Weekend Surf Forecast 18 - 20 January, 2019

17 Jan 2019 1 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Issued Thursday, 17 January 2019

Without wanting to engage in any alliteration, it mustu be said, the swell-supressing influence of the southern hemisphere summer appears to be in full swing around the country this weekend. Across the Eastern Seaboard we’re seeing a combination of small-scale ENE and NE windswells; showing most size across southern NSW coasts in the 2 to 3ft range. Further north, the last vestiges of early January’s easterly tradewind swell fade into the 1 to 2ft range across southern Queensland coasts under dreaded northerly winds.

Down south, the forecast is only marginally better. Victoria and South Australia see a steady run of small to mid-range SW swell; for the most part arriving under light to moderate onshore winds to produce junky 2 to 4ft waves along the more exposed beaches all weekend. Only Western Australia bucks the small-wave trend, with the arrival of a significant SSW groundswell on Sunday offering up powerful waves under freshening southerly winds.

Not your average summer surf. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Andrew Alderson.

Not your average summer surf. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Andrew Alderson.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
This summer’s interminable run of small-scale NE windswell, punctuated by occasional, small southerly pulses continues; not only over the course of the weekend – but also for the foreseeable future. It’s fair to say one might struggle to stay enthusiastic about surfing such conditions, but I’m staying glass-half-full: There are plenty of small waves to be had this weekend - both out of the NE and South - and that’s got to be better than none.

Friday
NE windwell ranges from 2 to 3ft at the more exposed open beaches, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Northerly 5 to 15 knots early, tending NE 15 to 25 knots.

Saturday
NE windswell ranging from 2 to 3ft across the most exposed open breaks, easing as S windswell picks up to a junky 2 to 3ft along south facing beaches during the afternoon WIND: Early light WNW near dawn, shifting Southerly 15 to 25 knots early morning, then tending SSE and easing to 10 to 15 knots later.

Sunday
S windswell up to a junky 2 to 3ft south facing beaches, grading to 2ft or so elsewhere with size depending on exposure and easing later. WIND: Light SSE to SE 5 to 10 knots, tending East during the day and ENE up to 10 to 15 knots in the arvo.

Small surf doesn't preclude a bit of fun across the NSW coast this weekend. Photo uploaded to CW by Nick Melas.

Small surf doesn't preclude a bit of fun across the NSW coast this weekend. Photo uploaded to CW by Nick Melas.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
The easterly swell-party of early January is officially over. In its wake, we can expect a long-enduring hangover comprising fresh northerly winds and a diminishing easterly swell in the 1 to 2ft range. These conditions are set to play out throughout the weekend, so making plans for some alternative amusement to surfing looks like your best bet.

Friday
Leftover E tradewind swell hovers a junky 2ft exposed open beaches, while wrapping at lower levels inside the bays and along the points. WIND: Early NNE 5 to 15 knots, tending NNE 10 to 15 knots. Up to 15 to 20 knots south of the border.

Saturday
E swell mixing with slight NE windswell at around 1 to 2ft exposed open beaches, otherwise tiny along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early light NNW 10 to 15 knots, tending Northerly 15 to 20 knots in the arvo.

Sunday
Fading E swell and slight NE windswell drop into the 1 to 2ft range along exposed coasts, while grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light and variable, tending Easterly around 10 knots during the day.

A dwindling Easterly swell culminates in pretty marginal conditions across the region all weekend. Photo uploaded to CW by Bunkerspreckels.

A dwindling Easterly swell culminates in pretty marginal conditions across the region all weekend. Photo uploaded to CW by Bunkerspreckels.

Victoria
An emerging onshore south-westerly airflow is set to take the shine off the current run of small-scale SW swell this weekend. That leaves Friday morning as a short-lived window for some reasonably clean 2 to 3ft sets along open beaches, before the onshores develop during the day. A minor uptick in size on Sunday should continue to offer up plenty of Junky onshore options on Saturday – again favouring the exposed beaches for Size, but the Surf Coast for surface quality. Sunday morning offers up another opportunity for some reasonably clean, small wave options, before conditions start to transform with the arrival of a stronger SW groundswell early next week.

Friday
Mid-period SW groundswell continues to range from 2 to 3ft+ along the exposed beaches, wrapping at a slow 2ft along the Surf Coast reefs and fading into the afternoon. WIND: Early light and variable land-breezes, turning SW 5 to 15 knots during the morning, freshening in the arvo.

Saturday
Renewed SW swell up to 3 to 4ft along the exposed beaches, while wrapping at 1 to 2ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs. Otherwise smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Westerly, tending SW 10 to 20 knots early, tending Southerly during the afternoon.

Sunday
Smaller SW swell reinforced by new, long-period SSW forerunners in the afternoon. Inconsistent 2 to 3ft along the exposed beaches, while wrapping at a slow 1 to 2ft along the Surf Coast reefs. Infrequent sets bumping up in the afternoon. WIND: Early light and variable to light South, increasing to 10 to 15 knots later.

Exposed beaches will be holding the best options, albeit under predominant onshore winds this weekend. Photo uploaded to CW by Mitch Pope.

Exposed beaches will be holding the best options, albeit under predominant onshore winds this weekend. Photo uploaded to CW by Mitch Pope.

Western Australia
There’s a bit more swell on the horizon this weekend – but in the near-term you’ll have to continue to make do with small-scale SW swell; still hovering around the 3ft mark across exposed Southwest areas on Friday and Saturday. Both days should see early ESE winds offering up some good options before the southerly wrecking ball arrives into the afternoon. Sunday then marks the arrival of a much stronger SSW groundswell; conservatively arriving in the 4 to 6ft plus range along exposed Southwest Coasts. At this stage, however, there’s a good chance stronger southerly winds will spoil exposed breaks. Stay tuned for Friday’s update for clarification.

Friday
Easing SSW swell under cross-offshore winds. South West: Semi-clean 2 to 4ft sets across exposed breaks, easing a foot or so in the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: Around 1ft. WIND: Easterly, ESE around 5 to 10 knots, turning South, SSE and freshening to 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
Leftover SSW swell mixes with small SW groundswell under offshore winds. South West: Sets up to 2 to 3ft across exposed breaks early, bumping up later. Otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth/Mandurah: Up to 0.5 to 1ft along exposed beaches. WIND: ESE 10 to 15 knots, turning South and freshening during the afternoon.

Sunday
Residual SSW swell reinforced by building SW groundswell in the afternoon. South West: Cross-offshore 4 to 6ft+ across exposed breaks, building to a junky 5 to 7ft+ during the day. Perth/Mandurah: Clean in the 1ft+ range along exposed beaches, bumping up later. WIND: SSE 10 to 15 knots, tending South and freshening later.

The sheltered bays might be your best bet as a new SW groundswell arrives under southerly winds on Sunday. Photo: Dan Wyer.

The sheltered bays might be your best bet as a new SW groundswell arrives under southerly winds on Sunday. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
There’s no reading between the lines of the forecast over the next few days as a static pattern of small-scale SSW swell coincides with moderate onshore winds. That lends the focus to the most exposed South Coast beaches for some mostly junky onshore 2 to 3ft waves. You’ll probably fare best during the early morning hours as lighter winds precede SSW to SSE winds getting up to 10 to 15 knots.

Friday
Reinforcing SSW swell levels off under light winds. South Coast: Clean sets ranging from 2 to 3ft Waits and Parsons, grading to 1 to 2ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: Around 1ft+. WIND: Southerly, SW 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday
SSW swell continues to range from 2 to 3ft at Waits and Parsons, grading to a junky 1 to 2ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: Around 0.5ft. WIND: SSE 10 to 15 knots, tending southerly and freshening in the afternoon.

Sunday
SSW swell holds steady. South Coast: Around 2 to 3ft at Waits and Parsons, grading to 2ft or so around Middleton. Mid Coast: 0.5ft to flat. WIND: SE 5 to 15 knots, then SSE and freshening in the afternoon.

Despite the onshore winds, South Coast beaches will be holding your best surfing options all weekend. Photo uploaded to CW by James Hayers.

Despite the onshore winds, South Coast beaches will be holding your best surfing options all weekend. Photo uploaded to CW by James Hayers.


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

blog comments powered by Disqus
Features
Swell Alert: Tropical Cyclone Oma’s Updated Surf-Potential For The Weekend

Swell Alert: Tropical Cyclone Oma’s Updated Surf-Potential For The Weekend

Tropical Cyclone Oma is sitting plumb inside Queensland's swell window right now.

1 22 Feb 2019
Cyclone Oma Lights Up Noosa - Nature's Own Perfect Wave Pool

Cyclone Oma Lights Up Noosa - Nature's Own Perfect Wave Pool

Whilst the Gold Coast was a little bigger, Noosa provided epic, perfect lines for Julian Wilson, Asher Pacey and a handful of other pros along with several hundred wave-starved punters

6 22 Feb 2019
Recent

Ryan Callinan Signs With Ocean & Earth

With a short, sharp banger of a clip!

22 Feb 2019
Fun News: Kelly Slater Will Be in the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro This Year

Fun News: Kelly Slater Will Be in the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro This Year

1 20 Feb 2019
Merewether wins the 2019 nudie Australian Boardriders Battle!

Merewether wins the 2019 nudie Australian Boardriders Battle!

18 Feb 2019
Ryan Callinan, Jack Freestone, Ethan Ewing and Seth Moniz Shred Mysto Pointbreak

Ryan Callinan, Jack Freestone, Ethan Ewing and Seth Moniz Shred Mysto Pointbreak

8 Feb 2019
Mick Signs With Rip Curl For Another Ten Years

Mick Signs With Rip Curl For Another Ten Years

7 Feb 2019
Latest News

Ryan Callinan Signs With Ocean & Earth

With a short, sharp banger of a clip!

Merewether wins the 2019 nudie Australian Boardriders Battle!

Watch the highlights from an absolute belter of an event

Mick Signs With Rip Curl For Another Ten Years

That'll make it 30 all up for the 3x World Champ and Rippy

Popular This Week

Cyclone Oma Awoke Kirra From Her Slumber Thursday

The famous point break provided some solid barrels Thursday for the likes of Mick, Parko, Freestone and more.

Cyclone Oma Lights Up Noosa - Nature's Own Perfect Wave Pool

Whilst the Gold Coast was a little bigger, Noosa provided epic, perfect lines for Julian Wilson, Asher Pacey and a handful of other pros along with several hundred wave-starved punters

Snapper Turns On In Anticipation For Tropical Cyclone Oma

Mick Fanning, the Occ, Jack Freestone, Seth Moniz, Owen Wright, Vassa and many more dining out on some thick ones behind the rock at Snapper.

Byron Bay Shark Attack: There was a big chunk taken out of his leg...

Byron beaches closed after 41 year old man airlifted to hospital.

Go to Top