Weekend Surf Forecast 6 - 8 December, 2019

5 Dec 2019 1 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 5 December 2019

The idea that going surfing might just be bad for your health presents a bit of a conundrum for those of us residing along the NSW coast. The multitude of bushfires burning across the eastern interior continues to blanket the coastal fringes in a thick layer of pre-apocalyptic smoke-haze. That, combined with the usual emission related smog, doesn’t present much of a case for a whole lot of cardio-vascular activity. And so is, somewhat counterintuitively, that a light to moderate onshore wind-shift slated for the weekend has never looked more appealing. While Friday offers up another day of slow 2 to 3ft waves beneath the smoke-haze, we can look forward to a slightly bigger, bumpier southerly groundswell arriving under more breathable air, both on Saturday and Sunday.

Up north, southern Queensland coasts will continue to receive a small fraction of the directional south swell, while far northern NSW coasts pull in the lion’s share of the energy. Initially that sees a continuation of pretty small surf across all coasts on Friday, with a slow build in size throughout Saturday leading in a peak in the 3 to 4ft range at the more exposed spots from Byron south on Sunday.

Further south, there’s a couple more great days of surfing to be had across Victoria’s Surf Coast as the deep low that’s been anchored below Tasmania keeps on giving in the form of one final, sizeable SW pulse. South Australia also benefits from the tail end of this episode; albeit under predominant onshore winds, before it finally swings offshore on Sunday. Last but not least, the West Coast is looking good on Friday morning, but from there it turns a little lacklustre as onshore winds rapidly erode surface quality on Saturday, before half-decent options start to open up again on Sunday.

Lock in this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by pearce_m.

Lock in this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by pearce_m.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
As long as you don’t mind breathing in a few more lung-fulls of the bushfire smoke-laden air, then you’ll fare pretty well in the surf this weekend. The more exposed, south-facing stretches are set to pull in a bit more energy from the south, following the slow eastward migration of a deep Southern Ocean low out of Tasmania’s swell shadow over the next 24 hours. It’s worth keeping in mind latest models runs have gradually diluted the influence of the storm, but it still looking like a favourable mix of mid and longer period south swell will bump wave-heights up a notch or two on Saturday and Sunday; generally ranging from 2 to 4ft across Sydney’s exposed beaches, with scope for larger 3 to 5ft sets between Newcastle and Seal Rocks.

At the same time we see an emerging high pressure ridge leading in a light to moderate onshore wind-regime that will take the shine off conditions, but they should be light enough throughout the morning hours to ensure good quality none the less.

Friday
Reinforcing, long period South groundswell fills in. Sets ranging from 2 to 3ft across south facing beaches, inconsistent in the upper range and picking up a notch in the arvo. Wrapping at more like 1 to 2ft+ elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light South 5 to 10 knots, tending light and variable in the morning, then NE to ENE up to 10 to 15 knots, ahead of a SE shift in the late afternoon/ evening.

Saturday
Good potential for larger, directional Southerly groundswell. Ranging from 2 to 4ft across south facing beaches, inconsistent in the upper range. Wrapping at 1 to 3ft along open beaches with size depending on exposure. WIND: SE to ESE around 5 to 15 knots in the morning, freshening to 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
Mix of mid and long-period Southerly groundswell. Ranging from to 2 to 4ft across south facing beaches early, inconsistent in the upper range and grading to a slow 2 to 3ft elsewhere, with size depending on exposure. WIND: ENE to NE around freshening to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

This is not what it's going to be on offer this weekend, but wouldn't it be nice..Photo: Uploaded to CW by Kerryldown.

This is not what it's going to be on offer this weekend, but wouldn't it be nice..Photo: Uploaded to CW by Kerryldown.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
If you’ve found a spot pulling in a bit of swell with some good banks this week - say somewhere exposed and south of Byron, then you’ll probably do well if you make the return journey over the next few days. A modest building trend in directional, mid to long-period south groundswell will continue to favour far northern NSW coasts, offering up potential for stronger 3 to 4ft sets over the course of the weekend. Like the current swell-train, this energy exhibits a deepwater directional bias in the 195 degree band – and that means the bulk of the deepwater energy will be sailing past southern Queensland coasts, with only the select south-swell magnets pulling in something around the 2ft mark all weekend.

Friday
Southerly swell continues under early offshore winds. Far northern NSW: Clean, inconsistent 2 to 3ft sets south-exposed beaches, ranging from 1 to 2ft+ along open beaches with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: Slow 1ft+ sets exposed QLD beaches, grading to near flat elsewhere. WIND: Early WNW to NW, NNW 5 to 15 knots, tending Northerly, NNE and freshening to 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon, stronger later.

Saturday
Scope for renewed, mid-period South swell. Far northern NSW: Inconsistent 2 to 4ft sets south-exposed beaches, ranging from 1 to 3ft along open beaches with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: Up to 1 to 2ft+ sets exposed QLD beaches, grading to 1ft+ or near flat elsewhere. WIND: WNW, Westerly 5 to 15 knots, tending SW to South, then SE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
Reinforcing Southerly groundswell.  Far northern NSW: 2 to 4ft sets south-exposed beaches, picking up in the afternoon. Ranging from 1 to 3ft along open beaches with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: Clean 2ft+ sets exposed QLD beaches, grading to 1 to 2ft or less elsewhere. WIND: Early light SW to SSW 5 to 15 knots inshore, tending Southerly, SSE during the morning and SE 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

The monsoon trough is running seriously late this season, so anything like this across QLD doesn't look likely until sometime next year. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Otwaydundee.

The monsoon trough is running seriously late this season, so anything like this across QLD doesn't look likely until sometime next year. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Otwaydundee.

Victoria
There’s been nowhere better to be surfing around the country this week than somewhere along the Great Ocean Road – and that continues to apply to the national forecast for this weekend. A slow moving storm that’s remained anchored below eastern Australian longitudes this week is primed to keep on giving as yet another, reinforcing pulse of SW groundswell arrives off the system. This final round of groundswell carries a little more south than what we’ve seen so far this week – and that all points to a renewal of solid 4 to 6ft conditions across the premier Surf Coast reefs throughout Friday and Saturday. It’s worth keeping in mind that wave heights are set to scale down pretty dramatically by Sunday, so it’s well worth making hay while it pumps over the next 48 hours.

Friday
SW groundswell gradually subsides under west to SW winds. Exposed beaches: Around 4 to 6ft+ early, rebuilding to 5 to 8ft in the afternoon/ evening. Surf Coast: Sets wrapping up to 3 to 5ft across the reefs, rebuilding to 4 to 6ft later. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Westerly, tending WSW 15 to 20 knots, then SW in the afternoon.

Saturday
Renewed SW groundswell gradually eases. Exposed beaches: Sets up to 5 to 8ft early, easing to 4 to 6ft+ in the afternoon. Surf Coast: Consistent 4 to 6ft on the reefs early, easing to 3 to 5ft later grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early WNW, Westerly, tending light SW to SSW, freshening to 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon/ evening.

Sunday
SSW swell steadily fades. Exposed beaches: Clean-ish 3 to 4ft+ sets, fading to 2 to 4ft range in the afternoon. Surf Coast: Inconsistent sets around 2 to 3ft+ along the reefs, wrapping at lower levels elsewhere under offshores. WIND: Calm to light SW 5 to 10 knots early, tending SE in the morning and freshening 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

The Surf Coast keeps on keeping on this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Johnte.

The Surf Coast keeps on keeping on this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Johnte.

Western Australia
Friday offers up one final window featuring early light offshore breezes and slow 2 to 4ft sets, before winds swing onshore on Saturday. The developing westerly airflow follows the arrival of a moderate frontal system clipping the southwest of the state on Saturday morning, leading in a transition from early NW winds, towards stronger westerlies up to 20 to 25 knots during the day. The good news is the onshore flow will quickly weaken by Sunday, opening up better options as a sizeable round of WSW swell is greeted by light to moderate SW winds.

Friday
Easing WSW swell under early offshore winds. South West: Slower sets ranging from 3 to occasional 4ft at the magnets, more like 2 to 3ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth/Mandurah: Around 1ft. WIND: Easterly 5 to 15 knots, turning lighter NE to NNE, then NW ahead of a weak Westerly shift in the afternoon.

Saturday
Mix of WSW swell and rising WSW windswell under onshore winds. Southwest: Junky 3 to 4ft sets across exposed coasts, picking up a bit in the afternoon. Perth: Up to 1ft exposed beaches. WIND: NW to NNW 10 to 20 knots, tending WNW to Westerly 15 to 25 knots, then WSW in the late afternoon.

Sunday
Larger WSW swell slowly eases under onshore winds. South West: 4 to 6ft sets across exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth/Mandurah: Up to 1 to 2ft. WIND: Early SW to SSW 10 to 15 knots, freshening to 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

Friday morning offers up one final opportunity for some small, clean waves, before the onshores arrive on Saturday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Derryn.

Friday morning offers up one final opportunity for some small, clean waves, before the onshores arrive on Saturday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Derryn.

South Australia
A still robust SSW swell slowly eases in size over the next few days; maintaining plenty of size across the South Coast beaches both on Friday and Saturday. The sticking point is persistent onshore breezes that will continue to take the shine off wave-quality across the state – at least until a high pressure moving overhead on Saturday leads in a favourable, offshore NE flow across the state on Sunday.

Friday
Reinforcing SSW swell gradually subsides under moderating onshore winds. South Coast: Bumpy 4 to 5ft+ around Waits and Parsons. Wrapping at 2 to 4ft from Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: 2 to 3ft+. WIND: SSW around 10 to 15 knots, freshening to 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
SSW swell levels off under SE winds. South Coast: Semi-clean sets around 3 to 4ft around Waits and Parsons, easing in the afternoon. Wrapping up to 2 to 3ft from Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: Around 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: SE 5 to 10 knots, tending SSE and freshening to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
Residual South swell lingers. South Coast: Clean 2 to 3ft+ around Waits and Parsons, wrapping at either side of 2ft from Middleton to Goolwa and fading through the afternoon. Mid Coast: Around 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: NE 10 to 15 knots, tending to East, SE sea-breezes in the afternoon.

Small, clean conditions open up once winds swing NE across the state on Sunday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Hodaddy.

Small, clean conditions open up once winds swing NE across the state on Sunday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Hodaddy.


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