The Weekend Surf Forecast 16 - 18 December, 2016
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
Forecast issued Thursday, 15 December 2016 by Katie Jackson
The holiday season is here and prepare yourself because weekend crowds are getting thick. Everyone’s keen to get a surf in, weather its to take advantage of the school holidays or just to escape the family nuttiness. With that said, there are at least a few options across the continent for surf this weekend.
Western Australia shows clean off shore winds and this looks to be the pick with overlapping SW swells and groomed midrange surf both Friday and Saturday. The east coast shows a SE swell easing on New South Wales coasts, while a steady small run of E tradeswell persists in Queensland. Across the Bight, a low will transition eastward Saturday and offers cleaned up and fair surf for Sunday morning. That same low will pass the South Coast of NSW Sunday morning, initiating a southerly swell and breezy southerly wind in the Tasman early next week.
On another note, tides should also be kept in mind for conditions as we are just coming off a full moon and large tide swings are still in effect.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
We should see slightly more consistency and a touch more size of SE swell Friday morning under easing SE wind. That SE swell fades and combines with newly developing ridge of high pressure in the central Tasman Saturday, making for cleanest conditions of the weekend. A N wind along the central coast could also refract a small amount of NNE waves down south Saturday, however, a fresh S'ly change is expected again by Sunday. Expect a rapid increase of messy, short period S swell that will increase wave heights Sunday, along with an overlapping S'ly groundswell down south.
SE swell mix continues. Potential short lived ESE swell early, mixing with fading levels of S groundswell. 2-3ft+ with occasional sets on open areas. WIND: SE 10 knots early, tending variable to light ESE late.
Settling, calm conditions early. Fading levels of SE swell mixed with a small NNE swell wrap. 1-3ft at exposed beaches, settling with calm morning conditions. WIND: Light NW early, tending to light sea breeze in afternoon.
Strong S’ly shift deteriorates conditions. New S windswell episode increases. Rising textured 3–4ft south exposed breaks, tending 1-2ft in bays and points. WIND: S 15-25 knots early, tending SE and easing 10-15 knots later.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
A high pressure system situated to our east is projecting a stable low level run of small E to ENE trade swell throughout the forecast period. This E tradeswell will linger along with additional background levels of S swell across northern NSW on Friday and Saturday. Conditions show clean mornings followed by afternoon sea breezes from the NE. This makes early mornings the better option on the rising tide at dawn patrol before onshores and low tide create crumbly and weak conditions in the afternoons.
SEE ALSO: Thank You Dbah For Tuesday Waves
Early best option on open areas. ENE swell 1-2ft exposed beaches. Refracted long period south swell shows inco sets at south exposed breaks. 2 – 3ft. Light N wind to 10 knots early, tending NE in afternoon to 15 knots.
Steady small swell mix. ENE wind swell holds small, 1-3ft exposed beaches. Small S sets cross in. Wind N to NW 5-10kt early, freshening NE 15 to 20 knots later.
Small with possible SE shift late. Mix of E tradeswell and SE windswell late, 1-3ft exposed beaches, smaller inside the points and bays. Calm early, tending SE 10-15kts in afternoon and rising late.
SE swell will decrease Friday and sets slowly organise with easing light to variable SE winds. Another forecasted polar low will gradually intensify as it moves below Tasmania on Saturday. This system will brush Victoria and lead to a W to SW wind shift through Saturday afternoon. Expect a rise of short to mid-period WSW waves Saturday afternoon, while Surf coast will be generally shadowed from the initial swell push. Sunday should see more SW waves refracting into the state for a slight increase and surf and conditions begin to improve as winds return light.
Settling with light wind. Decreasing SW swell. Easing 3 – 5ft exposed breaks early then fading. Grading to 2 – 4ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light and variable, tending to seabreeze.
Clean early then arvo wind shift. 2-3ft early, building lumpy WSW swell 3 – 5ft across exposed beaches in afternoon. Grading to 1-2ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early W to 10 knots, rising SSW 20 to 30 knots.
Combo swell. New SW swell mixes with residual windswell. Crossed sets 4 - 5ft across exposed beaches early, settling down to 3ft through the day. Grading 2-3ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light S shifting SE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon..
Clean and fair conditions over the next couple mornings before winds turn onshore Sunday. A slight pulse in SW swell Friday will be overlapped with mid period SW swell Saturday morning. Sunday is looking ordinary as winds rotate onshore from the SSW. Full moon tides will continue to influence surfing conditions over the next few days.
SEE ALSO: The New Romantic
Overlapping mid range SW swell under fresh SE winds. Southwest coast: 3-4ft, rising 3-5ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft, rising 1.5ft. WIND: SE at 20-25kts tending 30kts SSE'ly.
Mid-range SW swell, morning offshore winds. Southwest coast: 3-4ft+, into bigger sets early. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft+. WIND: E at 10-15kts shifting 15kts SSW.
Ease in SW swell under onshore SSW winds. Southwest coast: 2-4ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1ft. WIND: SSW at 15-20kt freshening 25kts.
A settling trend of winds and waves occurs Friday with SE winds easing off and turning calm under low cloud cover. Expect a cleaner mix of decreased swell before another low pressure system passes in the Bight will produce low range SW swell Saturday into Sunday. Small reinforcement of 2-3ft+ sets hold for the weekend and conditions will show favourable with a light wind expected under fair high pressure weather. This should make the small swell shapely on areas capturing the inconsistent sets for decent conditions for a big board Sunday.
Improving conditions early. SW swell decreases. Size settles 3 - 4ft exposed South Coast beaches, easing in afternoon. Wrapping around 0.5-1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early calm, tending SW 10 knots during the afternoon.
Low-level new SW swell. 2 - 3ft+ across exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to 0.5-1ft along the Mid Coast. WIND: Earl light SW 5 knots, tending S 10 knots later.
Clean with small SW swell. Sets 2-3ft exposed South Coast beaches. Grading 0.5ft along the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light E, tending SE to 10 knots later.
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