers up appealing conditions across the Surf Coast all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jordan Smith.

Western Australia
This winter’s relentless, moral sapping onshore winds just won’t give up. Saturday morning offers up a fleeting window of respite from the onshores as lighter south-westerlies briefly tend variable – before freshening northerlies make a return into the afternoon. At the same time there’s no shortage of chunky WSW swell inbound; initially holding at a windblown 10ft across exposed areas on Friday – and this may well mark your best opportunity for some half-decent waves inside the bays before strengthening NNW winds write off conditions all weekend.

Friday
WSW groundswell eases under improving SSW winds. South West: Ranging from 8 to 10ft+ across exposed breaks, easing to 6 to 8ft+ later. Perth/Mandurah: Messy, 3 to 4ft+. WIND: SW/SSW 15 to 25 knots, easing during the afternoon..

Saturday
WSW groundswell eases under light winds. South West coast: Semi clean, unsettled, 5 to 7ft, easing later. Perth/Mandurah: Clean, 1 to 3ft, easing. WIND: Early light SW tending variable 5 to 10 knots, then NNW and freshening to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
Reinforced mid sized SW groundswell fills in under fading SW swell. South West coast: Messy, 2 to 3ft+ exposed breaks, rising during the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: Up to 1 to 2ft. WIND: NNW 20 to 25 knots.

The sheltered bays will be the pick under still large WSW groundswell and SW winds on Friday. Photo: Dev Coote.

The sheltered bays will be the pick under still large WSW groundswell and SW winds on Friday. Photo: Dev Coote.

South Australia
WSW groundswell keeps coming in spades as several pulses overlap across the state over the coming days. Friday offers up a good window as strong NNW winds blow offshore across the South Coast, producing some solid, clean conditions at breaks holding the swell. It will be well worth making the most of it before winds swing to the west southwest on Saturday and continue to blow from a SW to SSW direction on Sunday.

Friday
Reinforcing SW groundswell builds in. South Coast: Mostly clean before the SW change, rising from 3 to 5ft towards 4 to 6ft Waits and Parsons. Grading clean 2 to 3ft+ at Middleton, bigger later. Mid Coast: Windblown 2 to 3ft, improving later. WIND: NNW 20 to 30 knots before a SW change in the afternoon.

Saturday
SW groundswell continues under fresh south westerly winds. Around 3 to 4ft+ at Waits and Parsons. Grading to a windblown 2 to 3ft at Middleton. Mid Coast: Semi clean in areas 1 to 3ft. WIND: W 15 to 25 knots turning SW 20 to 25 knots.

Sunday
Combined S windswell and underlying SW groundswell under fresh onshore winds. South Coast: Windblown 3 to 4ft at Waits and Parsons, grading to a choppy 2 to 3ft at Middleton. Mid Coast: Onshore, wind-affected 1 to 3ft. WIND: WSW to SW 15 to 25 knots, tending SSW in the afternoon and easing.

A consistent run of overlapping WSW groundswells lends the focus to the South Coast all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by SSC.

A consistent run of overlapping WSW groundswells lends the focus to the South Coast all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by SSC.


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