Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 12 - 21 April, 2017

11 Apr 2017 1

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | BALI, INDO SURF FORECAST 

Forecast Issued Tuesday, 11 April 2017

In short, mid to late April gets the thumbs up for quality surf across Indonesia. With a light and variable wind-regime in place for the foreseeable future, expect full days of, good quality surf; consistently ranging anywhere from 2 to 4ft across exposed breaks, with several days of larger surf also appearing in the forecast window.

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In the absence of the tradewinds, Indonesia's exposed breaks fare well under glassy, smooth conditions for the foreseeable future. Photo: CW.

In the absence of the tradewinds, Indonesia's exposed breaks fare well under glassy, smooth conditions for the foreseeable future. Photo: CW.

Short Forecast

Small to mid-sized SSW groundswell dominates the outlook; mostly ranging from 2 to 4ft across exposed breaks under light and variable winds right through to Thursday 20 April. Beyond that long range modelling shows potential for a larger SSW groundswell arriving on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 April.

Daily Summary

Wednesday 12
Directional SSW groundswell. Sets up to 3 - 4ft exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending SSE 5 to 10 knots.

Thursday 13
Easing SSW swell reinforced by new SSW groundswell during the afternoon. Sets around 2 - 3ft exposed breaks, picking up to 3 – 4ft during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending SSE 5 to 10 knots.

Friday 14
Solid SSW groundswell. Sets around 3 – 5ft exposed breaks early, easing during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending S around 5 knots.

Saturday 15
SSW groundswell. Ranging from 2 – 4ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending S around 5 knots.

Sunday 16
SSW groundswell. Sets to 2 – 4ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending SE 5 to 10 knots.

Monday 17
SSW groundswell. Around 2 – 4ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending S 5 to 10 knots.

Overview

If you were going to make a surfing film called Groundhog Day, shooting it in Bali over the next fortnight would work just fine. Going on various surf-cams and reports, Tuesday morning marked yet another day of clean, mid-sized surf across the Archipelago; with clean, glassy 2 to 4ft plus waves on offer across all exposed breaks – and this pretty much sets the trend for the next week or more.

Wednesday marks the arrival of a similar-sized, reinforcing pulse of SSW swell that should produce near-identical conditions to Tuesday. If anything, an associated uptick in peak wave period should produce slightly larger surf across exposed breaks, but overall this isn’t expected to produce any dramatic change to the status quo. Initially Thursday morning should reveal similar conditions, but there’s change afoot as the day progresses.

Easter in Bali is looking like a great idea this year. The arrival of a new, longer period SSW groundswell throughout Thursday afternoon should see a notable uptick in energy later in the day – and this will lead in a full day of mid to large surf across exposed breaks on Easter Friday. The origin is a deep polar storm that traversed under Heard Island late last week, generating a gale to storm force zonal fetch throughout polar latitudes, confirmed by satellite at 40 to 55 knots.

While this should ease into Saturday there’s still no shortage of solid, mid-range SSW swell on tap throughout the holiday period. A new pulse forecast to arrive just in time for the weekend originates from a broadscale polar low currently positioned directly below Indonesia that’s supporting a broad area of 30kt WSW winds inside our south swell window. An anteceding polar front feeding into the low’s western flank will briefly invigorate a stronger pocket of 30 to 40kt winds within the fetch later Tuesday/ early Wednesday. The upshot is a continuation of solid, mid-period SSW swell over the Easter weekend; probably building in during Saturday to produce solid 3 to 4ft sets across the region all day, with similar-sized surf anticipated throughout Sunday.

Sunday afternoon then sees yet another SSW pulse reinforcing surf-heights – again holding good potential for solid 3 to 4ft conditions under light winds. The prospective source is a vigorous, compact polar low forecast to develop over the far south-eastern Indian Ocean on Wednesday and Thursday. This looks strong enough to generate significant seas and swell in the 30 to 40ft realm. The relatively small surface area covered by this sea-state system coupled with a vast distance from Indonesia (originating below the 50S parallel) should limit constrain surf-potential; to about 3 to 4ft, with the bulk of energy maintaining this size throughout Monday 17 April.

Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali show consistent pulses of overlapping SSW groundswell inbound throughout the outlook period. Source: Wave Tracker.

Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali show consistent pulses of overlapping SSW groundswell inbound throughout the outlook period. Source: Wave Tracker.

Long Range

From there, the GFS model points to the onset of a larger, longer period SSW groundswell; showing sometime around Thursday 20 or Friday 21 April. This hinges on the development of a more significant polar low forecast to rapidly intensify as it sweeps below Heard Island this weekend. Latest model runs indicate the storm will establish a broad area of WSW gales surrounding stronger core wind speeds of 40 to 60 knots as the system moves below Sumatera on Sunday 16 April, before weakening as it begins to move into Western Australia’s swell-shadow on Monday 17. If this proves accurate, we’ll see a steep rise in long-period SSW groundswell showing at 4 to 6ft plus across the region on Friday 21, with a slow easing trend following over the weekend of Saturday 22 April. This remains storm-dependent, so stay tuned for an update on how this will play out next Tuesday.

This purple blob forecast to bloom below Indonesia over the Easter Weekend holds solid SSW swell potential on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 April. Source: Wave Tracker.

This purple blob forecast to bloom below Indonesia over the Easter Weekend holds solid SSW swell potential on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 April. Source: Wave Tracker.

Tags: ben , macartney , indo , surf , forecast (create Alert from these tags)

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