The Weekend Surf Forecast 15 - 17 September 2017
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
Forecast issued Thursday, 14 September 2017
There’s all manner of new swells about to spring up this weekend – and that’s on top of pretty consistently good conditions that have already sprung around the country throughout the first fortnight of September. The NSW coast is probably the pick for quality and consistency over the next few days. Two back-to-back S pulses coinciding with two and a half out of three days of offshore winds, making for pretty good conditions for this time of year. Further north the acute southerly swell direction will translate into a substantially diluted episode across southern Queensland - so while there will still be some small, clean waves to be had, a drive south of the border may well be in order.
Down south, Victoria sees a pumping day of waves across the Surf Coast on Friday, followed by a full day of howling onshore on Saturday – pretty much making for a lay-day until conditions come good on Sunday. The arrival of a long-range SW groundswell coincides with a NW to NNE wind-shift on Sunday, making for good conditions across all coasts during the day. A similar pattern is also in place across South Australia, with Sunday shaping up as the pick as winds swing north.
Last but not least, the West Coast sees a pretty lacklustre weekend of mid-sized SW swell and predominantly onshore winds – and these conditions will have even less appeal in the context of pumping surf across the Southwest Coast on Thursday and Friday.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
What? Did we just skip spring and summer altogether and jump straight to autumn? September’s run of solid S swell and predominantly, westerly quarter winds doesn’t exactly feel like your typical spring conditions, but there are set to continue across the NSW coast all weekend. Friday sees a first pulse of mid-period S swell topping out at a solid 3 to 4ft across southern exposures under moderate to strong WSW winds – and these conditions should be fixed in place all day.
The tail end of this first pulse should drop back to a slower 1 to 3ft across the region as winds briefly swing to the northwest on Saturday morning; making for a great opportunity to target true south facing breaks before winds swing to the WSW once again during the afternoon.
The south-westerly shift heralds on the onset of another robust pulse of S swell; probably starting to show at solid 2 to 3ft plus levels across southern exposures on Saturday arvo, ahead of a more energetic push into the 3 to 5ft range by Sunday morning. It may, however, be well worth getting in early. Moderate WSW winds are forecast to swing south mid to late morning, before easing to lighter southeast during the afternoon.
Clean, mid period S swell. Sets around 3 – 4ft south facing breaks, grading to 2 – 3ft elsewhere. WIND: Early WSW 15 to 20 knots, easing to 5 to 15 knots during the day before freshening again into the afternoon.
Faded S swell. Sets to 2 - 3ft south facing breaks. Initially fading ahead of a renewed building trend in S swell during the afternoon. WIND: NW 10 to 15 knots, tending NNW ahead of a strong WSW to SSW change 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon.
New S swell peaks throughout the morning. Sets ranging from 3 – 5ft south facing beaches, grading to 2 – 4ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early WSW to SW 5 to 15 knots, tending S mid to late morning, then light SSE to ESE during the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Expect the usual wide ranging variances in surf-heights across the region as another round of S swell moves in this weekend. Friday marks the onset of a first, shorter period pulse that should see set waves topping out in the 3 to 4ft range across northern NSW exposed breaks. However, a deepwater SSW bias in the wave-train will translate into a wide variety of conditions; ranging from 2 to 3ft plus along northern NSW coast open beaches, to a smaller 1 to 3ft across southern Queensland coasts. Although deepwater wave-heights drops a couple of notches by Saturday, a notable increase in wave-period will make for another good day of surf both north and south of the border. Sunday then sees the arrival of second round of S swell; building in throughout the day to produce similar sized surf to Friday.
Short period S swell. Sets to 3 - 4ft northern NSW south facing breaks, grading to 2 – 3ft open beaches and easing marginally during the afternoon. Inconsistent sets to 1 - 2ft+ exposed QLD coasts, grading to 1ft+ or less elsewhere. WIND: Early WSW to SSW 5 to 15 knots, tending ENE to NE during the day, then NNE later.
Mid-period S groundswell fills in. Around 2 – 3ft+ exposed northern NSW breaks, wrapping at 1 – 2ft exposed QLD coasts and grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early WNW 5 to 15 knots, tending N to NNE and freshening during the afternoon.
Rising S swell throughout the day. 2 – 3ft sets exposed northern NSW breaks, early building to 3 – 4ft during the day. Grading to 1ft+ exposed Queensland beaches, bumping up later. Tiny to near flat inside the points and bays. WIND: Early NW to SW around dawn, preceding an early S change 15 to 25 knots, tending SSE during the day and SE into the arvo.
With the exception of Saturday, there are plenty of good reasons to surfing across Victoria this weekend. The Surf Coast beckons on Friday as a notable increase in SW swell coincides with fresh offshore WNW winds, making for a full day of clean conditions across the region. In contrast, Saturday morning may only be worthy of a dawn patrol at best across the Torquay reefs, with a strong SW change set to blow out conditions around sunrise. Otherwise, the vast majority of open Victorian coasts will be write off throughout Saturday – and that leaves Sunday as the only sensible option.
Sunday morning sees the addition of a long-period SW groundswell reinforcing surf heights across the state as early light winds, gradually turning to the north and northeast during the day. This should see excellent conditions opening up along the exposed beaches as the swell gradually subsides throughout the afternoon.
Stormy SW swell slowly settles throughout the day. Sets to 4 – 6ft+ exposed beaches. Sets up to 3 – 4ft along the Surf Coast early, bumping up later. WIND: WNW to NW 10 to 20 knots.
Reinforcing SW swell. Stormy 5 – 8ft exposed breaks early, easing to 5 – 6ft+ later. Grading to a bumpy 4 – 6ft across the Surf Coast, easing later. WIND: Early W inshore across the Surf Coast, otherwise SW 15 to 25 knots early, freshening to 20 to 30 knots.
Longer period SW groundswell peaks early. Sets to 4 – 6ft exposed beaches, easing throughout the afternoon. Grading to a clean 3 - 5ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light and variable tending NW 5 to 10 knots, then N to NE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.
You should have been here yesterday. That’s what people will be saying to you when you rock up to the car-park this weekend, hoping for a slice of Thursday and Friday’s perfection you saw on your mates phone. While Friday is primed to pump under early westerly winds and a rising SW groundswell, an onshore westerly flow is set to take the shine off conditions as the swell drops on Saturday. Likewise, freshening SSW winds will keep a lid on options throughout Sunday – but there should be some fairly good options inside the sheltered bays as the swell rebuilds into the afternoon.
Mid to large overlap in SW groundswell coupled with continued offshores. South West: 4-6ft+, rising 8ft sets at focal deep water reefs. Perth/Mandurah. 1-2ft, rising 3ft sets. WIND: E 10-20kts tending NE then variable into the afternoon.
Onshore winds return coupled with an easing swell. South West: Messy 3-5ft, easing. Perth/Mandurah: Messy 1-2ft. WIND: W 10-20kts, tending SW.
Large SW groundswell fills in under moderate SSW winds. South West coast: 4-5ft, rising 6ft+ sets. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft, rising 3ft sets. WIND: SSW 10-15kts easing later.
There’s a mixed bag of surfing conditions across the state this weekend – and none of it looks particularly appealing – at least until Sunday. Thursday’s substantial round of SW swell is set to pare back a foot or so by Friday; making for a reasonable day of 2 to 4ft cross-shore surf along the South Coast. Saturday, however, holds decidedly less appeal. A robust cold front sweeping over the coast on Saturday night leads in straight onshore SW to SE winds across the state on Saturday, making for junky, mushy conditions across all exposed breaks. The good news is we should be back in business by Sunday morning as offshore northerly quarter winds fan a reinforcing round of SSW groundswell; generating clean 2 to 4ft lines across the region all day.
Easing SSW swell. Ranging from 2 – 4ft exposed South Coast beaches, easing during the afternoon. WSW swell around 2ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots, tending W later.
Reinforcing SSW swell. Sets up to 3 – 4ft+ exposed South Coast breaks. WSW swell ranging from 1 – 2ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: SSW to SSE 15 to 20 knots, tending SE 10 to 15 knots later.
Reinforcing SSW groundswell gradually eases. Ranging from 2 – 4ft exposed South Coast breaks, smaller later. WSW swell around 1ft+ across the Mid Coast. WIND: NNE 15 to 25 knots, easing later.
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