Weekend Surf Forecast 29 September - 2 October 2017

28 Sep 2017 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Forecast issued Thursday, 28 September 2017

You’ve gotta love a public holiday. A whole extra day with which to surf, relax and whinge about how crowded the surf is. Having said that, it’s clear that very few states agree on exactly when the Labour Day public holiday should fall. Western Australia’s has already come and gone. Victoria’s was held back in March (despite having Friday off in celebration of the AFL grand finals) and Tasmania doesn’t appear to have one at all. It’s only NSW, SA and Queensland’s falls on Monday.

Public Holidays aside, there’s no shortage of surf around the place over the coming days. The entire NSW coast benefits from a consistent run of S swell; commencing with a small pulse on Friday that’s backed up by a stronger pulse showing will maximum size on Sunday and Monday. This doesn’t bode well for southern Queensland, with an absence of any notable secondary wave-trains limiting surfable options to breaks like Duranbah and TOS. Further south, Victoria is well and truly on the pump. The arrival of a large, winter-scale SW groundswell will light up the Surf Coast; albeit under strong SW winds early Saturday – but otherwise under mostly favourable W to NW winds for the remainder of the long-weekend.

Further afield, South Australia also benefits from the same SW groundswell – albeit under less-than-ideal W to SW winds. It’s only once you head further west that conditions turn back on. The Southwest Coast is set to receive two full days of clean 3 to 6ft waves as light SE winds on Saturday turning E to NE on Sunday.

There are more good waves than you can poke your stick at around the country this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Ruffdiamond.

There are more good waves than you can poke your stick at around the country this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Ruffdiamond.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
There are non-stop waves on tap over the long weekend. The only exception is Saturday morning, which should mark a low-point in wave-activity preceding a steady build in S swell during the afternoon.  Come Sunday morning its game on as a powerful pulse of S groundswell peaks across the region; generating consistent 3 to 4ft plus sets across southern exposures under early light offshores. This is backed up by a similarly strong, albeit slightly smaller S groundswell that should keep surf heights fluctuating around the 2 to 4ft mark throughout Monday – and like Sunday conditions will be best early as lighter westerly winds precede a shift to the ESE during the afternoon.

Friday
New S swell. Ranging from 2 – 3ft across south facing beaches, grading to 1 – 2ft elsewhere. WIND: Early light WSW 5 to 10 knots tending to seabreezes during the afternoon.

Saturday
Leftover S swell. Up to 1 - 2ft south facing breaks, bumping up marginally during the afternoon. Grading to tiny or near flat elsewhere. WIND: Early W 10 to 15 knots tending SW 15 to 20 knots during the day, then SSE during the afternoon.

Sunday
New mid period S swell peaks early. Consistent sets around 3 - 4ft+ south facing breaks, easing later. Grading to 2 – 3ft or so elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: W 5 to 15 knots tending ESE to ENE during the afternoon.

Monday
Combination of mid and long period S swells. Sets around 2 - 4ft south facing breaks, grading to 1 – 3ft elsewhere. WIND: WSW 5 to 15 knots, turning S to SE during the afternoon.

Sunday's strong pulse of S groundswell coincides with early offshore winds, making for some of the best conditions of the long-weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by cgaborit.

Sunday's strong pulse of S groundswell coincides with early offshore winds, making for some of the best conditions of the long-weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by cgaborit.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
If you had a choice of surfing north of south of the border over the long weekend, the latter is clearly looking like the only realistic option for some half decent waves. As Thursday’s local NE windswell steadily dwindles away throughout Friday it’s supplanted by a small, longer period S groundswell; really only showing with meaningful size across northern NSW. This sets the trend for the long-weekend. Saturday sees smaller S leftovers still generating some fun-sized sets at the right locations – and this is closely followed by a stronger building trend in mid-period S swell during Sunday afternoon. This is set to culminate in a full day of solid waves on Monday; ranging anywhere from 2 to 4ft south of the border all day. With a pattern of early light offshore winds tending to seabreezes in place all weekend, it’s well worth targeting the morning hours for optimum conditions.

Friday
Slight NE windswell around 1 – 2ft exposed QLD coasts, rapidly fading as new S groundswell picks up to 2 - 3ft exposed northern NSW breaks, grading to 1 – 2ft or so elsewhere. WIND: Early light WSW tending to NE to SE seabreezes 5 to 15 knots later.

Saturday
S swell. Sets to 1 – 3ft at best across northern NSW south facing breaks, grading to 1ft+ exposed southern QLD coasts and tiny to near-flat elsewhere. WIND: Early WSW 5 to 15 knots, tending S to SE during the afternoon.

Sunday
New S groundswell picks up. Sets ranging from 1 – 3ft northern NSW south facing breaks, rising to 2 – 4ft during the afternoon. Grading to 1ft+ exposed southern QLD coasts early, building to 1 – 2ft later. WIND: Early light and variable W to NW tending NE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Monday
S groundswell eases. Ranging from 2 – 3ft+ northern NSW south facing breaks, grading to 1 - 2ft exposed southern QLD coasts and tiny elsewhere. WIND: Early light SW to NW 0 to 5 knots tending NNE and freshening later.

Northern NSW coasts are calling under a predominant S swell-regime in place throughout the long weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Timmymaher.

Northern NSW coasts are calling under a predominant S swell-regime in place throughout the long weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Timmymaher.

Victoria
As the saying goes, there’s no where else you’d rather be than Victoria’s Surf Coast this long weekend. An initial upswing in SW swell on Friday is just a primer; paving the way for the arrival of a larger SW groundswell that’s set to light up the premier Torquay reefs (not to mention a myriad of other breaks) all weekend. While Saturday looms as a 6 to 8ft peak along the Surf Coast, an early, strong SW change will ensure it’s not the kind of picturesque conditions you might be hoping for. The good news is the onshore flow should settle and swing back to the west during the day, making for improving conditions as the swell peaks during the afternoon.

Further, Sunday morning is probably more likely to offer up the best conditions. Lighter WNW winds will greet better organised sets; still ranging anywhere from 4 to 8ft along the Surf Coast before it starts to settle as winds turn WSW during the afternoon. That leaves Monday as yet another excellent day to get amongst the still powerful tail-end of the groundswell; probably opening up a broader range of surfable options under lighter winds of 5 to 10 knots.

Friday
Combination of mid and long-period SW groundswells, building during the afternoon. Sets to 4 – 6ft along exposed beaches, wrapping in at a clean 3 – 4ft along the Surf Coast. WIND: NW to WNW 10 to 20 knots, freshening to 15 to 25 knots.

Saturday
Large SW groundswell kicks in. Stormy 8ft+ exposed beaches, building during the afternoon. Wrapping in at 6 – 8ft along the Surf Coast. WIND: Early W 15 to 25 knots inshore across the Surf Coast, shifting strong SW early morning, then tending W and easing during the afternoon.

Sunday
Large SW groundswell slowly abates. Ranging from 6 – 8ft along the exposed beaches while wrapping at a consistent 4 - 6ft+ across the Surf Coast, easing a foot or so later. WIND: WNW 10 to 15 knots, tending lighter WSW during the afternoon.

Monday
Easing SW groundswell. Sets to 4 – 6ft+ exposed beaches, grading to 3 – 5ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: WNW 5 to 15 knots, tending to SW to SE seabreezes during the afternoon.

The Surf Coast is likely to prove a popular destination as large SW groundswell combines with mostly W winds this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by anf355.

The Surf Coast is likely to prove a popular destination as large SW groundswell combines with mostly W winds this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by anf355.

Western Australia
It’s a great weekend to be hunting down a few waves across the West Coast. A full day of onshore SSW winds on Friday precedes a gradual shift to the southeast on Saturday morning, making for rapidly improving 4 to 6ft surf across the Southwest and even some fun 1 to 2ft options across Perth’s metro beaches. Another full day of excellent surf follows on Sunday as SW scales down a notch under straight offshore easterly winds, tending lighter NE during the afternoon.

Friday
Mid period SW swell holds. South West coast: 4-6ft. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft. WIND: South to SSW at 10-15kts. Light SE winds Perth/Mandurah in the morning.

Saturday
New SSW groundswell overlaps under morning offshore winds. South West: 4-6ft. Potential for larger sets at focal deep water reefs. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft at exposed beaches. WIND: ESE to SE at 10-15kts tending S’ly.

Sunday
SSW groundswell eases under continued offshore winds. South West: 3-5ft, easing slowly. Perth/Mandurah: 1-2ft. WIND: E at 10-15kts tending NNE then variable.

Conditions are set to pump across the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Dev Coote.

Conditions are set to pump across the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Dev Coote.

South Australia
A full weekend of solid, onshore conditions makes it one for the more dedicated surfer. The prospect of moderate to strong SW winds unfortunately takes the shine off what would otherwise by an excellent round of large SW groundswell and challenging. The only upside a steady weakening of the onshore flow on Sunday – and it you’re in the vicinity of Port Lincoln they may well become light enough to make for some pretty big, semi-clean options throughout the day. Otherwise, you’ll have to make do with more accessible onshore conditions on offer across the Mid and South coasts all weekend.

Friday
Reinforcing SSW groundswell. Ranging from 3 – 4ft exposed South Coast beaches. WSW swell around 2ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early WNW 10 to 20 knots freshening to 15 to 25 knots later.

Saturday
Larger SSW groundswell builds in. Ranging from 3 – 5ft exposed South Coast breaks, bigger later. WSW swell ranging from 1 – 2ft across the Mid Coast, bigger later. WIND: Early WSW to SW 15 to 25 knots, easing during the day.

Sunday
Large SSW groundswell slowly eases. Ranging anywhere from 3 to 6ft along exposed South Coast breaks early, easing later. W swell stormy 2 - 3ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: W to WSW 10 to 15 knots, tending SSW during the afternoon.


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