November's Swell Outlook For Australia

28 Oct 2016 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Bodysurfing the bigger swell last week, Photo by Ian McDonald

Bodysurfing the bigger swell last week, Photo by Ian McDonald

MONTHLY SWELL OUTLOOK | COASTALWATCH PLUS EXCLUSIVE

Issued 28 October 2016 

To view this exclusive outlook, swell alerts and extended forecasts, sign up to Coastalwatch Plus and you will receive a FREE Ocean & Earth board bag!

NSW

The transitional month of November continues to produce sudden, Jekyll and Hyde like shifts in conditions; featuring warm, summer like air temperatures and small-scale NE windswell one day, and a fresh spike in S swell the next. Like October, the vast majority of these swell events are likely to be short in period and small-in-scale; mostly coming in below the 10-second mark while ranging anywhere from 1 to 3ft. Of course, as we saw in late October the Tasman Sea is capable of producing major swell events anytime of year, so stay tuned to the detailed forecasts.

Queensland

Although an early season easterly tradewind swell failed to materialise through the month of October, the inexorable build-up to cyclone season means the chances of an early season E swell-event will continue to rise throughout November. With El Nino Southern Oscillation indicators persisting at neutral to weak La Nina levels, the chances of an early-season cyclone-swell are slightly elevated – and we’ll be scouring the long-range models for first sniff of tropical activity brewing over the Coral Sea.

Victoria and South Australia

A still active Southern Ocean storm-track sees large surf prevailing across exposed regions into late October - and it looks like this activity will continue a moderate to strong levels into early November. Beyond that, a continued southward shift of the high pressure belt promises all manner of conditions; ranging from small to mid range SW swells with less-frequent, large-scale episodes continuing to materialise. At one end of the scale, there’s also potential for deepening inland low/ trough systems to generate periods of strong, easterly quarter winds and stormy periods of easterly windswell.  At the other, potential for stagnating high pressure over the southeast of the continent holds potential for periods of excellent conditions across exposed stretches as N to NE winds coincide with smaller scale SW swell.

Western Australia

It’s fair to say the transitional months of autumn and spring are the optimum windows for surfing across the Southwest Coast. Whereas winter is typically plagued with consecutive days of strong onshore winds and huge storm-swell – interspersed with a few good days – months like November can be quite the opposite. The general trend is for lower frequency of large episodes in the 4 to 8ft range –and by that you’re still looking at large events taking place once per week or once a fortnight. Either side of these larger events, you can usually look forward to consistent surf in the 2 to 5ft range, with predominant early light E to SE winds giving way to S to SW winds during the afternoons.

Western Australia on the pump on Wednesday, Photo by Peter Jovic

Western Australia on the pump on Wednesday, Photo by Peter Jovic


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