Weekend Surf Forecast 15 - 17 July, 2016

14 Jul 2016 2

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | Weekend Surf Forecast

Forecast issued Thursday, 14 July 2016

There are no surprises in the forecast this week. If you were asked by someone who’d never been to Australia to describe typical surfing conditions across the various states mid-winter, then you could point to this weekend as stereotypical.

Across the NSW coast, Thursday marked the first of several days of solid, albeit directional S swell; showing with most size across southern exposures while only glancing the majority of east facing breaks. Although the bulk of this energy completely by-passes southern Queensland, there will still be a smidge of ESE swell; comprised of a mix of residual groundswell and short-range SE windswell – just enough to keep the surf ranging either side of 2ft all weekend.

Further south, Victoria and South Australia see the tail-end of a big-winter SW swell slowly opening up a wider variety of surfable options as it continues to settle throughout the weekend. Over west, a sustained run of big, stormy WSW swell holds very little appeal across the Margaret River region – and it will only be more northern locations, above the 30S parallel that really benefit from this winter-scale episode.

SEE ALSO: Jock Serong's Short History Of Goat Boats

Winter has been excellent so far - and it will continue to be so this weekend. Photo: CW user Dan Sinclair.

Winter has been excellent so far - and it will continue to be so this weekend. Photo: CW user Dan Sinclair.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
The NSW coast is under the pump. That is, under the influence of a steady stream of S swell that’s set to run at solid levels across south facing breaks all weekend.

The deepwater south-westerly bias in direction will translate into wide variances in surf-heights; ranging from solid overhead sets across south facing breaks, to smaller, but still fun size across eastern exposures. This episode also coincides with predominant WSW winds through the morning hours ahead of lighter onshore S to SE winds during the afternoons, so getting in sooner rather than later will be the go.

Friday
Cracking day for a surf. Mid period S groundswell. Sets to 3 – 5ft south facing breaks, inconsistent in the upper range. Grading to 2 – 4ft open beaches with size depending on exposure. WIND: WSW 5 to 15 knots tending light SSE during the afternoon.

Saturday
Good all morning. Mid period S groundswell. Sets to 3 – 5ft south facing breaks early, easing during the afternoon. Grading to 2 – 4ft open beaches with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light SW tending light SSW during the morning and SSE later.

Sunday
Excellent, solid conditions under lighter offshores. Fading S swell. Sets to 2 - 4ft south facing breaks early, fading during the day. WIND: Light W tending light and variable, then N later.

SEE ALSO: How Good Is My Kid Really Surfing?

Here's yet another image from our archives of the early June ENE swell. Photo: CW user ShaneB.

Here's yet another image from our archives of the early June ENE swell. Photo: CW user ShaneB.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
A combination of ESE and S swells provides a more equitable distribution of wave energy across the southern Queensland and northern NSW regions this weekend. Having said that, the surf south of the border should be packing significantly more punch under the influence of a 13 second S groundswell.

Over the next few days the current round of ESE groundswell gradually wanes, only to be superseded by a lower quality SE windswell; for the most part maintaining peaky 2ft waves across the region’s exposed beaches. Regardless of where you may find yourself, moderate onshore SSE winds are set to remain in force on Saturday and Sunday; limiting clean surf to the sheltered points and bays.

Friday
Nice and clean early, deteriorating later. Combination of new S groundswell and leftover ESE swell. Inconsistent sets to 2 – 3ft exposed QLD breaks, grading to 3 – 4ft+ northern NSW south facing breaks and smaller across open beaches and inside the points and bays. WIND: SW/SSW 5 - 15 knots tending S to SE 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Onshore chunks or small/tiny point waves. Mix of S groundswell and residual ESE swell and junky SE windswell. Inconsistent 2 - 4ft exposed northern NSW breaks, grading to 1 - 3ft across exposed southern QLD beaches and smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: SE 10 to 20 knots tending ESE during the day.

Sunday
Moderating onshore winds. Mix of ESE windswell and easing S swell. Sets around 2 - 3ft+ exposed northern NSW breaks, grading to 2 - 3ft or so exposed QLD coasts. WIND: SE/ESE 10 to 15 knots.

SEE ALSO: Fun Waves At Rainbow Bay

A mix of S and ESE swells opens up plenty of options either side of the NSW/ QLD border this weekend. Photo: CW user Gary1234.

A mix of S and ESE swells opens up plenty of options either side of the NSW/ QLD border this weekend. Photo: CW user Gary1234.

Victoria
This week’s oversized SW swell gradually settles back down to earth over the next few days; progressively opening up a wider variety of surfable options as it subsides. Initially, the focus will remain firmly fixed on the Surf Coast as the easing swell continues to produce more accessible waves ranging anywhere from 3 to 5ft under light WNW winds. By Saturday morning conditions should be much more subdued across the Torquay reefs – and this may provide an opportunity to start searching further afield as winds fall away to light and variable during the afternoon. Otherwise, Sunday is shaping up as a great day to target a south facing stretch as lighter NNW winds greet a still mid to large SW swell running across exposed beaches.

Friday
Cranking across the Surf Coast. Subsiding SW groundswell. Sets around 5 – 8ft exposed beaches, easing to 5 – 6ft+ later. Grading to 3 – 5ft+ across the Surf Coast, easing later. WIND: WNW 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday
A mix of good options. Old SW swell reinforced by new WSW groundswell. Sets around 4 – 5ft+ exposed breaks early. Grading to 2 – 3ft+ at across the Surf Coast. WIND: NW 5 to 15 knots, tending light and variable later.

Sunday
Head for a south facing break. WSW groundswell 3 – 5ft across exposed locations, easing during the afternoon. Sets to 2 - 3ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: NNW 10 to 15 knots, freshening later.

SEE ALSO: The Two Waves You Wish Were Yours

The exposed beaches should return to form as winds swing to the north on Sunday. Photo: CW user TCH.

The exposed beaches should return to form as winds swing to the north on Sunday. Photo: CW user TCH.

Western Australia
The annual northern migration of Western Australian surfers during the Australian winter is about as predictable as any migratory species. Every year, they flock to higher latitudes in search of respite – both from the cold and the relentless onshore winds and storm-swell prevailing across the Southwest through the winter months. This weekend is typical of this pattern as days of strong onshore, W to NW winds coincide with oversized WSW swell; leaving very little in the way of rideable options Down South, while conversely providing days of excellent conditions across the Northwest.

Friday
Woeful. WNW wind swell overlapped by a building WSW groundswell. Southwest coast: 5-7ft, rising 10ft sets late. Perth/Mandurah: 2-3ft rising 4ft sets. WNW wind 15-20kts, easing for a period before freshening 20-25kts.

Saturday
Big and ugly down south, cranking up north. WSW groundswell holds solid under a fresh onshore NW tending WNW breeze. Southwest coast: Combined sea's and swell, 10-12ft. Perth/Mandurah: 3-4ft. NW winds 20-30kts tending WNW.

Sunday
Big and sketchy down south. Reinforced WSW swell under continued onshore WNW winds. Southwest coast: Stormy 10-12ft. Perth/Mandurah: Inconsistent 1-2ft. WNW winds 20-30kts.

One of these days the wind will swing offshore again across the Southwest - but it won't be over the course of this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

One of these days the wind will swing offshore again across the Southwest - but it won't be over the course of this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
This week’s heavy SW storm-swell finally settles down just in time for the weekend. Friday marks the final day of solid SW swell, still ranging from 3 to 5ft across the South Coast before settling to more user-friendly levels on Saturday and Sunday. A fairly stable NW to N wind-regime also comes into play over the next few days, making for clean conditions across the South Coast all weekend.

Friday
Easing SW swell 3 - 5ft South Coast beaches, easing during the day. Grading to 1 - 2ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: NW 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday
SSW groundswell 2 – 3ft+ South Coast breaks. Around 0.5 - 1ft across the Mid Coast,. WIND: NNW 5 to 15 knots, tending NNE later.

Sunday
New SW groundswell 3 - 4ft exposed South Coast beaches. Around 1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: N 10 to 20 knots.

Expect smaller, cleaner conditions opening up across the South Coast this weekend. Photo: CW user LJM.

Expect smaller, cleaner conditions opening up across the South Coast this weekend. Photo: CW user LJM.

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

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