Weekend Surf Forecast 9 - 11 March 2018

8 Mar 2018 1 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 8 March 2018

The kind of classic autumn conditions we all hope to see come the 1st March are yet to fully materialise around the country – but that doesn’t mean there’s no surf to be had. Southern Queensland is the midst of an energetic run of short-range SE tradewind swell that offers chunky, windblown conditions along exposed beaches and smaller, cleaner waves inside the points and bays. Unfortunately the bulk of the tradewind swell is bypassing much of the NSW coast, but the arrival of a new, underlying S groundswell will to some degree make up for the shortfall; probably translating into pretty good conditions along the more exposed beaches all weekend.

Further south, both Victoria and South Australia experience a lull in wave action that’s set to bottom out over the weekend; lending the focus to those beaches most exposed to the Southern Ocean storm-track. Further afield, the West Coast benefits from a more substantial, albeit windy round of SW groundswell; peaking at solid levels on Saturday before settling to a cleaner 4ft or so by Sunday morning.

Come on autumn, bring it on. Photo: Uploaded to CW by JonWright.

Come on autumn, bring it on. Photo: Uploaded to CW by JonWright.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
The persistent onshore airflow that’s been plaguing conditions all week is forecast to continue throughout Friday before finally starting to fade over the weekend. That should finally culminate in the kind of autumn conditions we’ve been waiting for as winds turn light west by Sunday morning, but it’s probably worth keeping your expectations low when it comes to surf.  Onshore winds aside, Friday probably holds the best swell-potential; derived from a still fun-sized ESE swell combining with an underlying S groundswell that should be packing some punch across southern exposures. Saturday should continue to see a mix of shorter period ESE and underlying S swells in the 3ft range before both swells start to fade on Sunday.

Friday
SE windswell mixes with small S groundswell. Sets ranging from 2 to 4ft exposed south facing breaks, grading to 1 to 3ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: SSE 10 to 15 knots, tending SE during the afternoon.

Saturday
ESE swell mixing with fading S groundswell. Sets ranging from 2 to 3ft+ exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure and easing during the afternoon. WIND: Early light SE around 5 to 10 knots, tending ESE during the day.

Sunday
Easing ESE swell. Ranging from 2 to 3ft exposed breaks early, easing later. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light W tending variable, then NE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday morning is shaping up as the pick for quality surf across the region. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Usixdesign.

Sunday morning is shaping up as the pick for quality surf across the region. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Usixdesign.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
It’s going to be hard not to feel a little nonplussed with this weekend’s conditions compared to the recent TC Gita-swell. On the upside, there’s plenty of waves on tap for many days to come.  A sustained run of short-period SE tradewind swell maintains chunky, onshore 4 to 5ft plus conditions south of the border throughout Friday and the weekend, while translating into a wide range of conditions as it wraps in across southern Queensland coasts. To be more specific, that should mean junky 3 to 5ft surf at more exposed beaches like Duranbah, wrapping at 2 to 4ft along the points. Having said that, the short-wave period and south-easterly direction won’t be doing much inside the more sheltered points like the Pass, Kirra and Noosa.

Friday
SE swell ranging from 4 to 5ft+ exposed northern NSW breaks, wrapping in at 3 to 5ft exposed QLD beaches and anywhere from 2 to 4ft inside the points and bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early lighter SSW inshore, tending SE 20 to 25 knots.

Saturday
SE swell. Solid sets ranging from 4 to 6ft exposed breaks, grading to 3 to 5ft exposed QLD beaches and smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early lighter SSW inshore, tending SE 20 to 25 knots.

Sunday
Easing SE swell. Ranging from 4 to 5ft+ exposed northern NSW breaks, wrapping at 3 to 5ft exposed QLD beaches and grading smaller inside the points and bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: Lighter SSW inshore tending SE at 15 to 25 knots.

It's not exactly barrels galore this weekend, but at least there's swell. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Robshot.

It's not exactly barrels galore this weekend, but at least there's swell. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Robshot.

Victoria
A fading SW swell hangs in at a fun size early on Friday before substantially departing by Saturday morning; leaving us with tiny, clean conditions along the exposed beaches. This looks small enough to warrant the use of your foamiest craft – or perhaps a surfing lesson. This sets the trend for Sunday morning as wave energy bottoms out across the region under light land-breezes. A subtle building trend in lnog-range SW groundswell is projected to get underway during Sunday arvo, but it now looks like it won’t be until Monday that any substantial increase makes its presence felt.

Friday
Reinforcing SSW groundswell. Sets ranging from 2 to 3ft+ along exposed beaches. Slower sets ranging from 1 to 3ft along the Surf Coast, easing later. WIND: Early light E to NE land-breezes tending light and variable, then SE around 10 knots later.

Saturday
Small-scale SW swell. Slow 2ft sets along exposed beaches, fading to 1 to 2ft during the arvo. Wrapping at 1ft+ or so along the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light and variable land-breezes tending light NE to SE to 10 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
New SW groundswell slowly builds. Potentially undersized at 1ft+ along exposed beaches early, rising to a slow 2 to 3ft during the afternoon. Near flat along the Surf Coast reefs early, bumping up marginally later. WIND: Early light NW turning SSW 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

The most exposed Victorian beaches will be your best bet for a few small, clean waves on Saturday morning. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Johnte.

The most exposed Victorian beaches will be your best bet for a few small, clean waves on Saturday morning. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Johnte.

Western Australia
The prospect of freshening SSE to SE winds on Friday and Saturday won’t exactly stoke the fire for those surfing the Southwest. Still, there’s no shortage of swell on tap with a new SW groundswell arriving just in time for Saturday morning; producing good, cross-offshore options at breaks holding the swell. Sunday morning, however, looms as the pick for quality this weekend. A favourable ESE wind-shift should see cleaner leftovers in the 4ft range across the more exposed breaks; probably making for great conditions all morning.

Friday
Minor overlap in mid period SW swell as winds freshen SSE. South West: Semi clean early, 2 to 3ft, rising 3 to 4ft later. Perth/Mandurah: Semi clean early, 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: SE 10 to 15 knots, freshening 20 to 25 knots SSE.

Saturday
Larger rise in SSW groundswell under fresh SE winds. South West: Cross offshore wind affected, 5 to 6ft+ with some inconsistency for the larger sets. Perth/Mandurah: Cross offshore wind affected, 1 to 1.5ft with possible 2ft sets at magnets. WIND: SE - SSE at 20 to 30 knots.

Sunday
Minor overlap in SSW groundswell under moderate to fresh ESE winds. South West coast: Mostly clean, 3 to 4ft+ with some inconsistency for the larger sets. Perth/Mandurah: Clean, 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: ESE at 20 to 25 knots, tending SE in the afternoon.

Sunday morning will be offering up the cleanest conditions across the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Dev Coote.

Sunday morning will be offering up the cleanest conditions across the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Dev Coote.

South Australia
You might be left wanting if you’re hunting around for some solid waves across South Australian this weekend. A steady decline in SW swell sees still fun-sized leftovers on Friday, fading away to small/ tiny 1 to 2ft levels by Saturday morning.  The good news is winds will be offshore early Saturday, so seeking out a fully exposed open break will be your best bet. Sunday sees similarly tiny swell, with any quality quickly eroding under strengthening onshore winds throughout the morning.

Friday
SSW swell eases off under continued favourable morning winds. South Coast: Clean, 1 to 3ft, largest at magnets, easing. Mid Coast: Clean, 0.5ft. WIND: Calm ENE to NE 5 to 10 knots, shifting SSE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
Swell bottoms out under continued favourable morning winds. South Coast: Clean, 1 to 2ft, largest at exposed magnets. Mid Coast: Clean although flat. WIND: Calm NNE 5 to 10 knots, shifting SSW 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
New SW groundswell slowly fills in under possible light winds prior to a fresh southerly change. South Coast: Possibly clean early, 1 to 2ft+, rising with some South wind swell in the mix later Mid Coast: Clean 0.5ft, rising 1ft. WIND: Possible light variable early before freshening Southerly 20 to 25 knots in the afternoon.

You'll have to search far and wide to find anything like this over the coming days. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jesse.

You'll have to search far and wide to find anything like this over the coming days. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jesse.


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