Weekend Surf Forecast 21 - 23 October, 2016

20 Oct 2016 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | Weekend Surf Forecast

Forecast issued Thursday, 20 October 2016

Summer one day, winter the next. Extreme swings in both weather and surfing conditions are pretty standard fare this time of year – and that’s precisely what’s in store around the country this weekend.

Across the NSW coast a strong southerly change bring about a brief return of winter; featuring steep rising SSE swell and robust southerly winds that will culminate in chunky onshore conditions throughout Sunday. The bulk of this event won’t fill in across northern NSW and southern Queensland until early next week – and until then the region will continue to rely on small-scale ENE swell for a few waves.

Further south, Victoria and South Australia both feel the brunt of a strong SW airflow on Saturday; strong enough to put surfing on the back-burner for all but the most hardened – or desperate among us. Across the West Coast, Huey has finally laid out the welcome matt. A combination light, mostly favourable winds and small-scale SW swell should make for a full weekend of pretty user-friendly conditions, with exposed Southwest breaks probably benefiting the most.

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There should be plenty of corners to be found this weekend. Photo: CW user Coogeephoto.

There should be plenty of corners to be found this weekend. Photo: CW user Coogeephoto.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
The forecast is looking a little wintery this weekend, so it’s well worth making the most of Friday’s user-friendly conditions while they last. Expect warm – even hot temperatures, with plenty of sunshine, northerly winds and small NE windswell to boot.

The arrival of a strong southerly change on Saturday morning brings about a tectonic shift in conditions during the day. Come Sunday morning, you’ll either be back in full wetsuit and braving the elements – or perhaps still tucked away underneath a doona. Either way the arrival of a cold front across the region early on Saturday leads in a strong southerly airflow and a steep building trend in S swell that’s set to peak on Sunday; potentially reaching the 4 to 6ft plus mark late in the day. If you have time up your sleeve, early to mid next week is likely to provide a much better window of opportunity for some good quality surf state-wide.

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Friday
Solid and semi-clean. Short range NE windswell. 1 - 2ft+ exposed open breaks, picking up towards 2 – 3ft later. WIND: Early Light NNW tending NNE 15 to 25 knots.

Saturday
Go early for the best of it. Fading NE windswell 1 - 3ft exposed open beaches early. Superseded by new S swell rising to 1 – 3ft during the day and up to a windblown 2 – 3ft+ south facing beaches during the late afternoon/ evening. WIND: Early SSW change 15 to 25 knots tending S 20 to 30 knots during the day.

Sunday
Look for shelter. SSE swell. Consistent 3 – 5ft south facing breaks early, building to 4 – 6ft+ during the afternoon. Ranging anywhere from 2 – 5ft open beaches with size depending on exposure. WIND: SSW 20 to 30 knots, tending SSE during the afternoon.

There's a chunky looking S swell inbound across the NSW coast this weekend, with plenty more in store early to mid next week. Photo: CW user Qynstynimages.

There's a chunky looking S swell inbound across the NSW coast this weekend, with plenty more in store early to mid next week. Photo: CW user Qynstynimages.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
It looks like pretty slim pickings across the region this weekend. Friday marks a high-point in low-scale ENE swell – if that makes sense; nudging up above 2ft across exposed beaches under a still fresh northerly airflow. This energy scales down again on Saturday preceding the welcome arrival of a strong southerly change and associated rising trend in SSE swell. Unfortunately, this doesn’t look like showing with much size until early next week, and it looks like it’s well worth setting some time aside for this event while it lasts.

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Friday
Peak in junky ENE windswell. Around 1 - 3ft exposed breaks. Mixing with S swell at lower levels across northern NSW south facing breaks. WIND: Early light N to NNE tending NE 10 to 20 knots.

Saturday
Small to tiny and cleanest early. ENE windswell. Up to 1 - 2ft exposed breaks, fading later. Smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early NNW tending N 10 to 20 knots later.

Sunday
Smaller, cleaner leftovers. Rising SSE windswell. Junky 1 – 3ft northern NSW south facing breaks early, picking up to 2 – 4ft during the afternoon., grading to 1ft across southern QLD coasts, picking up to 1 – 2ft+ later. Smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early S change 15 to 25 knots, tending SSE 20 to 30 knots during the day.

Small-scale ENE swell persists as the dominant wave energy across southern Queensland this weekend. Photo: CW user Dkimber.

Small-scale ENE swell persists as the dominant wave energy across southern Queensland this weekend. Photo: CW user Dkimber.

Victoria
It’s not exactly looking scintillating across Victoria over the next few days – but there will be some opportunities to get wet if you time it right. Friday morning is looking like a pretty good one to hit up southern exposures, with strong offshore winds holding up a solid SW swell at these venues.

The offshore winds look strong enough to be a nuisance, but it’s got to be better than onshore winds of the same strength – and that’s about what’s in store for Saturday. The passage of a strong front across Bass Strait leads in fresh SW winds across the state on Saturday morning – and they’re set to swing SSW and freshen during the day. Although onshore southerly winds will still be in place on Sunday, they should be puffing at much lighter strengths of 5 to 15 knots; thereby opening up still lumpy, but rideable options as the day progresses.

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Friday
Good across southern exposures early, better across the Surf Coast later. Reinforcing SW groundswell fills in. Around 3 – 5ft exposed coasts early, rising to 4 – 5ft+ during the afternoon. Sets to 2 – 3ft+ across the Surf Coast, bumping up during the day. WIND: Early NNW 20 to 35 knots shifting W 15 to 25 knots during the morning.

Saturday
Forget about it. SW swell. Around 3 – 5ft exposed coasts, grading to 2 – 3ft+ across the Surf Coast. WIND: SW 15 to 25 knots, tending SSW 20 to 30 knots, then easing later.

Sunday
Slowly improving. SW swell. Sets to 3 – 4ft exposed breaks. Grading to 1 - 3ft along the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: S 5 to 15 knots, easing later.

South facing breaks will be worth a squiz as gusty N winds prevail on early on Friday. Photo: CW user Jake Hayes.

South facing breaks will be worth a squiz as gusty N winds prevail on early on Friday. Photo: CW user Jake Hayes.

Western Australia
Compared to most weekend’s we’ve seen so far this spring, this one is looking very user friendly. The Southern Indian Ocean storm track has finally taken a breather; allowing SW swell-levels to recede to some of the lowest levels we’ve seen all year. Having said that, Friday morning still looks solid; ranging anywhere between 4 to 6ft across the exposed Southwest coast under early light offshore winds.

Saturday then sees a slow easing trend in wave energy as leftover SSW swell slowly eases – again making for a pretty good opportunity to hit up the exposed reefs as early ENE winds tend N later in the day. The arrival of a weak southerly change early on Sunday morning doesn’t hold quite the same appeal - but it will remain relatively light – light enough to keep options open as a new SW groundswell starts to bump up during the afternoon.

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Friday
Good all morning. Overlapping mid period SSW swell under a favourable offshore flow. Southwest coast: Clean 4-6ft, easing. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft. E'ly winds 10-15kts tending variable then SSW 20kts.

Saturday
Hit up an exposed reef. Wave heights ease under favourable offshore winds. Southwest coast: Clean 2-3ft+, easing. Perth/Mandurah: Clean 1ft+. ENE winds 10-15kts tending variable in the afternoon.

Sunday
Exposed stretches have the most. Overlapping small SW swell builds through the afternoon. Southwest coast: Clean 2-3ft, rising. Perth/Mandurah: 0.5-1ft. ESE winds 10kts tending SW 5-10kts.

Calmer conditions open up some of the most accessible options across the West Coast seen for some time. Photo: CW user SoulSurfer1000

Calmer conditions open up some of the most accessible options across the West Coast seen for some time. Photo: CW user SoulSurfer1000

South Australia
In the short term it’s not looking pretty across the region. Although the swell will be bolstered by an overnight push in mid-period energy on Friday, an overnight SW change will add little appeal to the new swell; making for strong-onshore 3 to 4ft conditions all day. Saturday holds better potential for still onshore, but improving wave-quality as smaller SSW swell hangs in around the 3ft mark across the South Coast. It won’t be until Sunday that an emerging high pressure system exerts a calming influence over local conditions; producing a better quality day of 2 to 3ft waves across the state, with an increase in size likely to manifest during the afternoon.

Friday
Pretty ugly all-round. SSW swell 3 – 4ft+ across exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to 1ft+ along the Mid Coast. WIND: WSW to SW 15 to 25 knots.

Saturday
Pretty good all day. SSW swell. Sets to 2 – 3ft+ across the exposed South Coast beaches, easing during the afternoon. Around 1ft or less along the Mid Coast later. WIND: S 15 to 20 knots, easing during the afternoon.

Sunday
Small and clean early. New SW groundswell fills in. Slow 2 – 3ft across the exposed South Coast beaches, bumping up to 2 – 4ft during the afternoon. Tiny along the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light E tending light and variable during the day and S to SE later.

Strong onshore winds on Friday give way to improving conditions across the state this weekend. Photo: CW user GreyC.

Strong onshore winds on Friday give way to improving conditions across the state this weekend. Photo: CW user GreyC.

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