Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 15 - 29 May, 2019

14 May 2019 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Forecast Issued Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Over the last few years the month of May has developed a bit of a reputation for unseasonably subdued surf across Indonesia. And to further generalise, it hasn’t been until later in the season that the Southern Ocean has really delivered the kind of winter swell-events The Archipelago is renowned for.

Whether or not this is a by-product of global warming isn't clear, but in the wake of a cracking early season throughout the month of April, it appears to be happening again. Latest MSLP charts depicts a very subdued storm-track now in effect throughout the Southern Ocean and based on latest computer modelling, it looks like it’s going to stay pretty quite on the storm-front; at least until the final days of May or early June. Still, that doesn’t mean there won’t be waves – there just going to be relatively small on the wave-height scale for quite a few days to come.

Mid to late May holds relatively subdued surf potential across Indonesia, but that doesn't mean there won't be some fun to be had. Photo: Tom Pearsall.

Mid to late May holds relatively subdued surf potential across Indonesia, but that doesn't mean there won't be some fun to be had. Photo: Tom Pearsall.

Short Forecast
Small SSW groundswell dominates the short and mid-term outlook as a small pulse of SSW groundswell gradually fades throughout Wednesday
, before dropping to very subdued, 2ft levels into the end of the working week. Saturday morning is currently shaping up as a low-point in wave energy, preceding a slow build in leading SSW forerunners throughout the afternoon. This looks like leading in a peak in size across the region on Sunday through early Monday; holding potential for 3 to 5ft sets at the more exposed reefs throughout the day, before dropping off again mid next week.

Daily Summary

Wednesday 15
Small SSW groundswell slowly fades. Slow sets up to 2 to 3ft exposed breaks, inconsistent in the upper range and more like 1 to 2ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Thursday 16
Slight SSW swell. Sets around 2ft exposed breaks, grading to tiny/ near-flat elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Friday 17
Slight SSW swell. Sets up to a slow 2ft exposed breaks. Otherwise tiny to near flat elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE around 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday 18
Slight SSW swell bottoms out. Sets to 1 to 2ft exposed breaks, with scope for a minor uptick in small SSW groundswell in the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE around 10 to 15 knots.

Sunday 19
Potential for stronger SSW groundswell. Sets to 3 to 4ft+ exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Monday 20
SSW groundswell slowly eases. Sets ranging from 3 to 4ft exposed breaks, easing into the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

This Wave Tracker frame depicts peak wave period; showing the leading edge of a new SSW groundswell moving in on Saturday, ahead of the bulk of SSW groundswell hitting on Sunday and Monday.

This Wave Tracker frame depicts peak wave period; showing the leading edge of a new SSW groundswell moving in on Saturday, ahead of the bulk of SSW groundswell hitting on Sunday and Monday.

Long Range

Going on current model guidance, Sunday/ Monday’s mid-sized SSW pulse will quickly reduce to tiny levels from Wednesday onwards; at this point dropping down into the 2ft range or even less into Thursday 23rd. The good news is this should lead in a renewed upswing in energy into the end of next week. The next notable swell source appearing on Indonesia’s long-range radar is a complex polar low, forecast to develop well south of South Africa; deep below the Mozambique Channel on Wednesday and Thursday.

There’s loose agreement among the key models indicating a deep low pressure centre will emerge from this system by Friday to set up a relatively narrow, 40knot SW fetch; extending up across Heard Island on Sunday before extending further north and east as winds align more SSW and ease in strength early next week. From Monday onwards the models start to diverge on the location of the low and state of the associated fetch, but overall this holds good chances for a new round of mid-range SSW groundswell; speculatively starting to show on Friday 24th ahead of the bulk of swell arriving over the weekend of Saturday 25th. in the 3 to 5ft range.

At this early stage there’s still plenty of scope for revisions to the size and timing of this pulse, so stay tuned for more in next week’s update. Beyond that, recent EC runs form a much larger extratropical low over the far southern Indian Ocean on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd of May. If this were to come to fruition we’d see an extensive, 30 to 45kt SW fetch setting up inside Indonesia’s swell window throughout Wednesday and Thursday 23rd; giving rise to a significant, winter-scale SSW groundswell for the region into the final days of May. However, pronounced departure in model guidance suggests this is very pie-in-the-sky stuff, so check back next week for a more reliable picture.


Tags: Indo Surf Forecast , Ben Macartney (create Alert from these tags)

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