The New Year's Weekend Forecast, 30 Dec - 1 Jan

29 Dec 2016 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Forecast issued Thursday, 29 December 2016

Ahhhh Christmas; so much ham and so much surfing, and now here comes 2017. Whether you’re at home or somewhere more removed from the madding crowds, the New Year looms as a subdued period of surf around most of Australia’s coastal fringes.

Across the Eastern Seaboard, both the E tradewind swell that’s been in force across southern Queensland and the NE windswell dominant across NSW will progressively wane. Having said that, it’s not anticipated to go entirely flat, with both wave-trains still lingering around the 1 to 2ft mark on New Year’s Day.

Further south, both Victoria and South Australia experience a rare lull in wave activity, lending the focus to the most exposed beaches for a bit of SW swell – for the most part hovering around 2ft until early next year. Only the West Coast receives any swell of substance over the 2016/17 transition; benefiting from a strong spike in SW swell peaking in the 6ft range on New Year’s Eve, before settling to more manageable levels just in time for New Year’s Day.

Wherever you find yourself this weekend, Happy New Year and all the best for 2017!

SEE ALSO: 3 Tips That Will Change Your Bottom Turn For The Better

Let's hope the dawn of 2017 brings plenty of these. Photo: CW user Daygin Prescott.

Let's hope the dawn of 2017 brings plenty of these. Photo: CW user Daygin Prescott.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Wednesday and Thursday’s welcome boost in NE energy is set to drop back again by Friday; probably returning to more sedate levels in the vicinity of 2ft across exposed open breaks – so if you’re onto somewhere that’s been good over the last few days – best to stick with it.

The NE pattern continues over the New Year. Another slight pulse in short-period NE swell should again see set waves a smidge above 2ft across exposed breaks for the final day of 2016 – and this looks like marking the final burst of localised NE swell preceding a notable drop in size by New Years Day.

Although there is some background SE swell forecast to supplement the dying NE swell, it’s probably worth keeping your expectations low. The swell source was situated in a remote corner of our swell window and only endured for a relatively short time frame – so it’s unlikely to be running at more than an infrequent 1 to 2ft. It won’t be until Monday 2nd January that we finally see a southerly change moving through, with a rise in short-period S swell following as the day progresses.

SEE ALSO: Jim Banks On, "Don't Glass Them Too Strong" They Said

Friday
More fun in the sun. Short range NE windswell around 1 - 2ft+ exposed open breaks, bumping up during the afternoon. WIND: Light WNW tending light and variable, then NE 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Groundhog Day. NE windswell ranging from 1 – 3ft exposed breaks. Mixing with slight SE swell to 1 – 2ft during the afternoon. WIND: Light WNW to SW tending S 10 to 15 knots during the day, then lighter SE to ESE during the afternoon.

Sunday
Perfect for washing off the cobwebs. Mix of short range NE windswell and underlying SE swell. Around 1 - 2ft exposed open breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light WSW 5 to 10 knots, tending light NE ahead of an overnight S change 15 to 25 knots.

Monday
A long awaited southerly change arrives.
Faded NE and SE swells reinforced by rising S windswell. 1 – 2ft+ south facing breaks early, rising to 2 – 3ft+ during the afternoon. WIND: Early SSE 10 to 20 knots, tending SE and easing during the day.

NE windswell fades to lower levels this weekend ahead of a new rise in S swell setting in on Monday, 2 January. Photo: CW user Izsea.

NE windswell fades to lower levels this weekend ahead of a new rise in S swell setting in on Monday, 2 January. Photo: CW user Izsea.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
I hope you got plenty of surfing done over the Christmas break. As of Thursday morning the waves were still running at good 3ft across the region – but this pretty much marks the final day of surf of this calibre for the rest of the year. That means smaller E swell running at a less frequent 2 to 3ft on Friday morning ahead of a further drop into the 2ft range by New Years Eve.

Easing trend aside, it’s not expected to go flat anytime soon – and even on New Years Day there should be some hangover-friendly, 1 to 2ft ENE wind-waves to wash off the cobwebs. So while it won’t be an epic New Year of surf, the good news is there’s more E swell taking shape for the region during the first week of January, so stay tuned to the detailed forecast.

SEE ALSO: The Finest Surfing Images Of The Year

Friday
Short period E tradewind swell.
Ranging from 2 - 3ft exposed open breaks, easing during the afternoon. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light NNW inshore tending NE 10 to 20 knots.

Saturday
Short period E tradewind swell. Around 2ft exposed open breaks, grading smaller elsewhere and fading during the day. WIND: Early light NNW tending NNE 10 to 20 knots.

Sunday
ENE windswell. Around 1 – 2ft exposed breaks, grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light NNW tending NNE 10 to 20 knots.

Monday
NE windswell. Around 1 - 2ft+ exposed QLD breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light WNW to NNW tending ENE during the day and possibly SE 10 to 15 knots later.

There's still plenty of fun to be had as E tradewind swell slowly fades into the final days of 2016 and early 2017. Photo: CW user Compagnephotos.

There's still plenty of fun to be had as E tradewind swell slowly fades into the final days of 2016 and early 2017. Photo: CW user Compagnephotos.

Victoria
The surf is set to remain at the small end of the scale across Victoria throughout the remainder of 2016. The onset of an acutely W swell coupled with some similarly small, long-range SW swell should offer up some slightly larger sets across exposed beaches over the next few days; probably only nudging up to 2 to 3ft levels across the state on Friday and New Year’s Eve. The good news is a marginally stronger 3 to 4 pulse should follow across the exposed stretches on New Years Day and Monday 2nd January. However, it will be well worth getting in early to capitalise on lighter inshore winds, with moderate to strong S to SW winds forecast to take the shine off conditions during the first days of January.

SEE ALSO: Want To Go On A Mad Hueys Spending Spree?

Friday
Clean across exposed beaches early. WSW swell. Around 1 -3ft exposed coasts, bumping up marginally during the afternoon. Grading to 1ft to flat along the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light WNW to NW tending to seabreeezes during the afternoon.

Saturday
WSW swell reinforced by long range SW groundswell. Around 1 - 3ft exposed beaches. Grading to 1ft or so across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light WNW tending light and variable, then SSW during the afternoon.

Sunday
New SW groundswell. Sets around 2 - 3ft across exposed beaches early, picking up to 3 - 4 during the afternoon. Up to 1 - 2ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early WNW tending SW and freshening to 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon.

Monday
Small SW groundswell. Slow sets to 3 – 4ft exposed coasts early, easing during the afternoon. Grading to 1 - 2ft+ across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early SW 10 to 15 knots tending SSE during the afternoon.

The exposed beaches will be the only places with a half-decent wave over the New Year transition. Photo: CW user Grimace75.

The exposed beaches will be the only places with a half-decent wave over the New Year transition. Photo: CW user Grimace75.

Western Australia
The good times keep rolling in across the West Coast into the final days of 2016 and early 2017. The arrival of a new, large spike in SW swell occurs just in time for the New Year transition; picking up during Friday and peaking on New Year’s Eve in the vicinity of 6ft across exposed Southwest breaks. The tail end of this pulse should settle to a more manageable 3 to 4ft by New Year’s Day; well suited to washing off any cobwebs. As is the norm at this time of year you’ll need to get in early to capitalise on any offshore bias in winds or at least before it gets blown out during the afternoons.

SEE ALSO: Jim Banks Surfing Uluwatu In 1977

Friday.
New inconsistent SW groundswell fills in under early light SE winds. Southwest coast: 3-4ft, rising inconsistent 6ft+ sets. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft, rising 2ft late. WIND: SE at 10kt freshening 20-25kts SSW.

Saturday
SW groundswell shows consistency under morning SE - SSE winds. Southwest coast: 5-7ft, easing later. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft. WIND: ESE - SSE 10-15kts shifting SSW 20-25kts.

Sunday
Ease in SW groundswell under morning offshore winds. Southwest coast: 3-4ft+. Perth/Mandurah: 1-1.5ft. WIND: ESE at 10-15kts shifting SSW 20kts.

Monday
Overlapping mid period SW swell under morning SE winds. Southwest coast: 3-5ft, easing. Perth/Mandurah: 1-1.5ft. WIND: SE at 10-20kts shifting S'ly.

The West Coast is about the only state with solid waves over the New Year. Photo: Dan Wyer.

The West Coast is about the only state with solid waves over the New Year. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
They say don’t sweat the small-stuff – and it’s all small stuff across the state over the coming days. A heavily subdued Southern Ocean storm-track offers the bare minimum of swell across the region; mostly running at a slow 1 to 2ft across the South Coast on Friday and Saturday, preceding a slight upswing in wave-energy into the opening days of 2017. The arrival of a small, long-range SW groundswell should offer up the odd set nudging above 2ft across the most exposed South Coast beaches. The bulk of this energy shows up early on Monday, but an onshore SSE airflow will add little appeal the swell.

Friday
Low expectations and you’ll be fine. SW swell. 1 - 2ft+ South Coast beaches, easing during the afternoon. W swell up to 1 - 2ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: WNW 10 to 15 knots, tending to seabreezes during the day.

Saturday
Smaller scale SW swell. Mostly 1 – 2ft South Coast breaks. Grading 1ft or less across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light WNW tending SW 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Small SW groundswell. Sets to 1 - 2ft+ exposed South Coast beaches, inconsistent in the upper range. Flat across the Mid Coast. WIND: WSW 10 to 20 knots, tending SSW during the afternoon.

Monday
Small SW groundswell n. Sets to 1 - 3ft exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to near flat across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early SSE 10 to 15 knots, freshening during the afternoon.

Small-scale SW groundswell offers up some good options across exposed breaks before the onshores. Photo: CW user Maxwellphoto.

Small-scale SW groundswell offers up some good options across exposed breaks before the onshores. Photo: CW user Maxwellphoto.

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

blog comments powered by Disqus
More From Latest Features
A Salute To Pipeline

A Salute To Pipeline

Iconic boards and surfers celebrated at the Pipemasters Exhibit

0 12 Dec 2017
The Nuu Knogg: Marcie O'Neill On a Summer Fun Sled

The Nuu Knogg: Marcie O'Neill On a Summer Fun Sled

7 Boards In 7 Weeks

0 11 Dec 2017
Recent

How To Forecast Your Next Surf Trip

Six DIY tips to help you get the most of the magic.

0 9 Dec 2017
And the Superbrand Tazer Surfboard Goes To...

And the Superbrand Tazer Surfboard Goes To...

0 8 Dec 2017
Wave of the Week: Wade Carmichael On Point

Wave of the Week: Wade Carmichael On Point

0 8 Dec 2017
Luke Stedman's Three Mental Things To Focus On In Your Next Surf

Luke Stedman's Three Mental Things To Focus On In Your Next Surf

0 5 Dec 2017
Our Future Stars Get Crowned In Culburra

Our Future Stars Get Crowned In Culburra

0 4 Dec 2017
Latest News

How To Forecast Your Next Surf Trip

Six DIY tips to help you get the most of the magic.

And the Superbrand Tazer Surfboard Goes To...

7 Boards, 7 Weeks Winner Announced!

Wave of the Week: Wade Carmichael On Point

What's the 2018 rook look like on a long righthander?

Luke Stedman's Three Mental Things To Focus On In Your Next Surf

The way you breathe plays a massive role in your surfing.

Our Future Stars Get Crowned In Culburra

The Surf Dive n Ski Australian Junior Surfing Titles Get Six New Australian Champions

Go to Top