Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 24 - 29 August 2016

23 Aug 2016 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | Bali, Indo Forecast

Forecast Issued Tuesday, 23 August 2016

There’s now little doubt the month of August will go down as the quietest month of the winter season so far, with mostly small to mid-sized SSW groundswell seeing out the last seven days. However, it’s also starting to look like early September will make up for the lull in activity in spades, with various long-range models picking up heightened storm activity occurring across various parts of Indonesia’s vast swell window. 

SEE ALSO: A Little Bit Of Swell Blew Into Victoria On The Weekend

A relatively subdued end to winter precedes a good start to the late season come September 1st. Photo: Nick O'Brien.

A relatively subdued end to winter precedes a good start to the late season come September 1st. Photo: Nick O'Brien.

Short Forecast

Small to mid-sized SSW groundswell dominates the short term outlook, with potential for a series of larger episodes unfolding during the first half of September.

Daily Summary

Wednesday 24
New SSW groundswell. Sets up to 2 - 3ft exposed breaks early, bumping up to 3 – 4ft during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Thursday 25
Mid period SSW groundswell. Sets around 3 – 4ft exposed breaks, easing during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Friday 26
Leftover SSW groundswell. Sets around 2 – 3ft+ exposed breaks, easing during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday 27
New SSW groundswell. Sets around 2 – 3ft+ exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE around 10 knots.

Sunday 28
SSW groundswell. Sets to 2 – 3ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Monday 29
SSW groundswell. Around 2 – 3ft exposed breaks, inconsistent in the upper range. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 5 to 10 knots.

Overview

Tuesday revealed fairly placid day of surf across the Archipelago; only hovering around the 2ft mark across Bali’s premier breaks, with tiny to near flat conditions prevailing inside the more sheltered breaks along the Bukit Peninsula. The good news is the swell is on the up over the next few days – and even by Tuesday afternoon we should begin to see an increase in energy evident across the region. This leading pulse is mostly comprised of mid period S swell that should substantially fill in by Wednesday morning; generating stronger set waves ranging from 2 to 4ft across the most exposed breaks during the morning.

The origin of this pulse was a moderate strength frontal system tracking across the south-eastern Indian Ocean. The system pushed up into the mid-latitudes last week before approaching Australia’s west coast on Wednesday; giving rise to a low end gale force southerly fetch directly below Bali and Java. At the same time, this closer range source mixes in with a new round of SSW groundswell of comparatively distant origins; spawned by a moderate-strength low pressure system that set up  deep below the Mozambique Channel early last week. The storm supported a broad area of WSW gales below the 50S parallel – and it maintained the fetch as it migrated further eastward across southern Indian Ocean in the days following.

Thursday then marks the arrival of slightly larger SSW groundswell that should see stronger 4ft sets in the mix across exposed breaks all day. This emanates from a broadscale, complex polar low that set up over the far south-western to south-central Indian Ocean from Wednesday to Friday last week; generating multiple wind-fetches that progressively compounded deepwater wave heights over the region. The tail end of this episode should recede back into the 2 to 3ft range by Friday - and going on latest projections this will set the trend for the weekend.

Over the course of the weekend we see two, relatively small SSW groundswells going back to back; the first filling in on Saturday ahead of the second showing up on Sunday and Monday. Both of these pulses hold similarly modest potential for 2 to 3ft sets across the region – and their distant origins should again result in big waits between the larger sets.

This commences with a vigorous low sweeping up below South Africa and Madagascar on Thursday, generating significant wave heights of 30 feet. A subsequent pulse of SW groundswell emanating from this source is loosely projected to make landfall across Indonesia on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 August at stronger 3 to 4ft levels. This is closely followed by an even stronger, albeit very compact low pressure intensifying over the region this weekend; giving rise to a second, longer period pulse that’s likely to reinforce surf-heights during Sunday 28 and Monday 29 August. These pulses were spawned by a couple of compact lows that traversed below South Africa and Madagascar late last week – and as mentioned their vast distance from Indonesia dilutes both the size and consistency of the swell – so at this stage expect similarly slow 2 to 3ft conditions prevailing throughout Monday 29 August.

A short lived spike in SSW groundswell on Wednesday and Thursday precedes a return to smaller scale surf into the end of August. A larger episode follows during the opening days of September.

A short lived spike in SSW groundswell on Wednesday and Thursday precedes a return to smaller scale surf into the end of August. A larger episode follows during the opening days of September.

Long Range

The good news is there’s more substantial swell-potential in the wings during the first days of September. Latest GFS model runs pick up the progressive intensification of a complex polar low, deep below South Africa over the next 48 hours. The low generates a broad area of gales surrounding stronger 40 to 55 knot winds near its core – and this should endure long enough to drive deepwater seas and swell to heights of 30 to 40ft below Madagascar on Thursday. A long-period SW groundswell travelling clear of this source begins to approach Indonesian shores on Wednesday 31 August – probably preceding the bulk of energy filling gin on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd September. Given this source again sits on the fringes of Indonesia’s swell window, it’s only projected to manifest as a mid to large pulse; probably landing in the 3 to 6ft range depending on each location’s exposure.

Beyond that, latest model runs indicate the storm-track will remain highly active throughout the south-western and south-central Indian Ocean this weekend; characterised by two new low pressure centres forming within a broader low complex occupying the region. The second of these is forecast to aim an extensive SSW fetch at the Archipelago, extending up into the mid-latitudes early next week. Although a little early to sure of specifics, this points to a couple of reinforcing SW pulses arriving as the first swell backs down between the 3rd and 4th September – and going on current guidance the second of these holds solid 4 to 8ft potential for exposed breaks on Monday the 5th.

From there, long-term model guidance points to a series of larger, winter-scale low pressure systems developing over various parts of the southern Indian Ocean during the first days of September – and this speculatively hints at a sustained run of mid to large groundswell for the Archipelago into the second week of September.




Tags: surf , forecast , ben , macartney , bali , java , sumbawa , mentawaii (create Alert from these tags)

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