Weekend Surf Forecast 5 - 7 August, 2016

2 Aug 2016 4 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | Weekend Surf Forecast

Forecast issued Thursday, 5 August 2016

Some exciting news peeps; surfing is headed for the Olympics in 2020: by all accounts to be held in waist to chest high Japanese beach-breaks. Wowsers. Seriously though, I’m pretty pumped on the idea, but isn’t the gold medal winner already a foregone conclusion? Someone whose name rhymes with Schmelipe, perhaps? Anyway, I digress.

If your surfing-Olympic-Gold-Medal-campaign starts today, you’ll be pleased to hear there are pretty good waves for heat-drilling etc - on offer across the coastal fringes of just about every surf-exposed state all weekend. The East Coast remains under the influence of an energetic SSE swell event, fuelled by two low-pressure systems currently in effect over disparate parts of the Tasman Sea. Further south, Victoria’s exposed beaches look like the pick of the bunch. A momentary lull in the usually relentless Southern Ocean storm track coincides with light offshore winds to produce several days of beach-break heaven. It’s only further afield, across the West Coast, that strong onshore mid-winter conditions persist over the weekend, with only Friday offering up good conditions before they turn sour on Saturday morning.

SEE ALSO: This Is Why We Love Winter

Bring on the weekend. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Dan Bielich.

Bring on the weekend. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Dan Bielich.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Onshore winds finally arrived across the region in a big way this week, leaving even the most crowded beaches entirely deserted for several days. This is all set to change as the onshore flow finally begins to ease up on Friday; progressively opening up still onshore, but surfable conditions as the sea-state settles during the day. However, it won’t be until Saturday that conditions really turn on under lighter inshore westerlies and a still pumping 4ft south-easterly swell. Sunday also presents pretty appealing options as a reinforcing SE swell builds in; initially coinciding with early light SW winds before tending light onshore during the day.

SEE ALSO: There's A Barrel At The End Of Every Great Road Trip!

Friday
Onshore and uncrowded. SSE swell. Sets to 4 - 6ft south facing breaks, easing during the afternoon. Grading to smaller across east facing breaks. WIND: Potential for early SSW 10 to 20 knots, tending SSE during the morning and S during the afternoon.

Saturday
Pumping early. SE swell. 3 - 5ft exposed open and south facing breaks, grading to 2 – 4ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early W, tending S to SE 10 to 15 knots, then lighter SSE during the afternoon.

Sunday
Pretty good all morning. New SE groundswell. 3 – 4ft+ exposed beaches early, easing during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early SW to SSW 5 to 15 knots, tending S to SE during the afternoon.

An easing SE swell and lighter winds offers up good options across the NSW coast this weekend. Photo: CW user Throwingbuckets.

An easing SE swell and lighter winds offers up good options across the NSW coast this weekend. Photo: CW user Throwingbuckets.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Southern Queensland’s wave drought finally broke with the arrival of a big, stormy SSE swell on Thursday morning and there’s plenty more to come into Friday and the weekend. We can look forward to a string of good days as the swell gradually eases, while transitioning from a SSE direction on Friday to SE over the weekend.

The south-easterly direction will produce a more equitable distribution in wave energy compared to the recent run of south swells; still larger south of the border, but strong enough to produce good surf along the points and inside the bays under the prevailing southerly winds.

SEE ALSO: East Coast Low Hits Coolangatta This Week

Friday
Head for the points and bays. SSE swell. Sets around 5 - 6ft+ exposed northern NSW breaks. Solid 3 – 4ft+ sets exposed southern QLD coasts, grading to 2 – 4ft across the points and bays. Easing during the afternoon. WIND: Early inshore SSW tending SSE 15 to 25 knots.

Saturday
Plenty of options. SSE swell. 3 – 5ft+ exposed northern NSW breaks, grading to 2 – 4ft across southern QLD coasts with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early SSW to SSE 15 to 25 knots, tending SE during the afternoon

Sunday
Cranking all morning. New mid-period SE swell. Sets around 3 - 4ft+ exposed northern NSW breaks. Grading to 2 – 3ft across exposed southern QLD coasts and smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early SSW 10 to 20 knots tending SSE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

At long last, southern Queensland coast can look forward to a full weekend of good surf. Photo: CW user Shakazulu.

At long last, southern Queensland coast can look forward to a full weekend of good surf. Photo: CW user Shakazulu.

Victoria
Coming from Sydney, I consider myself as fortunate to have surfed some of Victoria’s exposed beaches a few times. Unlike the NSW coast, their wide-open exposure to Southern Ocean groundswells renders them too big and wild to surf for days – even week’s at a stretch. But once the well drops to a manageable size it reveals sculpted sandbanks punctuated by deep gutters, carved out by oversized winter groundswells. Once the swell drops and the winds swing offshore, it’s usually a recipe for beach-break perfection – and that’s exactly what’s in store across Victoria over the next few days as a large high pressure system drifting slowly over the state produces light offshore winds, grooming small to mid-range WSW swells ranging from 2 to 4ft all weekend.

Friday
Find an exposed beach. WSW groundswell. Ranging from 3 - 5ft across exposed beaches, easing during the afternoon. Wrapping into Surf Coast breaks around 1 - 3ft. WIND: Light NW to NE 5 to 15 knots tending light and variable during the afternoon.

Saturday
Beach-break perfection beckons. WSW swell. Sets around 2 – 3ft+ exposed beaches. Grading to 1 - 2ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Light NW to NE, tending light E during the afternoon.

Sunday
New WSW groundswell. Sets to 2 – 4ft across exposed coasts. Grading to 1 - 2ft major Surf Coast reefs, smaller elsewhere. WIND: Light NW to NE.

There won't be much action across the Surf Coast this weekend, but the exposed beaches aren't looking too shabby. Photo: CW user MarkH.

There won't be much action across the Surf Coast this weekend, but the exposed beaches aren't looking too shabby. Photo: CW user MarkH.

Western Australia
A small window of opportunity for some solid, clean surf across the Southwest rapidly closes this weekend. However, if you happen to have some time up your sleeve on Friday, then you’re in luck. The confluence of light offshore winds and a solid 4 to 6ft SW swell are set to produce the kind of conditions the Southwest is renowned for all day Friday. If you to wait until Saturday morning, then you’ll need to be on it pretty much at first light. The arrival of another robust winter cold front across the coast sees a short window of light inshore NE winds shifting NW and strengthening during the morning. Although winds shift WSW in the wake of the front on Sunday morning, they’re set to reorient to the WNW ahead of a second, vigorous front approaching during the day; all in all making for a pretty sub-par weekend of waves.

Friday
Cracking across exposed breaks all day. SW swell reinforced, calm wind conditions. Southwest coast: 3-5ft, inconsistent 4-6ft sets. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft+ sets. Calm to E wind 5kt early, tending light and variable in afternoon.

Saturday
Get in early before conditions rapidly deteriorate. SW swell and onshore wind shift, rising through the day. Southwest coast: 3-5ft early, rising wind chop in afternoon 4-6ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft building 2ft+ late. NW wind gradually builds from 5kt early to 15-20kt, tending W 20kt in afternoon.

Sunday
Go early or forget about it. SW swell increases with strengthening onshores. Southwest coast: mixed 6-8ft. Perth/Mandurah: 2-3ft. W winds 10kts early, tending NW and rising 20-25kts.

Photo: Dan Wyer.

Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
There’s another full weekend of good winter conditions on offer this weekend, but you’ll have to adjust your expectations on wave-size compared to recent times. At long-last we’re finally looking at a lull in the winter-storm track culminating in several days of small to tiny surf across the South Coast; probably not exceeding 1 to 2ft across the more exposed beaches both on Saturday and Sunday. The good news is winds are set to blow straight offshore out of the north-east on both days, so there are plenty of options for the more intrepid.

Friday
Small, clean fun. SSW swell Sets to 1 - 3ft South Coast beaches. Grading to 0.5 - 1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: NNE 5 to 10 knots, tending light and variable later.

Saturday
Good for a log. Residual SSW swell 1 – 2ft South Coast breaks. Around 0.5ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: NE 5 to 10 knots.

Sunday
Groundhog day. Small scale SSW swell 1 - 2ft exposed South Coast beaches,. Around 0.5ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: NNE 5 to 15 knots.

It's looking small and clean across the South Coast this weekend. Photo: CW user Wardy.

It's looking small and clean across the South Coast this weekend. Photo: CW user Wardy.


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