Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 21 June - 2 July

20 Jun 2017 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | BALI, INDO SURF FORECAST 

Forecast Issued Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Even when it isn’t 6 to 8ft, Indonesia is a pretty safe bet for a surf trip during the winter months. The coming week sees a significant downshift in wave-energy, following in the wake of what’s been an exceptional run of swell throughout the opening weeks of June.

So while the surf isn’t anticipated to push back up into the serious range anytime soon, that still equates to days of rippable surf across the archipelago’s exposed breaks; mostly fluctuating around the 2 to 3ft mark, with a few 3 to 4ft days thrown in for good measure. The coming week also sees an unseasonal waning of the tradewind belt, making for full days of light and variable conditions – ideally suited to the more exposed, south facing breaks that rake in all the swell.

A period of small to mid sized SSW swell and relatively light winds opens up good conditions throughout Nusa Tengara this week. Photo: Surfaid.

A period of small to mid sized SSW swell and relatively light winds opens up good conditions throughout Nusa Tengara this week. Photo: Surfaid.

Short Forecast
An easing trend in SSW swell levels off around the 2 to 3ft cross exposed breaks for the rest of the week, preceding a stronger push in SSW groundswell peaking in the 3 to 4ft range over the weekend.

Daily Summary

Wednesday 21
Leftover SSW groundswell. Slow sets up to 2 - 3ft exposed breaks, easing into the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 12 knots

Thursday 22
Background SSW groundswell. Ranging from 2 - 3ft exposed breaks, inconsistent in the upper range. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending light SE around 5 to 10 knots later.

Friday 23
Minor SSW groundswell. Sets ranging from 2 – 3ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE around 10 knots.

Saturday 24
New SSW groundswell slowly builds. Sets to 1 – 3ft exposed breaks, bumping up to 2 – 4ft during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE around 5 to 10 knots.

Sunday 25
New SSW groundswell. Sets to 3 – 4ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending S to SE up to 5 knots later.

Monday 26
Reinforcing SSW groundswell builds in. Sets to 3 – 4ft exposed breaks, potentially bigger later. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending S/SE around 5 to 10 knots later.

Overview
Wave energy began to settle in the wake of last week’s sustained run of overhead SSW groundswell; by all reports easing into the 4 to 6ft range on Saturday before settling back to 2 to 4ft by Monday morning.

It’s fair to say that compared to the first few week’s of June, the last third is looking considerably more subdued on the wave front. The immediate outlook is dominated by a large, intense high pressure system that’s now exerting a strong suppressing influence on wave-generation throughout Indonesia’s swell window.

Over the course of the weekend the developing high intensified to 1039hPa just northeast of the Kerguelen Islands, before blowing out to a maximum of 1041 hPa as it drifted further east on Monday and Tuesday morning.

This snapshot of the southern Indian Ocean depicts the blocking high pressure system responsible for a relatively subdued phase in winter wave-activity across Indonesia lasting through to the end of the month. Source: BOM.

This snapshot of the southern Indian Ocean depicts the blocking high pressure system responsible for a relatively subdued phase in winter wave-activity across Indonesia lasting through to the end of the month. Source: BOM.

In the short term, that leaves us reliant on smaller-scale SSW swell still emanating from the active storm-track that remained in effect over the south-eastern Indian Ocean between Wednesday 14 and Friday 16 June. This was substantial enough to keep trailing SSW swell pulsing around the 2 to 3ft mark across exposed breaks for the remainder of the working week, ahead of a slightly stronger round of groundswell building in over the weekend.

This is being generated by a complex amalgamation of polar lows mostly located below Western Australia. This system has been interacting with the south-eastern quadrant of the aforementioned high pressure system to generate WSW gales over polar latitudes, directly south of The Archipelago. As a result, SSW groundswell spreading north from this source arrives from an acute directional band of 205 degrees; with leading forerunners showing on Friday, ahead of the bulk of swell wrapping in over the weekend to generate set waves in the 3 to 4ft range across the most exposed reefs.

This first episode should overlap with a second, even more acute S groundswell on Monday; this one arriving from a tighter southerly angle of 190 to 200 degrees. This arises from another polar low feeding into the same storm track between the dominant Indian Ocean high and low pressure complex below situated below Western Australia. This episode should carry over into early Tuesday 27 June to maintain surf in the 2 to 4ft range before backing off during the afternoon.    

Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali show a short term downswing in SSW swell, preceding a new pulse of groundswell peaking over the weekend and early next week.

Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali show a short term downswing in SSW swell, preceding a new pulse of groundswell peaking over the weekend and early next week.

Long Range
While there aren’t any major swell events on the radar for mid to late next week, there will be small, fun-sized waves on offer. The influence of the blocking high will be in full effect over this time frame – and hence whatever swell arrives will probably only be small in scale; comprised of a mixture of long-range SW and SSW swells fluctuating around the 2 to 3ft mark across exposed breaks between Wednesday 28 and Friday 30 June.

Beyond that, there’s scope for a more substantial SW pulse nudging surf up into the 3 to 4ft range; commencing on Friday 30 June and carrying over into the first weekend of July. This is linked to a deep mid-latitude low forecast to develop over the far south-western Indian Ocean on Wednesday and Thursday; setting up an expansive area of 30 to 45kt WSW/SW gales just below South Africa before weakening out below Madagascar on Friday/ Saturday.

The fetch is projected to drive deepwater wave-heights to peaks of 40ft over this region on Thursday. A long-period SW groundswell spreading away from this source will take a full week to cover the distance to Indonesia; giving rise to long-period forerunners of 20 seconds starting to show as early as Thursday evening. This will lead in a slow build in SW groundswell into Friday and the weekend; with solid 3 to 4ft sets likely to be punctuated by long lulls.

Beyond that, telescoping model divergence lends greater uncertainty to the outlook for the first week of June. At this stage GFS model runs are picking up a deepening low pressure complex forming over the far south-eastern Indian Ocean late next week. For now this presents speculative potential for a new SSW groundswell arriving sometime between the 4 and 6 July, but confidence on this remains low for now.


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