Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 22 - 31 May, 2019

21 May 2019 2 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Forecast Issued Tuesday, May 21, 2019

In the wake of a great day of competition at the Corona Bali Protected on Monday we’re now seeing wave-energy subsiding to a lower 2ft to occasional 3ft-ebb across Indonesia’s exposed coasts. This looks like setting the trend in the near-term as another small-scale SSW pulse slowly fills in on Wednesday and Thursday; again offering up fun, but slow 2 to 3ft sets at the major breaks. It now looks like it won’t be until the weekend that we see a more substantial round of mid-sized SSW groundswell providing a better opportunity to finish the contest; prospectively in the form of clean 3 to 4ft plus sets at Keramas – not to mention lighting up countless other breaks across Bali and the rest of the Archipelago all weekend.

With the southern Indian Ocean yet to spawn any major southwest groundswell, the WSL will most likely be zeroing in on a mid-sized SSW groundswell arriving from polar latitudes this weekend. Photo: The Perfect Wave.

With the southern Indian Ocean yet to spawn any major southwest groundswell, the WSL will most likely be zeroing in on a mid-sized SSW groundswell arriving from polar latitudes this weekend. Photo: The Perfect Wave.

Short Forecast
A lull in significant swell-activity sees several days of smaller-scale SSW swell prevailing across the region for the remainder of the working week, preceding the arrival of a new, mid-range SSW groundswell during Friday and this weekend; probably topping out in the 3 to 5ft range on Saturday before slowly easing Sunday/ Monday. In it’s wake it looks like we’ll see a return to increasingly small/ tiny levels of SW and SSW swell setting in from Tuesday 28th to Thursday 30th, ahead of a new SW groundswell starting to fill in sometime around Friday 31st or Saturday 1st June.

Daily Summary

Wednesday 22
Small SSW groundswell slowly fades. Slow sets ranging from 1 to 3ft exposed breaks, inconsistent in the upper range and more like 1 to 2ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots and up to 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

Thursday 23
Slight SSW groundswell. Ranging from 1 to 3ft exposed breaks, grading to tiny/ near-flat elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots, freshening to 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

Friday 24
Leading forerunners of a new SSW groundswell start to fill in. Sets up to a slow 2 to 3ft along exposed breaks early, picking up to a slow 3 to 4ft+ in the afternoon. Otherwise smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE around 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday 25
SSW groundswell peaks. Sets ranging from 3 to 4ft+ exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE around 10 to 15 knots.

Sunday 26
Easing SSW groundswell. Sets to 3 to 4ft exposed breaks, slowing up to 2 to 4ft later. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Monday 27
Leftover SSW swell slowly eases. Sets ranging from 2 to 3ft+ exposed breaks early, fading into the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

A couple of days of subdued surfing days precede the onset of a new SSW groundswell on Friday and this weekend. Source: Wave Tracker.

A couple of days of subdued surfing days precede the onset of a new SSW groundswell on Friday and this weekend. Source: Wave Tracker.

Long Range
The prospect of a more substantial SSW groundswell arriving into the final days of May hinges on the forecast development of an intense, mid-latitude storm; developing well south of Madagascar this weekend. As the system drifts slowly eastward above the Kerguelen Islands its set to gradually deepen; establishing  strengthening southerly quarter fetch across its western flank on Sunday and Monday. Initially this fetch will be aimed most directly at the Maldives and Northern Sumatran coasts, but should also send out a notable pulse of SW groundswell towards Java and Bali.

However, as we enter this time frame the models begin to diverge on the location as it further develops early to mid next week. This phase will be crucial to the development of the resulting SW groundswell, so at this point there’s still plenty of give or take with respect to associated SW swell-potential. Further, the later-stages in this storm’s lifecycle may lead in a larger SSW swell event for Indonesia during the first week of June, but further departure in longer-term model guidance regarding the size and strength of the storm on Tuesday/ Wednesday next week lends more uncertainty to the swell-specifics. Stay tuned for more clarity on this in next week’s update.


A mid-latitude low developing over the Indian Ocean this weekend holds longer-range potential for a new SW groundswell arriving into the final days of May. Source: Wave Tracker.

A mid-latitude low developing over the Indian Ocean this weekend holds longer-range potential for a new SW groundswell arriving into the final days of May. Source: Wave Tracker.


Tags: Indo Surf Forecast , Ben Macartney (create Alert from these tags)

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