Weekend Surf Forecast 29 - 31 July, 2016

22 Jul 2016 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | Weekend Surf Forecast


Forecast issued Thursday, 28 July 2016

A typical winter swell-and-wind pattern remains in full effect around the continent during the final days of July. Across the entire NSW coast there’s a non-stop run of mid-sized southerly groundswell inbound, coinciding with offshore or light winds to produce a full weekend of excellent surf. As is typical of southerly swells, the Queensland coast is mostly bypassed by the swell, so a drive south of the border may be on the cards. In contrast, Victoria’s extreme exposure to the Southern Ocean storm track makes for another highly energetic weekend of waves; ranging well overhead across exposed beaches to a clean 3 to 4ft across the Surf Coast. This also applies to South Oz, as mid-sized SW swell coincides with mostly favourable winds all weekend. Finally, over west, conditions are again typically unruly; dominated by howling onshore winds and huge SW storm-swell peaking on Sunday. 

SEE ALSO: The Essential Board Bag Guide For Surf Travel

Winter remains in full-effect around the continent this weekend. Photo: Penny Kempe.

Winter remains in full-effect around the continent this weekend. Photo: Penny Kempe.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
It’s easy to get complacent at this time of year. After weeks – even months of consistent swell and offshore winds, it’s easy to look at a clean 2 to 4ft day and say “whatevs”, knowing the next day and the one after that will be just as good - or even better. That pretty much applies to the forecast this weekend. Consecutive pulses of southerly groundswell overlap to produce a string of clean offshore days, ranging anywhere from 2 to 5ft depending on when and where you look.

Friday
Awesome winter conditions. S groundswell. Sets peaking at 3 - 5ft south facing breaks, possibly undersized early. Easing during the afternoon. Grading to 2 – 4ft across east facing breaks with size depending on exposure. WIND: W 10 to 15 knots, tending WSW later.

Saturday
Picking up during the afternoon. Mid period S swell. Around 2 - 3ft south facing breaks, picking up to 3 – 4ft during the afternoon. Grading to 1 – 3ft elsewhere. WIND: WSW 5 to 15 knots, tending light S to SE, then NE later.

Sunday
Cranking all day. New S groundswell. Sets to 3 – 4ft+ south facing beaches early. Ranging from 2 – 4ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: NW 5 to 15 knots, tending light and variable to N later.

Mid sized S groundswell + offshore winds = Pretty good fun.

Mid sized S groundswell + offshore winds = Pretty good fun.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
The mid-winter southerly swell-regime continues to dominate proceedings across the East Coast this weekend – once again making for divergent wave-heights depending on where you find yourself. In other words, the surf is going to remain small to tiny across southern Queensland coasts, while it continues to pump at anywhere from 2 to 5ft across northern NSW breaks depending on where and when you look. Saturday morning sees a first peak in S groundswell generating solid surf across northern NSW southern exposures under early westerly breeze. Although it’s set to ease a notch or two by Sunday morning, the arrival of a new S groundswell throughout the day should see set waves pushing back up into the 3 to 4ft range across exposed breaks during the afternoon, making for a full weekend of excellent surfing.

Friday
Excellent south of the border. Mid period S swell. Sets around 2 - 3ft exposed northern NSW breaks, grading to 1ft or virtually flat across southern QLD coasts. WIND: Early light WSW/ SSW 5 to 15 knots tending light SE to NE later.

Saturday
S groundswell peaks early. Sets to 3 - 4ft exposed northern NSW breaks, grading to 1 – 3ft across southern QLD coasts, easing during the afternoon. WIND: SW/ SSW 5 to 15 knots tending SSE during the afternoon.

Sunday
Cranking from Byron south. New S groundswell picks up. Around 2 – 3ft+ northern NSW south facing breaks early, bumping up to 3 – 4ft+ during the afternoon. Wrapping into southern Qld coasts around 1ft+, bumping up later. WIND: Early light WNW tending N 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

It's a case of the haves and have-nots this weekend; the former being northern NSW and the latter southern Queensland. Photo: CW user PalmySurfer.

It's a case of the haves and have-nots this weekend; the former being northern NSW and the latter southern Queensland. Photo: CW user PalmySurfer.

Victoria
Make hay while the sun shines is the call this weekend. Not that it’s going to be sunny the whole time; indeed there are medium chances of showers across Victoria’s coastal fringes all weekend – but the surf will be cracking. A steady run of large WSW and SW swells range from 3 to 4ft across the major Surf Coast reefs under predominant westerly quarter winds for days at a stretch. Even some of the more south facing stretches should turn as winds briefly swing to the north and freshen on Saturday – and then again on Monday morning.

Friday
Cracking winter day. WSW groundswell. Ranging from 4 - 6ft across exposed beaches. Wrapping into Surf Coast breaks around 3 - 4ft. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots, tending W.

Saturday
Groundhog day. Reinforcing SW swell. Sets around 4 – 6ft exposed beaches. Grading to 3 – 4ft across the Surf Coast, easing later. WIND: NW 10 to 15 knots, tending N and freshening during the afternoon.

Sunday
A little smaller, but still good. SW groundswell. Around 4 – 5ft across exposed beaches. Wrapping into Surf Coast breaks around 2 - 3ft+. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots, tending lighter NW during the afternoon.

The Surf Coast - among other spots - has good waves on tap for days and days. Photo: CW user Mark_H.

The Surf Coast - among other spots - has good waves on tap for days and days. Photo: CW user Mark_H.

Western Australia
Friday morning presents a small window of opportunity – just a crack in the door staying open till mid morning – at which point onshore winds and rising storm-swell are set to write off the majority of breaks across the Southwest, while rendering Perth’s metro beaches to mush. A strengthening, pre-frontal northerly flow setting on Friday precedes a shift to the WNW on Saturday. It won’t be until Sunday that a shift to the WSW and SW opens up some surfable options inside the sheltered points and bays, but with wind-speeds of 30 to 40 knots forecast, it won’t exactly be champagne surfing.

Friday
Go early or stay in bed. Reinforced SSW swell under NE winds early, freshening N'ly. Southwest coast: 5-7ft. Perth/Mandurah: Inconsistent 1-2ft. NE winds 5-10kts, freshening 20-30kts NW'ly.

Saturday
Just stay in bed. Rising combo of sea's and swell under a strong onshore W'ly breeze. Southwest coast: 6-8ft, rising 10ft sets late. Perth/Mandurah: 2-3ft. West wind 20-30kts freshening WNW 40kts.

Sunday
Sniff around the sheltered breaks. Extra large SW swell fills in under strong onshore SW-SSW winds. Southwest coast: 15-18ft, rising with 20ft+ sets at open ocean breaks. Perth/Mandurah: 4ft+, rising 6ft+ sets. WSW winds 30-40kts easing SSW 20-30kts.

This photo is not designed to be representative of surfing conditions across the region this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

This photo is not designed to be representative of surfing conditions across the region this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
There’s another full weekend of good winter conditions in store  a sustained run of mid-sized SW swell coincides with a predominant WNW airflow. The swell initially eases a notch on Friday ahead of a new round of SW swell filling in on Saturday; pushing set waves back up to solid a 3 to 4ft across the South Coast before settling slightly on Sunday. With the exception of a SW change on Saturday morning, a favourable WNW wind-regime should see mostly clean conditions across the South Coast all weekend.

Friday
Easing SSW swell 2 - 3ft+ South Coast beaches. Grading to 1ft+ across the Mid Coast. WIND: NW 10 to 20 knots.

Saturday
New SSW swell 2 – 4ft South Coast breaks. Around 0.5- 1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light NNE tending N and freshening to 15 to 25 knot during the day.

Sunday
Leftover SSW swell reinforced by new SW swell during the day. Around 2 - 3ft exposed South Coast beaches,. Around 0.5 - 1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: WNW 5 to 15 knots, tending N during the day.

Conditions look rippable across the South Coast all weekend. Photo: CW user GreyC.

Conditions look rippable across the South Coast all weekend. Photo: CW user GreyC.


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