Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 18 - 31 October, 2017

17 Oct 2017 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | BALI, INDO SURF FORECAST 

Forecast Issued Tuesday, 17 October 2017

It appears the inevitable shift in the local wind regime from dry-season tradewinds to lighter, wet-season westerlies has finally set in across Indonesia. That translates into a shift in the surf-focus, from the west-facing breaks of the Bukit Peninsula, to Bali’s east coast and other east-facing breaks across neighboring islands.

Still, early light winds will continue to offer up good opportunities across all breaks throughout the remainder of October – and the good news is there’s finally some swell of note inbound across the archipelago; featuring two large, back-to-back groundswells arriving throughout the second half of this week and over the weekend.

Indo can pump at any time of year. Late October is shaping up as one of those times. Photo: www.worldsurfaris.com

Indo can pump at any time of year. Late October is shaping up as one of those times. Photo: www.worldsurfaris.com

Short Forecast
Another day of small, 2 to 3ft surf across exposed breaks on Wednesday precedes the arrival of several strong SSW groundswells from Thursday onwards; overlapping to produce mid to large surf ranging from 3 to 6ft plus throughout the remainder of the week.

Daily Summary

Wednesday 18
New SSW groundswell builds in. Sets ranging from 2 - 3ft exposed breaks and bumping up during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending SSE 10 to 15 knots.

Thursday 19
Stronger SSW groundswell arrives. Ranging from 4 - 6ft+ exposed breaks and grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending SSE 5 to 10 knots.

Friday 20
Easing SSW groundswell. Sets up to 3 – 5ft exposed breaks early, easing during the day. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending WSW to 10 knots.

Saturday 21
Reinforcing SSW groundswell. Sets to 4 – 5ft+ exposed breaks, possibly undersized early. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: WSW around 10 knots.

Sunday 22
SSW groundswell. Sets to 3 - 5ft exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere and easing during the day. WIND: Early light and variable tending W to SW 5 to 10 knots.

Monday 23
New SSW groundswell. Sets ranging from 2 – 3ft+ exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending WSW 5 to 15 knots.

Overview
A long awaited upswing in surf-activity is now in sight across Indonesia, following a significant surge in storm-activity below the country over the last few days. This activity is comprised of two distinct storm-systems; the first being a vigorous, cut-off low that developed west of the Margaret River region last weekend. The storm established a broad, 30 to 40kt southerly fetch surrounding stronger core winds of 40 to 50 knots as it stalled and rapidly intensified over the region on Sunday and Monday.

The leading edge of the resulting SSW groundswell begins to show up from about 205 degrees later Wednesday – and this should manifest as a strong increase in set waves into the 3 to 4ft range across the major breaks during the late afternoon. The bulk of swell arrives on Thursday morning, generating strong sets in the 4 to 6ft range, with occasional larger bombs up to 8ft on the cards. The tail end of the swell should still be running at anywhere from 3 to 5ft early on Friday before further easing as the day progresses.

The good news is any decline will be short-lived. Saturday morning marks the arrival of a second, slightly smaller pulse of SSW groundswell inbound from the same directional band of 205 degrees. The origin of this second pulse is a more distant, broadscale polar low that intensified directly south of Java on Monday before nudging further east into Western Australian longitudes on Tuesday; carrying a broad area of 30 to 40kt WSW/SW gales through Indonesia’s swell window as it went. Further, the storm isn’t done yet. Over the next 24 hours an embedded front sweeping across the low’s upper western sector will reinvigorate WSW gales along the 50S parallel. This fetch works upon an active sea state; thereby facilitating rapid wave-growth into the 20 to 30ft range on Wednesday.

The upshot is a sustained run of solid surf; initially pushing back up into the 3 to 6ft range on Saturday and hanging in at slightly lower levels on Sunday. The tail end of this event is still likely to be producing 3 to 4ft sets early on Monday, preceding a further decline to more sedate levels by Tuesday 24 October.

Latest virtual buoy data for Bali reflects a steady upward trend in wave energy into the back half of the week.

Latest virtual buoy data for Bali reflects a steady upward trend in wave energy into the back half of the week.

Long Range
The focus in storm-activity is forecast to shift further west, to the region below South Africa and Madagascar. A couple of closely spaced lows moving across the region this weekend hold good long-term potential for a series of small to mid-range SW groundswells. The second low in particular is widely projected to manifest as a large, complex system; capable of generating 30 to 40ft seas and swell below South Africa on Sunday and Monday.

This speculatively sees a leading pulse of small-scale SW swell arriving as early as Friday 27, ahead of a stronger building trend in SW groundswell setting in over the weekend of Saturday 28 October – the specifics on this will become clearer in next week’s update. Beyond that, there are loose indications a new low will set up below Indonesia on Wednesday 25 before verging on Western Australian longitudes on Thursday 26 October. This presents speculative potential for a new S groundswell arriving around Monday 30 October – again the specific on this will become clearer next week.

A large low pressure complex migrating eastward below Indo and WA delivers reinforcing SSW groundswell to the region into Friday and the weekend. Source: Wave Tracker.

A large low pressure complex migrating eastward below Indo and WA delivers reinforcing SSW groundswell to the region into Friday and the weekend. Source: Wave Tracker.


Tags: Ben , Macartney , Indo , Surf , Forecast (create Alert from these tags)

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