Weekend Surf Forecast 7 - 10 July, 2017
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
Forecast issued Thursday, 6 July 2017
There are the haves and have-nots of surf around the country this weekend. The majority of the NSW coast falls into the latter category; being effectively becalmed by a heavily subdued phase in frontal activity. The onset of a light to moderate westerly wind-regime sees clean virtually flat conditions, with trace levels of S swell in the 1ft range probably as good as it’s going to get. The only exception is further up the coast, where a long-range ESE groundswell will show at respectable 3ft levels across southern Queensland and far northern NSW on Friday, before slowly tapering off again over the course of the weekend.
Down south, Victoria and South Australia both sees no shortage of SW swell offering up surfable conditions across all coasts. These range from smaller, cleaner 2 to 4ft waves across Victoria’s Surf Coast and SA’s Mid Coast, grading to a larger and more wind-affected 3 to 6ft across the exposed beaches. Sunday is shaping up as the pick across both states as the arrival of long-period SW groundswell coincides with WNW winds.
Over west, the surf will be typically energetic, with a rising SW groundswell set to peak on Saturday morning in the 6 to 8ft range under fluky SSE to SW winds. Conditions improve by Sunday morning as lighter NE winds greet the tail end of this pulse, making for a great morning of waves across the Southwest before winds swing north during the day.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
There are plenty of words I could use to describe the surf forecast for this weekend. Miniscule is a good one. Even infinitesimal works, but effectively flat is probably the best. It’s fair to say that if you ride a short-board, you can just about forget about surfing this weekend. Of course there’s always exceptions; namely grommets and learners, and if you’re on a SUP or a mal, you could justify paddling out – for a chat with your mates if nothing else.
If you’re desperate, Friday morning probably offers up your best chances for some diminutive sets qualifying as 1 to 2ft across south facing breaks. From there it’s set to fade into the sub-one foot range and persist at almost non-existent levels all weekend. The flat spell is the knock on effect of an entrenched zonal pattern; characterised by a light to moderate westerly airflow that’s too weak to offer up any notable spread in S swell along the NSW coast. The upside is ultra-clean surface and water quality; ideally suited to a few laps or a quick dip.
Slight refracted S swell mixing with tiny ESE swell. Slow 1 – 2ft max south facing breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. Fading during the afternoon. WIND: WNW to NW 5 to 15 knots.
Slight S swell. Sets to 1ft south facing breaks, virtually flat elsewhere. WIND: Early WNW 5 to 15 knots tending W during the afternoon.
Slight S swell up to 1ft south facing breaks, otherwise virtually flat. WIND: Early light WNW tending WSW during the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
A good way to look at the short-term forecast is in the context of what’s appearing on the mid to long-term outlook. In this case, the latter shows tiny to near flat conditions prevailing next week – and that means it’s worth milking the inbound ESE groundswell for all it’s worth. Although only small in height, this long-range pulse exhibits impressive peak periods in the 14 to 15 second band as the bulk of swell arrives on Friday; strong enough to produce long-lined 2 to 3ft waves with scope for occasional bigger 4ft sets at locations focussing the deepwater energy.
Having said that, you’ll also need a good dose of patience as long lulls separate the sets; owing to the vast, 2000 plus nautical mile distance between the swell’s origin and the coast. In the wake of Friday’s peak in energy, Saturday morning should continue to offer up slower 2 to 3ft sets, preceding a continued to decline culminating in slower 1 to 2ft leftovers on Sunday. Light offshore to variable winds prevail throughout, making for excellent surface quality for days to come.
Long range ESE swell peaks. Inconsistent sets ranging from 2 - 3ft+ exposed breaks. Grading to 1 - 3ft inside the points and bays. WIND: WNW 5 to 15 knots.
Mix of fading ESE swell, south swells. Slow sets ranging from 2 - 3ft exposed breaks early, grading to 1 – 2ft inside the points and bays, easing. WIND: WSW to SW 10 to 15 knots tending light and variable during the afternoon.
Residual ESE swell. Slow sets ranging from 1 - 2ft exposed breaks early, near flat inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light WSW to SW tending light and variable S to SE later.
The Surf Coast continues to fare better when it comes to surface quality over the next few days. A persistent north-westerly wind-regime continues to groom mostly small-scale surf on Friday and Saturday; fluctuating around the 1 to 3ft mark across the Torquay reefs, while amounting to a larger, more wind-affected 3 to 4ft along the exposed beaches. Come Sunday the swell is set to muscle up significantly with the arrival of a new, long-period SW groundswell. This is looking substantial enough to result in plenty of hard 4 to 6ft work across exposed stretches, while translating into far more appealing 3 to 5ft lines across the Surf Coast.
Easing SW swell. Sets around 3 – 4ft exposed beaches early, easing during the afternoon. Grading to an inconsistent 1 - 3ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: NNW 10 to 15 knots, tending NW during the arvo.
SW swell crossed with slight W windswell. Around 2 - 3ft+ exposed beaches early, picking up to 3 – 4ft later. Slow sets around 1 – 2ft across the Surf Coast, bumping up during the arvo. WIND: WNW to NW 10 to 20 knots, tending W later.
New SW groundswell. Sets around 4 – 6ft exposed beaches early. Grading to 3 – 5ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: WNW to NW 10 to 20 knots.
Liquorice all-sorts. That pretty much sums up the forecast for the next few days. Friday morning starts out with a solid building trend in SW groundswell under onshore SW winds that will leave little to the imagination. From there conditions progressively improve as winds veer to the south on Friday afternoon, before falling away to a light and fluky S to SE early on Saturday. This should see some large, albeit still lumpy 6 to 8ft sets across the exposed breaks, deteriorating a little as winds turn back to the southwest during the day. Sunday morning is probably the pick as light inshore N to NE winds open up some good 3 to 5ft options across exposed stretches – and it will be well worth making the most of this window before moderate northerly winds switch it off again during the afternoon.
Overlapping pulse in SW groundswell. South West: 4-6ft+, rising sets into the day. Perth/Mandurah. 1-2ft+. WIND: SSW 15 - 20kts easing. Lighter S’ly tending variable across Metro waters.
SW groundswell eases under light winds. South West: 6-8ft early, easing. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft+, easing. WIND: S - SSE 10kts tending SW. Light ESE morning winds Perth/Mandurah.
Ease in SW swell under light NE tending N’ly winds. South West coast: 3-5ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1-1.5ft, 2ft sets early at exposed magnets. WIND: 5-10kts NE tending N’ly 10-15kts.
Friday aside, it’s shaping up as a typically good winter weekend of waves across the state. A vigorous cold front moving across the coast on Friday leads in near-gale force westerlies during the morning, making for cold, cross-shore conditions across the South Coast, grading to 2 to 3ft mush across the Mid. The westerlies will gradually ease Friday arvo and by Saturday morning we should be back in business. The arrival of a small to mid sized round of SW swell should keep wave-heights hovering around the 2 to 3ft range under lighter WNW winds across the South Coast throughout Saturday. This precedes stronger push in SSW groundswell into the 3 to 4ft plus range on Sunday as the W to NW wind-regime persists.
Fading SW groundswell reinforced by new WSW swell. Ranging from 1 – 3ft exposed South Coast beaches, picking up later. Around 0.5ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early NNW 15 to 30 knots, tending W 25 to 35 knots during the morning, then easing later.
Easing SW swell reinforced by new SSW groundswell later. Clean sets 2 – 3ft+ exposed South Coast breaks. Around 0.5ft across the Mid Coast, smaller later. WIND: WNW to NW 10 to 15 knots.
New SSW groundswell. Sets 3 – 4ft+ exposed South Coast breaks, easing into the afternoon. Around 0.5 - 1ft across the Mid Coast, smaller later. WIND: WNW 5 to 15 knots.
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