Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 6 - 18 September, 2017

5 Sep 2017 1 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | BALI, INDO SURF FORECAST 

Forecast Issued Tuesday, 5 September 2017

There’s no hiding it. As you can see from the Short Forecast below, surf across Indonesia just isn’t looking as sizeable or consistent compared to the winter months. Over the coming week there’s really only the bare minimum of swell on tap – still just enough to spend hours in the water across the exposed reefs – but definitely a long way from the heart-thumping calibre of the winter months.

Of course, the surf never remains small for too long across Indonesia. The uninterrupted expanse of sea surface area encompassing both the Indian and Southern Oceans means there’s always a new swell just around the corner – and that’s a maxim that definitely applies to mid-September outlook.

SEE ALSO: Coastalwatch Wave Tracker Interactive Tool

Ahhh, the late season. Glassy, pumping waves for days. Photo: Potts/ The Perfect Wave.

Ahhh, the late season. Glassy, pumping waves for days. Photo: Potts/ The Perfect Wave.

Short Forecast
An extended run of low-scale SSW groundswell maintains small surf, mostly ranging from 2 to 3ft across the archipelago over the coming week. This preceded the arrival of a mid to large SSW groundswell; filling in during Tuesday 12th and maintaining solid surf throughout the archipelago between Wednesday 13th and Friday 15th September.

Daily Summary

Wednesday 6
Easing SSW swell overlapping with new, small-scale S groundswell. Sets ranging from 2 - 3ft+ exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE around 10 knots.

Thursday 7
Small-scale SSW groundswell. Ranging from 2 - 4ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE around 10 to 15 knots, freshening later.

Friday 8
Easing SSW swell. Sets ranging from 2 – 3ft exposed breaks, fading into the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE around 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday 9
Background SSW swell. Sets to 1 – 2ft+ exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE around 10 to 15 knots.

Sunday 10
Small-scale SSW groundswell. Sets to 1 - 3ft exposed breaks, inconsistent in the upper range and fading during the day. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 12 knots.

Monday 11
Mix of slow rising SW and SSW groundswells. Sets ranging from 1 – 3ft exposed breaks early, building towards 2 – 3ft+ later. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE around 10 to 15 knots.

Overview
Monday and Tuesday saw idyllic late-season conditions on offer as SSW groundswell pulsed in the 3 to 5ft range along the exposed breaks, with light to moderate ESE trade-winds continuing to favour the premier west-facing reefs.

However, it’s now clear we’re entering a subdued period in swell-activity; one that will see successive days of smaller-scale surf along the exposed reefs. The good news is it’s not going to go entirely flat anytime soon. Indeed, there will still be plenty of fun to be had as background SSW swells range anywhere from 1 to 3ft over the course of this week and over the weekend.

The downswing in wave-activity is linked to large areas of high pressure that have been dominating the southern Indian Ocean over the past week. This coincided with a period of subdued storm-activity that was mostly confined to polar latitudes; keeping wave-growth to a minimum throughout Indonesia’s swell window between August 31st and September 5th. The knock-on effect of this pattern is set to stay with us for days to come. Wednesday sees smaller leftover SW swell still hanging in around 2 to 3ft – and this overlaps with a ne round of south groundswell that’s set to show peak size on Thursday – again keeping set waves up around the 2 to 3ft plus mark across exposed breaks.

However, from there we start to see a more pronounced easing trend setting in; initially hanging in around 2 to 3ft on Friday before it drops to lower levels this weekend. Again, it’s not expected to go flat; with slow sets still ranging either side of 2ft along the exposed breaks both on Saturday and Sunday.

Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali: A relatively subdued short-term forecast belies a significant upswing in SSW groundswell into the middle of September.

Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali: A relatively subdued short-term forecast belies a significant upswing in SSW groundswell into the middle of September.

Long Range
Compared to the short-term forecast, the week beginning Monday 11th September is definitely looking like a better time to be tromping around Indonesia for perfect surf. This upswing in activity commences with the evolution of a deep polar low south-east of the Kerguelen Islands over the next few days. The storm is forecast to support a broad, slow moving, gale force SW fetch throughout Thursday and Friday; sending a long-interval SSW groundswell equatorward towards Indonesia this weekend. Given this proves accurate (the models are in close agreement, so confidence is high), the leading edge of the groundswell should start showing up early on Tuesday 12th, leading in a steep rise in surf heights throughout the day.

For now this looks like peaking in the 6 to 8ft range across exposed breaks on Wednesday 13th, with plenty left in the tank as the tail end gradually scales down into Thursday 14th and Friday 15th.

Beyond this event, the models are picking a second and larger low pressure complex developing below South Africa and Madagascar. For now this is projected to support a larger fetch-area; albeit at significantly lower wind-speeds this weekend. Given the extended lead time on this storm’s development, it holds moderate potential for a new round of mid-period SW groundswell arriving over the weekend of Saturday 16th September; speculatively maintaining good mid-sized SW swell in the 3 to 6ft range into the week of Monday 18th.  This will become clearer in next week’s forecast.

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

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