Weekend Surf Forecast 23 - 25 September, 2016
COASTALWATCH | Weekend Surf Forecast
There’s nothing like a new board to get your froth on for the weekend – and that’s exactly what my colleague and I did at lunchtime today; picking up a couple of sexy little Rocket 9’s from Channel Islands to put the fun back in small to mid range waves. But enough with gratuitous board promotions.
There’s no shortage of wave activity underway around the country this weekend and the big news across the East Coast is a steep spike in S windswell that’s projected to top out at solid 6ft levels across the southern half of the NSW coast on Friday, marking a fleeting return to winter-like conditions before things settle down over the course of the weekend.
The close proximity of the associated low-pressure system to the southern NSW coast leaves more northern locations only partially exposed to the swell; so far northern NSW will only receive a comparatively modest 3 to 4ft pulse on Saturday – and this isn’t expected to amount to much more than 1 to 2ft across southern Queensland’s exposed venues.
Looking down south, Victoria sees a rare lull in wave-action on Saturday, with northerly winds producing a full day of small, clean waves across exposed beaches before the swell begins to pick up again on Sunday. Finally, the West Coast doesn’t fare too well over the next few days as a moderate/ strong onshore wind-regime keeps the appeal down to a bare minimum.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
The evolution of a complex low pressure system off the far southern NSW coast on Thursday night heralds the onset of a large spike in short-range S swell on Friday; probably topping out at an unruly 5 to 6ft plus across the most exposed south facing breaks. Although a short window of early WSW winds may offer up some rideable options at these venues, strengthening SSW winds will quickly write off conditions mid-morning.
The trick will be finding a southern corner both holding the swell and offering up good surface quality. The tail end of this episode will continue to produce good to excellent conditions throughout the weekend, with a rapid transition in swell direction from SE to ESE on Saturday and Sunday respectively opening up a wider range of surfable options on both days. Although Saturday will still be a little wind-effected, Sunday morning will be the pick for wave quality, with early westerlies greeting a well-organised ESE swell in the 3ft range.
Friday (SurfAid Cup Event In Manly)
Ragged S storm-swell. Large, short-period S swell peaks at solid 4 – 6ft+ south facing breaks. Grading smaller at anywhere from 2 – 6ft across open beaches depending on exposure. WIND: Early WSW 15 to 25 knots, shifting SSW 20 to 35 knots mid-late morning, then moderating to 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon.
Good quality chunks early, deteriorating later. Mix of S and SE swells. Sets to 3 – 4ft south facing beaches, grading to 2 – 4ft open breaks, easing and tending SE later. WIND: Early SW tending SSW to SSE during the day, then SE to ENE during the afternoon/ evening.
Excellent all morning. ESE swell. 2 – 3ft+ exposed breaks, up to a larger 3 – 4ft across the South Coast. WIND: WNW 5 to 15 knots, tending S and freshening during the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
It’s fair to say northern NSW - and more significantly southern Queensland coasts – are only partially exposed to the swell-producing SSW winds associated with a deep Tasman low currently forming off the far southern NSW coast. On the one hand, this means Saturday morning’s peak in S swell will fall well short of the 6ft plus size anticipated across the southern half of the NSW coast. On the other hand, there will be waves resulting for both regions all weekend; showing most size across northern NSW in the vicinity of 3 to 4ft plus, while wrapping in at comparatively tiny levels north of the border. The tail end scales back fairly dramatically by Sunday, producing better organised 1 to 3ft conditions under early light offshores.
Tiny and blown out. New S swell picks up. Up to 1 - 2ft northern NSW south facing breaks early, building towards 2 – 3ft during the afternoon. Around 1ft exposed southern QLD coasts. Virtually flat inside the points and bays. WIND: Early WSW 5 to 15 knots, tending light SE to NE during the afternoon.
Good conditions all day. S swell. 3 – 4ft+ across northern NSW coasts, easing during the afternoon. Grading to 1 - 2ft+ exposed QLD breaks and tiny/flat inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light WSW/SSW tending SE, then E/NE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.
Small to tiny leftovers. Mix of S and SE swells. Around 1 - 2ft across southern QLD coasts. Grading to 2 – 3ft across northern NSW south facing breaks and tiny inside the points and bays. WIND: WSW 5 to 15 knots, tending SE during the afternoon.
Surfing options are looking a little limited this weekend – at least compared to what the Victorian coastline usually offer up. Thursday’s strong onshore SSW winds are set to ease overnight, leaving a lumpy round of small to mid-range SW swell on offer on Friday – hardly ideal, but rideable across exposed breaks none the less.
Saturday is shaping up as the pick as smaller-scale SW leftovers coincide with a full day of NNE winds – and this is undoubtedly a prime day for heading to the states far south-west to get the most of the subdued energy. Just as the swell starts to pick up again on Sunday a renewed onshore SW airflow is set to spring up during the morning, resulting in a rapid deterioration in conditions as the day progresses.
Lumpy and junky. Leftover SW swell. Sets to 2 – 4ft exposed breaks, grading to 1 - 2ft across the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: Early light SSE to SSW, tending variable, then ESE later.
User friendly across the exposed beaches. Residual SW swell reinforced by small groundswell during the afternoon. Sets to 2 – 3ft across exposed beaches. Grading to a slow 1 – 2ft across the major Surf Coast breaks and tiny elsewhere. WIND: N 5 to 15 knots.
Deteriorating under freshening onshore winds. New WSW groundswell picks up. Sets around 2 – 4ft exposed breaks, rising to a choppy 3 – 5ft during the afternoon. Ranging from 1 – 2ft across the Surf Coast early, picking up to 1 – 3ft later. WIND: Early W tending WSW 15 to 25 knots during the day.
Smooshy. That’s how my Mrs describes surf-conditions when moderate or strong onshore winds prevail – and that about sums up what conditions will be like on Friday and Saturday. The presence of a slow moving high over the south-eastern Indian Ocean steers a succession of fronts across the Southwest Coast over the next couple of days; ensuring winds blow fresh out of the southwest on Friday before shifting WNW on Saturday. Better conditions should open up on Sunday as winds swing to the south at strength, opening up better options inside the bays.
SEE ALSO: Cranking Kegs In South Western Australia
Smooshy. Combination of windswell and SW groundswell and breezy SW flow. Southwest coast: textured 6-8ft with plus sets on open breaks. Perth/Mandurah: lumpy 2-3ft+. WSW wind 20-25kts, tending SW 10-15kt.
Lumpy. SW groundswell settles and decreases. Southwest coast: 4-6ft sets early, easing 4ft in afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: 2ft early, fading. W wind 10kt down south and calm in metro areas early, tending NW 10kt in afternoon.
Head of the bays. Smaller leftover SW groundswell. Southwest coast: 3-5ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft. Light W wind early, shifting S 10-15kt by midday.
There’s some good surfable options in the forecast window over the next few days. An overnight drop in SW swell sees still a still fun-sized 3ft surf on tap across South Coast beaches, with light to moderate NNE winds making for an ideal day to head for greener pastures. A further decline in energy by Saturday coincides with a strong SW change kicking in around midday, so it will be worth getting in early or otherwise waiting until winds drop off on Sunday. The onset of new round of SW groundswell should also see surf heights nudging back up to stronger 3 to 4ft levels across the South Coast, making for great conditions as winds become light during the day.
SEE ALSO: A Flurry Of SSW Groundswells For Indo
Easing SW groundswell. 2 – 3ft+ across exposed South Coast beaches early, easing during the afternoon. Grading to 1ft+ along the Mid Coast. WIND: NNE 10 to 15 knots tending lighter N later.
Clean early, deteriorating with the change. SW windswell picks up later. Around 1 – 3ft across the exposed South Coast beaches. Up to 1ft along the Mid Coast later. WIND: Early NNW 10 to 15 knots, turning W then WSW and freshening during the afternoon.
Pretty good all day. New SW swell 3 – 4ft across the exposed South Coast beaches. Around 1ft+ along the Mid Coast. WIND: Early inshore W/NW 10 to 15 knots tending light and variable later.
The final week of winter is turning it on, just about everywhere you look.
Bring on the weekend.
Winter isn't done yet.
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