Weekend Surf Forecast 17 - 19 January, 2020
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
In comparison to most states, the East Coast isn’t a bad place to be over this weekend, with multiple sources of swell set to deliver consistent wave-trains – both across the entire NSW coast as well as southern Queensland coasts for many days to come. The latter region benefits from a consistent run of easterly tradewind swell; initially holding at relatively levels on Friday and Saturday, before starting to ramp up a notch or two into Sunday and Monday.
Further south, Sydney and the South Coast are set to benefit from a mix of short-period swells; predominantly arriving out of the ENE and NE, with the addition of a short-lived, but potentially good sized South swell blending into the mix on Friday and Saturday. Things are, however, looking a whole lot more interesting as NE swell starts to pick up on Sunday and Monday.
Even further south, Victorian and South Australian surfers won’t exactly be thrilled at the prospect of persistent SSE to ESE winds; bringing persistently choppy onshore condition to the majority of surfable coasts across both states. You’ll fare a bit better over West, with a new round of SW swell inbound across the Margaret River region this weekend, culminating in great conditions on Sunday morning.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
There’s some fun waves around on Friday – and it look like it’s only going to get better over the course of the weekend and early next week. For a start, we have plenty of short range NE swell inbound on Friday, with an additional, under-the-radar south swell also adding into the mix throughout the day. Indeed, it looks like this latter swell-train will eclipse the NE swell into Friday afternoon and into Saturday morning. However, from Sunday onwards the focus shifts back to the east and northeast, with a solid building trend setting in, leading in a several great days of surf across the region early to mid next week.
NE windswell gradually subsides as Southerly windswell builds into the afternoon. NE swell initially 2 to 3ft across exposed open beaches, superseded by rising Southerly windswell rising around 2 to 3ft+ south facing breaks in the afternoon. WIND: SSW 10 to 15 knots, freshening to 15 to 20 knots and tending Southerly in the afternoon.
South swell up to 3 to 4ft across south facing beaches, combining with NE swell at more like 2 to 3ft across exposed open beaches, fading in the afternoon. WIND: SSW, tending Southerly, SSE from Sydney and the Central Coast south, tending NNE to NE from Newcastle north, mostly 10 to 15 knots.
Likely building trend in NE windswell. Around 2 to 3ft+ across exposure open beaches, picking up towards 2 to 4ft in the afternoon. WIND: Speculatively Light and variable, tending NE 10 to 15 knots or more in the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Just when you thought the southern hemisphere monsoon had finally set in and that the tropical swell-season was in full effect, we’re back to another extended bout of northerlies across the region. The onset of a monsoon trough and a strengthening MJO signal across northern Australian longitudes early in January has since propagated further east and is now effecting the Southwest Pacific. The good news is this activity will continue to supply the region with low-level easterly tradewind swell in the 2 to 3ft range through to the end of the week, with more energy in the tank for this weekend and early next week.
Additionally, a tropical depression centred northwest of Fiji (TD04F) will in all likelihood intensify into a significant cyclone over the next 12 to 24 hours – and this should eventually see some reverberations reaching the southern Queensland coast into the middle of next week. Stay tuned to the detailed forecast for more details on this.
Easterly tradewind swell slowly eases throughout the day: Sets ranging from 2 to occasional 3ft exposed beaches, tending smaller inside bays and points. WIND: Early light North to NNE 5 to 10 knots inshore, tending NE 10 to 15 knots through the afternoon.
ENE windswell hangs in around 2 to occasional 3ft across exposed open areas, tending smaller elsewhere and gradually rebuilding in the afternoon. WIND: North to NE 5 to 15 knots early, increasing to 10 to 20 knots during the day.
Scope for renewed Easterly tradewind swell gradually building. Up to 2 to 3ft+ across exposed open beaches, increasing towards 3 to 4ft in the afternoon. Revisions likely as the week progresses. WIND: Scope for lighter North to NW winds inshore, otherwise North, to NE 5 to 15 knots, freshening to 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
It’s a definitive case of the more west-facing-the-better this weekend. A firmly entrenched SE to ESE airflow effectively cancels out the prospect of any meaningful waves across the Surf Coast, leaving the more west facing, exposed open stretches as your best bet – particularly as the onshore flow starts to ease in strength on Sunday. The SE wind-regime coincides with mostly small to mid-sized SW swell; once again lending the surfing focus to exposed coasts for days to come.
SW swell levels bumps back up under fresh SE winds. Cross-shore set 3 to 4ft along the exposed beaches, mixing with junky ESE windswell at a choppy 2 to 3ft along the Surf Coast reefs and smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early SSE shifting ESE 10 to 20 knots, tending SE and freshening to 20 to 25 knots in the afternoon.
SW swell slowly backs off under persistent ESE winds. Exposed beaches: Cross-shore 3 to 4ft+. Surf Coast: Mixing with ESE windswell at a junky, bumpy 2 to 3ft+ on the reefs, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: ESE, SE 15 to 20 knots.
Smaller-scale SW swell lingers under onshore winds. Exposed beaches: Potential for clean-ish 2 to 3ft+ sets. Surf Coast: Junky 2ft wind-waves on the reefs, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Lighter ENE to SE winds around 10 knots, tending variable, then SE to SSE and freshening to 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.
Thursday morning’s idyllic surf gives way to gradually deteriorating conditions over the next couple of days, before finally coming good again on Sunday morning. A short-term easing trend in SSW swell offers up smaller, wind-affected options across the Southwest on Friday, ahead of a renewed building trend in mid-period energy setting in throughout Saturday. This is likely to coincide with sideshore SSE to SSW winds; offering up some reasonable options on Saturday morning before deteriorating during the day. However, by Sunday morning we should see a high pressure ridge regaining dominance over the coast, facilitating an early window of lighter ESE breezes across the Southwest, grooming another solid pulse in the 4 to 6ft range.
Easing SSW groundswell under southeast winds. South West: Settling 3 to 4ft sets exposed breaks, easing into the 2 to 4ft range in the arvo. Perth: Marginal 1ft surf. WIND: SE to SSE 10 to 20 knots early, tending Southerly 20 to 25 knots in afternoon.
Scope for renewed SSW swell bumping up during the day. Southwest: Semi-clean 2 to 4ft surf across exposed breaks early, rising to 3 to 5ft in the afternoon. Perth: clean 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: SSE 10 to 20 knots, tending South to SSW and increasing to 15 to 25 knots in afternoon.
New SW swell peaks early with scope for easterly winds. South West: Solid 4 to 5ft+ sets across exposed coasts, backing off during the afternoon with developing windchop. Perth: 1ft+ surf at exposed beaches. WIND: ESE 10 to 15 knots, tending South to SSW and freshening to 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon.
Persistently strong onshore SE to Southerly winds won’t be offering up much joy across the South Coast this weekend – nor will it be doing any favours for conditions across the Mid Coast. It’s only the more extreme west to northwest facing venues further afield that are likely to be producing clean waves under this wind-regime on Friday and early Saturday – and even that window looks like closing as winds swing straighter south to southwest into Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
Reinforcing SSW swell. South Coast: 3 to 4ft+ around Waits and Parsons, tending to 2 to 3ft between Middleton and Goolwa. Mid Coast: 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: SE 15 to 20 knots, tending SSE, Southerly 20 to 30 knots in the afternoon.
SSW swell gradually eases. South Coast: mixed up 3 to 4ft around Waits and Parsons, wrapping in the 2 to 3ft range from Middleton to Goolwa,. Mid Coast: 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: SE 10 to 15 knots early, tending South to SSW 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
Mix of smaller SSW swell and rising southerly windswell. South Coast: sets 2 to 3ft+ around Waits and Parsons, about 2ft+ from Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: Around 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: South to SSW 10 to 15 knots, tending SW in the afternoon.
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