Weekend Surf Forecast 8 - 10 November, 2019

7 Nov 2019 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 7 November 2019

This spring has seen no shortage of large, stormy conditions across the southern states and consistent, above average south swell along the Eastern Seaboard – and that trend continues unabated into the second week of November. This heightened activity stems directly from a deep, complex Southern Ocean low now tracking eastward, just below Tasmania; supporting a succession of strong cold fronts marching across South Australia, Victoria and onwards and eastward over Tasmania, Bass Strait and the southern Tasman Sea. More broadly, this activity is linked to a strong, negative dip in the Southern Annular Mode. This denotes the northward (negative) and southward (positive) shift in the westerly winds that circle the mid to polar latitudes throughout the southern hemisphere.

A strong negative dip in the Southern Annular Mode (referred to as Antartcic Oscillation by NOAA) is translating into heightened storm activity for the southern and eastern states. Source: NOAA.

A strong negative dip in the Southern Annular Mode (referred to as Antartcic Oscillation by NOAA) is translating into heightened storm activity for the southern and eastern states. Source: NOAA.

So while Thursday and Friday feature some of the flattest conditions seen across the NSW coast in recent memory belie the onset of another robust upswing in south-swell this weekend;kicking in across Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast right on cue early on Saturday; opening up clean, solid 3 to 4ft conditions across south facing coasts, while mostly bypassing less-exposed locations out of the direct line of sight of the swell. That leads in a second, stronger pulse on Sunday – both of which will make their way north to light up northern NSW coasts all weekend. However, the directional, deepwater SSW swell-direction doesn’t bode well for southern Queensland coasts, so a drive south of the border may in order.


The storm-system driving the above-mentioned south-swell won’t be doing any favours for the southern states. Both Victoria and South Australia wear the brunt of strong onshore SW winds and a large SW swell for several days. That offers up marginal surfing options along the Great Ocean Road and other semi-sheltered areas all weekend. Further west, the Margaret River region sees a rare window of clean, user-friendly conditions as easterly quarter winds greet small to mid-sized SW swell in the 3 to 4ft range, opening up a wide variety of good to great surfing options until onshores spoil the party on Sunday.

The NSW coast is looking like the pick of the bunch this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Aquatic_horizons.

The NSW coast is looking like the pick of the bunch this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Aquatic_horizons.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
I don’t know about you, but in the context of it now being early November, the prospect of another solid run of southerly swell under early morning cross-offshore winds sounds pretty good to me. This event kicks off first light on Saturday morning as a solid increase in short-period, directional southerly swell builds in; favouring south facing coasts for size, while producing much smaller surf out of the direct path of the swell-train. That sets the trend for Sunday as the tail-end of Saturday’s first pulse overlaps with a second, stronger pulse building in size throughout the afternoon, leading in another great day Monday.

Friday
Slight Southerly swell. Scope for inconsistent 1 to 2ft across south facing beaches, grading to 1ft to near-flat elsewhere. WIND: WNW to NW 5 to 15 knots, tending NNW before shifting Westerly, then WSW 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Good potential for new South swell. Probably undersized around 2 to 3ft+ south facing beaches at first light, building to 3 to 4ft+ mid morning. Wrapping at 2 to 3ft+ elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: WSW 10 to 20 knots early, tending SW to SSW during the morning, then SSE to SE in the afternoon.

Sunday
Renewed mid-period South swell rebuilds. Around 2 to 4ft across south facing beaches early, rising to 3 to 5ft in the afternoon. Wrapping at 2 to 3ft+ elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Revisions likely. WIND: WSW 10 to 15 knots plus, tending lighter SSW, then South to SE in the afternoon.

Both Saturday and Sunday mornings are looking the goods as back-to-back pulses of south swell arrive this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by JWAVE.

Both Saturday and Sunday mornings are looking the goods as back-to-back pulses of south swell arrive this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by JWAVE.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Tiny, near-flat conditions under freshening northerly quarter winds is definitely not what the doctor ordered across the region on Friday. However, from there your surfing prospects improve by degrees. A modest upswing in short period southerly swell should see some pretty fun waves in the 3ft range, from roughly Ballina/ Bryon south. However, all regions north of these locations will, by and large, watch most of this directional energy running past the coast, making for pretty weak 1 to 2ft conditions across the vast majority of open coasts. That pretty much sets the trend for Sunday. A new pulse of mid-period, but still directional south-swell (ie SSW) is on track to fill in; again favouring the more exposed locations south of the border, while producing a range of smaller waves across southern Queensland coasts with size contingent on exposure.

Friday
Mix of tiny, residual SE swell and slight NE windswell. Up to 1ft at the most exposed breaks, virtually flat elsewhere. WIND: Early NW, tending NNW, then Northerly increasing to 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon, tending back to the NW in the evening.

Saturday
New short-period Southerly windswell picks up. Far northern NSW: Around 2ft+ at the more exposed beaches, rising to 2 to 3ft+ mid-morning, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: Ranging from 1 to 2ft at the magnets, otherwise tiny to near-flat elsewhere. WIND: WSW to SW around 10 to 15 knots near-dawn, shifting Southerly, SSE 15 to 25 knots in the morning, then easing and tending SE to ESE 10 to 15 knots and lighter in the evening.

Sunday
Scope for stronger, mid-period South swell. Far northern NSW: Around 3 to 4ft across south swell magnets, wrapping at more like 2 to 3ft+ elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: Inconsistent 2 to 3ft sets at the magnets, wrapping at 1 to 2ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light WSW to SSW around 5 to 10 knots, tending variable, then SE to ENE/NE up to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday is your best bet for some slightly stronger sets approaching the 2 to 3ft range across the more exposed southern QLD beaches. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Rabbitt23.

Sunday is your best bet for some slightly stronger sets approaching the 2 to 3ft range across the more exposed southern QLD beaches. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Rabbitt23.

Victoria
There’s a glimmer of great surf to be had across the Surf Coast early on Friday morning, but don’t go hanging your hat on the prospect of a full morning of pumping Torquay reefs. The slow eastward movement of a deep Southern Ocean low centred south of Tasmania extends a vigorous front across Bass Strait early on Friday, leading in a gusty SW wind-shift across the region early to mid morning; progressively blowing out conditions across all coasts as they hit 20 to 30 knots during the afternoon. That leads in two more days of far-from-ideal conditions as a still large SW swell combines with WSW to SW winds, making for cold, cross-shore but still surfable 4ft conditions across the Torquay reefs all weekend.

Friday
Long-period WSW groundswell slowly eases as winds shift SW and increase. Exposed beaches: Wind-affected sets around 8 to 10ft, settling to 6 to 8ft+ in the afternoon. Surf Coast: Sets wrapping at 4 to 6ft+ across the reefs, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure and easing in the afternoon. WIND: Early WNW, Westerly 15 to 25 knots near dawn, shifting SW in the early morning and freshening to 20 to 30 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
Leftover WSW groundswell and shorter-range SW swell slowly ease under strong onshore winds. Solid sets around 5 to 6ft+ along exposed beaches. Surf Coast: Wrapping at a clean 3 to 4ft+ along the reefs. WIND: WSW 15 to 25 knots, tending Westerly in the evening.

Sunday
Reinforcing SW swell under west to SW winds. Exposed beaches: Sets around 5 to 6ft+ along exposed beaches. Surf Coast: Sets around 3 to 4ft+ on the reefs, easing later. WIND: Westerly, WSW 15 to 20 knots, tending SW to SSW and easing in the afternoon.

The key missing ingredient will be offshore winds across the Surf Coast this weekend. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

The key missing ingredient will be offshore winds across the Surf Coast this weekend. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

Western Australia
There are some pretty accessible, fun looking waves to be had over the next two days, before the return of moderate onshore winds spoils the party on Sunday. Friday morning open up with clean, mid-sized surf across exposed breaks as the tail end of the current SW episode drops back into the 3 to 4ft range under ESE winds, giving way to sea-breezes in the afternoon. That leads in another great day across the most exposed stretches on Sunday as a lighter ENE airflow greets another modest upswing in SW swell, with an additional component of long-range WSW groundswell gradually coming into play throughout the afternoon.  It’s probably worth milking both Friday and Saturday for all they’re worth. A deepening surface trough moving over the coast leads in a developing southerly airflow that will invariably take the shine off conditions all day.

Friday
Leftover SW swell slowly fades. South West: Clean sets up to 3 to 4ft at the most exposed reefs, smaller elsewhere. Perth/Mandurah: About 0.5ft. WIND: ESE 10 to 20 knots, tending light East to variable, then Southerly, SSW in the afternoon, then back to the SE in the evening.

Saturday
Smaller scale SW swell reinforced by long-range WSW groundswell under light offshore winds. Southwest: Clean 3 to 4ft sets along exposed coasts early, bumping up during the afternoon. Perth: Around 0.5 to 1ft exposed beaches. WIND: ENE 10 to 20 knots tending light NE to variable during the day, then to Southerly in the afternoon.

Sunday
Long range WSW groundswell under fresh onshore winds. Southwest: Bumpy 4 to 6ft+ sets across exposed coasts. Perth: Junky sets ranging from 1 to 2ft exposed beaches, rising in the afternoon. WIND: SSW to SW 10 to 15 knots, tending Southerly 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon.

There's plenty of clean, fun-sized waves to be had across the Southwest on Friday and Saturday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Lewisphoto.

There's plenty of clean, fun-sized waves to be had across the Southwest on Friday and Saturday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Lewisphoto.

South Australia
Large and stormy conditions are more reminiscent of winter than late spring – at least until it starts to settle down on Sunday. For the immediate future, the arrival of another vigorous cold front across the state early on Friday morning will maintain heavily windblown and very unappealing conditions across all coasts throughout the day. The onshore flow will moderate on Saturday – but it still won’t be easy on the eye; remaining pretty ugly as south-westerlies remain in force at either side of 15 knots all day. That leave Sunday as the best of a pretty ordinary bunch, with gradually improving conditions on offer as lighter onshore winds fade out during the afternoon.

Friday
Large SW groundswell slowly abates under gusty onshores. South Coast: Stormy 6 to 8ft+ at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at a junky 3 to 5ft around Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: Ranging from 2 to 3ft. WIND: SW 20 to 35 knots early, easing to 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Easing SW groundswell under persistent onshore winds. South Coast: Ranging from 4 to 6ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at about 2 to 4ft across Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: 1 to 2ft. WIND: SW 10 to 20 knots.

Sunday
Fading SSW swell under easing onshore winds. South Coast: Sets up to 3 to 4ft around Waits and Parsons. Wrapping at 2 to 3ft from Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: Early light SW 5 to 15 knots, tending light SSW to SSE in the afternoon, variable later.

You'll be hard pressed to find clean, lined-up conditions across SA all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Troy.

You'll be hard pressed to find clean, lined-up conditions across SA all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Troy.


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

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