Weekend Surf Forecast 30 September - 2 October, 2016

29 Sep 2016 2 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | Weekend Surf Forecast

Conditions verge on unsurfable across many regions this weekend. Across the entire East Coast an extended run of flat conditions sets in just in time for the weekend, leaving both NSW and Queensland coasts effectively devoid of rideable surf.

This is the first of such spells for 2016 – and that says a lot about how good a year it’s been to date. At the other extreme end of the scale, Western Australia’s Southwest Coast feels the brunt of another, very wintery looking WSW storm-swell; big and windy enough to keep surfing options to a bare minimum. Only locations further north will benefit from this event – as will Indonesia on Monday. That leaves Victoria and South Australia as the only states offering up rideable surf over the next few days – and both states will see periods of good conditions on Saturday and Sunday.

SEE ALSO: Weak Wrap: A Dingo Stole My Barrel, Kai Lenny's Nu Church & Johnny Depp Narrates Stuff 

There are the surf-haves and surf-have nots around the country this weekend. Photo: Dan Hayward.

There are the surf-haves and surf-have nots around the country this weekend. Photo: Dan Hayward.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
When it comes to describing surf in absentia, we all know the key word is flat. However, not many of us know there are actually several different types of flat. There’s pancake flat; where there are no waves, but the water looks tasty. There’s millpond flat, where there are no waves and also no wind, making for glassy, mysterious, pond-like conditions. Then there’s ironing board flat; where it’s both unsurfable and unappealing for a swim; thereby lending the focus to housework. The take home message here is make the most of the current NE windswell while it lasts. This fleeting pulse will still be evident at low levels on Friday morning but from there it’s set to rapidly dwindle away during afternoon, leaving exactly zilch leftover for the weekend. So, over the course of this weekend, conditions fall into the first category; pancake flat: No waves to speak of, but good for a swim.

Friday
Going, going, gone. Leftover NE swell. Around 2ft exposed open beaches early, fading to 1 – 2ft during the day and tiny to near flat by the late afternoon. WIND: NW 15 to 25 knots, freshening during the afternoon.

Saturday
Pancake flat. WIND: WNW 15 to 25 knots, tending W during the day.

Sunday
Pancake flat. Tiny S swell. 0.5 – 1ft south facing breaks, flat elsewhere. WIND: NW 5 to 10 knots turning NNE 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

There will be a definitive absence of these across the entire East Coast this weekend. Photo: CW User Singlefin.

There will be a definitive absence of these across the entire East Coast this weekend. Photo: CW User Singlefin.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
It’s not easy to be glass-half-full about the forecast when it goes flat. It’s flat – and that really only gives us three choices: The first is go surfing anyway; yep, just paddle out with a mate and sit there up to your chest in water and have a nice long chat. The second is to find something else to do; whether it be housework, golf or watching awesome videos like this one. The second is to get on a plane and fly to somewhere where there will be waves – and if you have time to hang out until Monday, that somewhere is Indonesia.

Friday
Tiny and blown out. NE windswell. Around 1 -2ft exposed open breaks early, fading during the day. WIND: Early WNW 10 to 20 knots.

Saturday
Good conditions all day. Virtually flat. WIND: Light WNW 5 to 15 knots.

Sunday
Small to tiny leftovers. Virtually flat. WIND: Light WSW, tending N and freshening to 10 to 20 knots later.

Cyclone season starts in about a month. Here's hoping it's an active one. Photo: CW User JMcj.

Cyclone season starts in about a month. Here's hoping it's an active one. Photo: CW User JMcj.

Victoria
There are some good surfable options across Victoria this weekend – particularly in comparison to other states, where the very act of surfing is looking unfeasible. Friday commences with another excellent morning across the exposed beaches, with a new round of WSW swell pushing up solid 4ft waves under early NNE winds. The arrival of a fresh westerly change lends the focus to the Surf Coast on Saturday – and although only small, the offshore flow should make for fun conditions all day. On Sunday, however, the focus shifts back to the exposed stretches as winds revert to the NNW, making for a reasonably clean day of user-friendly waves in the 2 to 3ft range.

Friday
Excellent along the exposed beaches all morning. WSW swell. Sets to 3 – 5ft exposed breaks, picking up to 4 – 5ft+ during the afternoon. 2 - 3ft sets across the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: NNE 5 to 15 knots tending light WSW, then variable during the afternoon.

Saturday
Small and fun across the Surf Coast. Easing SW swell. Sets to 4 – 5ft across exposed beaches, easing to 3 – 4ft. Grading to 2 - 3ft across the major Surf Coast breaks. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots, tending W to WSW during the afternoon.

Sunday
Small and semi-clean across exposed beaches. Leftover SW swell. Around 2 – 3ft exposed beaches, grading to 1ft+ across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early N, tending NNW 15 to 25 knots.

There are plenty of interesting options across Victoria this weekend. Photo: Jordan Smith.

There are plenty of interesting options across Victoria this weekend. Photo: Jordan Smith.

Western Australia
There are heavy, stormy conditions looming across the West Coast this weekend. An approaching extratropical low brings a steep rise in WSW storm-swell to the Southwest; initially building steeply throughout Friday before topping out on Saturday at an unruly 10 to 15ft – and this may be enough to open up some rarely surfed options found inside the most sheltered bays. The stormy conditions continue on Sunday as the swell begins to subside from still heavy 10ft plus levels Down South – so if you’re hell bent on surfing, then heading for the Northwest is a no-brainer.

Friday
Rising storm-swell. Combination of windswell and SW groundswell and breezy SW flow. Southwest coast: textured 6-8ft with plus sets on open breaks. Perth/Mandurah: lumpy 2-3ft+. WSW wind 20-25kts, tending SW 10-15kt.

Saturday
Heavy peak in XL WSW swell
. Whitecapping onshore winds. Southwest coast: 12-15ft, plus deepwater sets. Perth/Mandurah: 3-5ft. Stormy W wind 25-30kt with higher gusts, tending SW in afternoon.

Sunday
Better up north. Mixed large scale WSW swells, strong wind waves. Southwest coast: 10-12ft. Perth/Mandurah: lumpy 3-5ft. WSW winds 20-25kts, tending W 15-20kt in afternoon

It's just not one of those weekends Down South. Photo: Bruce Ellis.

It's just not one of those weekends Down South. Photo: Bruce Ellis.

South Australia
The monster low pressure system responsible for the state’s brief return to the Dark Ages bring a heavy run-up in SW storm-swell across the region over the next 24 hours. The low has only just begun to bring it’s core, 40 to 50kt winds within range of the region – and a phenomenal spike in SSW swell follows overnight; peaking at still windblown 4 to 6ft levels across the South Coast while peaking at a rarely seen 3 to 4ft or more across the Mid Coast. From Friday onwards we also begin to see conditions settling, with a steep drop in in SSW following as winds back to the north on Saturday. By Sunday it will be considerably smaller and cleaner again across all coasts, so it’s well worth making the most of Saturday’s conditions while they last.

Friday
Stay in bed. Windblown 4 – 5ft+ across exposed South Coast beaches early, easing during the afternoon. Grading to 1ft+ along the Mid Coast. WIND: WSW 20 to 35 knots, easing to 15 to 20 knots later.

Saturday
Improving throughout the day. SW windswell picks up later. Around 3 – 4ft across the exposed South Coast beaches, easing to 2 – 3ft during the afternoon. Up to 1ft along the Mid Coast later. WIND: Early W 10 to 15 knots, turning NW, then N during the afternoon.

Sunday
Tiny and clean. Leftover SW swell 1 – 2ft across the exposed South Coast beaches. Virtually flat along the Mid Coast. WIND: NNW 10 to 15 knots tending WNW and freshening later.




Conditions steadily clean up in the wake of Thursday's hammering. Photo: CW user Pete.

Conditions steadily clean up in the wake of Thursday's hammering. Photo: CW user Pete.


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