Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 31 May - 10 June 2017

30 May 2017 1 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | BALI, INDO SURF FORECAST 

Forecast Issued Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The onset of winter brings a typically energetic swell forecast to Indonesian shores. Initially, the transition to June sees a few days of relatively user friendly conditions, characterised by several days of smaller-scale SSW groundswell and strong ESE tradewinds. This should keep surf heights fluctuating in the 2 to 4ft range – at least until the first of two larger, back to back pulses of SSW groundswell begin to arrive on Sunday 4 June. Several days of powerful surf ranging anywhere from 4 to 6ft plus should follow throughout The Archipelago – and going on long-range guidance, it looks like there’s plenty more to come into the middle of the month.

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Say hello to the southern hemisphere winter. Photo of Dom Walsh by Diogo D'orey by .

Say hello to the southern hemisphere winter. Photo of Dom Walsh by Diogo D'orey by .

Short Forecast

Small-scale SSW swell persists around the 1 to 3ft mark across exposed breaks on Wednesday ahead of a new SSW groundswell pushing up to 2 to 4ft on Thursday and Friday. SSW swell hangs in at similar levels on Saturday ahead of a larger round of SSW groundswell arriving on Sunday and Monday. Moderate to strong ESE tradewinds prevail throughout the outlook period.

Daily Summary

Wednesday 31
Leftover SSW swell. Sets up to 1 - 3ft exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 15 to 25 knots.

Thursday 1
New SSW groundswell. Sets around 2 - 4ft exposed breaks, undersized early. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: ESE 20 to 25 knots.

Friday 2
SSW groundswell. Sets around 2 – 4ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: ESE around 15 to 20 knots.

Saturday 3
Reinforcing SSW groundswell. Sets around 3 – 4ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE around 10 to 20 knots.

Sunday 4
Stronger build in SSW groundswell. Sets to 3 – 4ft exposed breaks early, picking up to 3 – 4ft during the day and on to 4 – 6ft+ into the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Monday 5
SSW groundswell peaks. Around 5 – 6ft+ exposed breaks, reinforced by new, long period SSW groundswell during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Overview

The immediate outlook sees the surf getting smaller before it starts to get bigger. The tail end of the weekend’s solid SW pulse drops down to more sedate 1 to 3ft levels across exposed breaks by Wednesday morning under strong ESE tradewinds that will limit clean surfable options to the most exposed west facing breaks.

Thursday marks the arrival of a new, fairly modest round of SSW groundswell that’s set to gradually push set waves up a couple of notches during the day. It’s origin is a large, complex extratropical low that set up below South Africa and Madagascar early last week; generating an expansive, pre-frontal WNW fetch across its eastern sector, followed by a similarly large WSW fetch below the Mozambique Channel. Long-range forerunners spreading out from this source begins to show at tiny levels on Wednesday, leading in the bulk of energy arriving on Thursday. This holds potential for sets in the 3 to 4ft range across exposed breaks and it should maintain similar size into Friday as ESE tradewinds moderate to about 15 to 20 knots.

Saturday then sees another, slightly larger SSW pulse reinforcing surf-heights throughout The Archipelago. This arises from a complex amalgamation of sources, including a deep polar low that developed off Heard Island last weekend; giving rise to a broad area of 20 to 25ft seas and swell over the southern Indian Ocean on Saturday and Sunday. This holds good potential for another full day of clean 3 to 4ft surf across exposed west facing breaks, with a slow easing trend underway as the day progresses.

As the tail end of this pulse tapers off to lower levels into Sunday morning it should quickly be superseded by a new, longer period SSW episode filling in throughout the day. This follows the evolution of a deep, 940 hPa polar low below South Africa on Monday. As this storm migrated eastward below Madagascar on Tuesday it established a vast belt of strong WSW gales, exhibiting speeds ranging from 30 to 50 knots throughout the far south-western Indian Ocean.

The system will continue to support the fetch at these speeds as it tracks swiftly eastward across the southern Indian Ocean on Wednesday; in its own right generating significant wave-heights in the order of 20 to 35ft over a vast area. While this holds impressive, long range SW swell-potential for the region, the story doesn’t end there. A second, intense polar low pressure following close behind the first generates a slightly larger sea-state over the south-western Indian Ocean on Wednesday and Thursday – in turn giving rise to another strong round of long-period SSW groundswell for Indonesia.

The upshot is two overlapping pulses of SSW groundswells arriving across the Islands during the first week of June; the first building in rapidly throughout Sunday 4.. This is likely to see a strong push into the 5 to 6ft plus range across exposed breaks – and it should hang in around the 6ft plus mark on Monday 5 June. This will be closely followed by a second, stronger episode on Tuesday 6; speculatively peaking in the 6 to 8ft range.

A solid push in mid-range SSW groundswell this week precedes the arrival of two back to back pulses of larger SSW groundswell from Sunday to Tuesday. Source: Wave Tracker.

A solid push in mid-range SSW groundswell this week precedes the arrival of two back to back pulses of larger SSW groundswell from Sunday to Tuesday. Source: Wave Tracker.

Long Range:

Solid SSW groundswell potential for mid June
The long-range focus shifts to a new low that’s widely projected to develop below South Africa this weekend. Its evolution commences with a cut-off low currently positioned just off Brazil. Over the next few days it’s forecast to traverse the South Atlantic with gradual intensification, before eventually burgeoning into a major extratropical storm directly below South Africa this weekend. The storm is projected to generate a vast area of WSW to SW gales across its western and southern quadrants for as it migrates slowly eastward over the course of the weekend and early next week, before eventually weakening into Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 June.

Going on latest GFS runs, the extended duration of these swell producing winds will generate maximum significant wave heights of 30 to 35ft over the region. While this isn’t anything out of the ordinary when it comes to winter-scale storms, it looms as a substantial source of SW groundswell for the Archipelago. The leading edge of the swell is projected to start filling in during Friday 9, ahead of the bulk of swell arriving over the weekend of Saturday 10 June. At this stage this looms as a mid to large pulse, landing at anywhere from 3 to 6ft depending on exposure. Given this remains storm-dependent, revisions are considered likely in next week’s update.

This image shows peak wave period; depicting the two, back to back SSW pulses inbound this weekend and early next week. Source: Wave Tracker.

This image shows peak wave period; depicting the two, back to back SSW pulses inbound this weekend and early next week. Source: Wave Tracker.

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