The Weekend Surf Forecast 6 - 8 October, 2017
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
Forecast issued Thursday, 5 October, 2017
Holy Moley. Just when you think your prospects of scoring good surf are about to plummet with onset of the warmer seasons, yet another storm system shows up on the radar, delivering days of pumping surf. That’s exactly what’s happening across the NSW coast this weekend following the development of a deep low that’s already taking shape over the southern Tasman Sea.
While the early stages of the resulting S swell aren’t anything to write home about, conditions will be pumping across NSW on Sunday morning as moderating SSE groundswell coincides with offshore winds. Further north, southern Queensland coasts will only pull in a small fraction of this energy, but expect improving conditions as swell direction trends a little more to the southeast early next week.
Down south, conditions across Victoria and South Australia are initially written off by strong onshore winds on Thursday and Friday. The good news is the surf will steadily improve as winds rotate anti-clockwise over the weekend; culminating in clean, mid-sized surf along all exposed beaches on Sunday.
Finally over West the outlook isn’t flash. Strong onshore WSW winds are for the most part set to write off surfing prospects on Friday and Saturday. This leaves Sunday as the best window of opportunity for some semi-clean waves inside the sheltered bays as winds swing to the SSW.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Well, here we go again. The imminent development of a deep low over the southern Tasman Sea on Thursday night through Friday morning is the source of another major S/SSE swell-event kicking in this weekend. New S swell should begin to show at solid levels across the South Coast throughout Friday afternoon, along with a solid push into the 2 to 3ft plus range across Sydney and surrounds later in the day. The bulk of a first, large S pulse shows up early on Saturday; producing energetic surf in the 5 to 6ft plus range across southern exposures while wrapping at anywhere from 3 to 6ft elsewhere.
The initial effects of the low also include moderate to strong SSW winds early on Saturday turning onshore during the day. It won’t be until Sunday morning that conditions really light up as light offshore winds greet a new pulse of SSE groundswell; producing excellent, powerful surf ranging anywhere from 3 to 6ft depending on location.
Slight NE windswell around 1 to 2ft at best exposed open beaches, fading during the day. Underlying S swell at a slow 1ft+ south facing beaches, building from 1 – 2ft+ towards 2 to 3ft+ during the late afternoon/ evening and up to a larger 3 to 4ft across the South Coast. WIND: W to SSW 5 to 15 knots tending SE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.
S swell peaks. Solid, wind-affected 5 - 7ft south facing breaks, grading to 3 – 6ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: SSW 10 to 20 knots during the morning, tending SSE to SE during the afternoon.
SSE groundswell. Well organised sets ranging from 4 to 6ft south facing breaks, grading to 3 - 5ft exposed open beaches with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early WNW 5 to 10 knots, tending NE 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
While not as spectacular as locations further south, the impact of a deep Tasman low will still make its presence felt across the region this weekend; typically showing most size across far northern NSW coasts while wrapping in at much lower levels north of the border. This should commence with a steady rise in short-period SSE swell under strong onshore winds across northern NSW on Saturday; manifesting as a slow building trend into the 2 to 3ft range during the day and bigger again during the arvo. It won’t be until Sunday that lighter inshore N to NW winds greet a more substantial pulse of S swell; producing consistent surf ranging anywhere from 2 to 4ft south of the border all day – but it will be well worth getting in early before winds freshen out of the NNE.
Weak NE windswell up to 1 to 3ft along the most exposed breaks, grading to 1 to 2ft elsewhere. WIND: Early light NW to NNW tending N 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon.
Rising S swell. Possibly undersized at 1 – 2ft+ across northern NSW coasts at dawn, building to a windblown 2 – 3ft+ mid morning and up towards 3 – 4ft south facing breaks during the afternoon. Grading to 1 – 2ft exposed Queensland breaks and tiny to near flat inside the points and bays. WIND: Early SSE change 15 to 25 knots. Tending SE to ESE and easing later.
Mid period S groundswell. Sets to 3 – 4ft northern NSW south facing breaks, grading to 1 – 3ft exposed Queensland breaks and smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light N to NW tending NNE 10 to 15 knots.
The arrival of a strong and gusty SW change later Thursday leads in a thoroughly forgettable day of surfing across Victoria on Friday; generating heavily windblown, mid to large surf state-wide. This follows the passage of a vigorous frontal low across Bas Strait, leaving nowhere to hide from onshore conditions as winds tend S to SSE during the afternoon.
The good news is a favourable transformation in conditions will follow from Saturday onwards. A ridge building in the wake of the low established an easing E to NE breeze across the state; making for rapidly improving wave-quality as the day progresses. However, it probably won’t be until Sunday that conditions really light up along the exposed beaches, with lighter NNE winds making for ideal surface quality as a new, small-scale SW groundswell arrives in the 3 to 4ft range.
Stormy mix of mid-period SW swell and SSW windswell. Windblown 4 – 6ft along the exposed beaches, settling to 3 to 5ft later. Ranging from a windblown 2 - 4ft+ across the Surf Coast. WIND: SSW 20 to 35 knots, tending S and easing to 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon and lighter SSE later.
SW groundswell. Sets to a clean 4 – 5ft exposed beaches early, easing to 3 – 4ft+ and deteriorating later. Sets to 3 – 4ft across the major Surf Coast reefs, grading to a smaller 2 to 3ft elsewhere. WIND: ENE to ESE 10 to 15 knots, tending lighter NE during the late afternoon.
Smaller, reinforcing SW groundswell. Ranging from a clean 3 – 4ft exposed beaches all day. Semi-clean sets to 2 – 3ft along the Surf Coast. WIND: NNW to NNE 5 to 15 knots, tending light NW to WNW later.
The yuk factor is looking pretty high when it comes to surf across the region this weekend. Early Friday morning offers up a short window of offshore, NE winds before onshore south-westerlies spring up mid-morning. From there conditions will deteriorate rapidly as freshening WSW winds write off surfable options along the exposed breaks. Similarly, Saturday sees a continuation of strong onshore WSW winds lending the focus to land-based activities all day. It won’t be until Sunday that a more favourable, SSW slant in the onshore flow offers up some reasonable surf inside the sheltered bays – and with strong SW groundswell holding in the vicinity of 6 to 8ft this should definitely offer up some good options all day.
Small SW swell early, onshores rise with windswell through afternoon. South West: settled 2-3ft early, increasing lumpy 3-4ft late. Perth/Mandurah: flat then rising 1ft+ later. WIND: Light NE 10kts tending to NW midmorning. Increasing WSW 10-20kts in the afternoon.
Increase of new SW swell combo under onshore winds. South West: Unsettled 4-6ft, rising 6-8ft exposed breaks. Perth/Mandurah: mixed 2ft, exposed beaches lumpy 3ft. WIND: SW 15-20kts tending WSW 10-15kts.
Holding SSW swell under S'ly wind. South West: 6-8ft+. Perth/Mandurah: 2-3ft. WIND: SW 15-20kts early, tending SSW'ly 10-15kt in afternoon.
Expect small but still rippable conditions across the state this weekend as smaller-scale SW swell runs at a fun-size under mostly favourable winds. Saturday probably holds the best potential for some clean 2 to 3 footers across the most exposed South Coast breaks (ie Parsons and Waitpinga), with smaller 1 to 2ft waves likely across Middleton and surrounds. Light offshore NNE winds will make for clean conditions all day. Sunday also sees smaller-scale SW groundswell producing similar, or slightly smaller set waves across the state – the key difference being stronger NW winds turning lighter SW to S during the afternoon.
S swell mix gradually fades. Windswell ranging 3 to 4ft along exposed South Coast breaks with crossed up sets occasionally bigger early, then easing later. Residual wrap of 1 - 2ft waves across the Mid Coast. WIND: SSE 15 to 20 knots, tending SE during the afternoon 10 to 15 knots.
S swell continues at smaller levels. Ranging 2 – 3ft along exposed South Coast breaks. Wrapping in at 1 - 2ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: NE 10 to 15 knots, tending light and variable during the afternoon.
Small swell under offshore winds early. Clean sets ranging around 2ft exposed South Coast beaches. Wrapping at 1 - 2ft along the Mid Coast. W'ly change in afternoon. WIND: NNW to NW 10 to 15 knots, tending SW during the afternoon.
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