Weekend Surf Forecast 12 - 14 January 2018
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
There’s a common thread the forecast around the country this weekend. That is, just about everywhere will see either run-of-the-mill or downright terrible conditions, preceding the onset of a couple of significant swell-events leading in great conditions around the country over the course of next week.
Southern Queensland coasts continue to offer up some of the least desirable conditions this weekend as the run of tiny ENE swell continues; perhaps nudging up to a legit 1 to 2ft on Sunday – but otherwise remaining well below par. Further south, the NSW coast fares a little better; commencing with a small SE pulse in the 2 to 3ft range on Friday that will be superseded by short-period NE windswell of similar dimensions on Saturday. It’s not until Sunday that a rising S windswell start to see some head high to double overhead surf arriving out of the south; albeit under strong southerly winds – but this should lead in a sustained run of large surf and improving conditions across the state early to mid next week.
Further south, both Victoria and South Australia see robust onshore SW to SSW winds wreaking havoc upon what would otherwise have otherwise been a good run of SW swell. It won’t be until mid-next week that conditions light up under a long-period SW groundswell arriving out of the far southern Indian Ocean. Western Australian coasts far a little better this weekend; benefiting from an easing SW swell in the 2 to 4ft range and early light offshore winds – but once again these conditions will pale in comparison to what’s in store early next week.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
We have swell inbound from all angles over the coming days and at long last there’s a big swell looming in the forecast window. Friday morning marks the arrival of a still relatively small, but better quality SE swell; mostly amounting to 2 to 3ft with scope for odd larger sets at breaks focussing the energy. Peak periods are only up around 8 to 9 seconds, but it’s still a whole lot more than what we’ve seen so far this year. An overnight rise in short-range NE windswell then sees another fun day of surf on Saturday; this time amounting to a weaker and lower quality 2 to 3ft – but waves none the less. Sunday morning then marks the onset of a complex weather system that’s set to deliver large S and SSE swell to the coast over the course of next week. For now there are good indications we’ll see a solid rise in S windswell in the 3 to 5ft range on Sunday, but there’s enough divergence among the various models to lend some uncertainty to both the timing and size, so stay tuned to Friday’s detailed update for clarification.
SE swell. Sets around 2 to 3ft across exposed breaks early, fading during the afternoon. WIND: Early light NE, freshening to 10 to 15 knots during the morning and up to 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon.
Fading SE swell superseded by short-range NE windswell. Sets to 2 to 3ft exposed open beaches, grading smaller elsewhere and easing during the day. WIND: Early light N to NW turning S 10 to 15 knots during the late afternoon/ evening.
Potential for steep rising S windswell. Around 3 to 4ft south facing beaches early, building towards a stormy 4 to 5ft during the day. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early SSW 15 to 25 knots, tending S 20 to 30 knots during the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
The surf-starved have been known to look out towards the horizon and swear they can see lines of swell stacking up way offshore and become convinced it’s going to start pumping any minute. If another full weekend of tiny ENE swell leaves you feeling like you’re losing your mind, hang in there, because the swell-drought is going to break next week. Until then, Sunday is looking like the best bet for some slightly larger NE windswell in the 1 to 2ft range.
ENE windswell up to 1ft+ max exposed Qld breaks. Slight SSE windswell around 1ft+ northern NSW south facing breaks, tiny elsewhere. WIND: Early light N to NW tending NNE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.
Mix of slight NE and SSE windswells around 1ft+ exposed Queensland breaks, bumping up during the afternoon. S swell up to 1 to 2ft northern NSW south facing beaches, tiny elsewhere. WIND: Early NNW tending N 15 to 25 knots.
Slight E swell mixing with NE windswell. Ranging from 1 to 2ft exposed QLD beaches, speculatively superseded by rising SSE windswell during the afternoon. Tiny to near-flat inside the points and bays. WIND: Early NW to NNW inshore, shifting S 15 to 25 knots across northern NSW during the morning, extending north of the border during the early arvo. Tending SSE 20 to 30 knots later.
Compared to Thursday and Friday the weekend may leave you feeling a bit, well bummed out. Friday sees another full day of great 3ft conditions along the exposed beaches as an easing SW swell coincides with early NNE winds. By Saturday it probably won’t be looking quite so appealing as smaller leftover swell is greeted by lighter WNW winds that will eventually shift SW at 20 to 30 knots later in the day. That pretty much writes off surfing options for Sunday as still strong SSW winds butcher a rising SW swell. The only consolation takes the form of a long-interval SW groundswell arriving under light winds mid-next week. Stay tuned for more on this in Friday’s detailed update.
SW swell slowly eases. Clean 2 to 4ft sets along exposed beaches, grading to a slow 1 to 3ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light N to NNE, briefly tending light and variable to light WNW ahead of a SW change 15 to 20 knots during the evening.
Leftover SW swell reinforced by steep rising WSW windswell. Wind-affected 2 to 3ft along the exposed beaches early, rising to a stormy 4 to 6ft later. Around 2ft along the Surf Coast early, bigger later. WIND: Early WNW 10 to 15 knots, freshening ahead of a SW change 20 to 30 knots during the afternoon.
SW swell under fresh onshore winds. Choppy 4 to 5ft+ along exposed beaches early, easing to 3 to 5ft later. Sets to 3 to 4ft along the more exposed Surf Coast reefs, smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early SSW 15 to 20 knots tending S and easing later.
There’s a few waves across the West Coast this weekend, to be sure, but it’s not until Monday that things really get interesting. Expect mostly small, fun-sized stuff in the 3 to 4ft range on Saturday, fading to a slower 2 to 3ft by Saturday under the usual pattern of early ESE winds shifting south into the afternoons. While this all probably sounds a bit ho-hum, Monday morning will be anything but. The arrival of a long-interval SW groundswell holds excellent potential for stacked lines ranging anywhere from 4 to 8ft plus depending on location – and with early easterly breezes showing up on latest model runs, it definitely looks like a day to plan for. Although the groundswell eases from there, Tuesday’s conditions could be even better, so be sure to tune into Dan’s update on Friday.
Ease in SW swell under light winds early. South West: Semi clean, 3 to 4ft+, easing. Perth/Mandurah. Semi clean 1 to 1.5ft, easing. WIND: South at 5 to 10 knots tending SSW at 15 to 20 knots. Grading light SE north from Yallingup early morning.
Minor overlap in mid period SSW swell under offshore morning winds . South West coast: Mostly clean, 3 to 4ft. Perth/Mandurah: Mostly clean, 1ft, possible larger sets at magnets. WIND: ESE at 10 to 20 knots shifting SSW at 20 to 25 knots.
SW swell bottoms out under offshore SE to ESE morning winds. South West: Mostly clean, 2 to 3ft. Perth/Mandurah: Clean, 0.5 to occasional 1ft at magnets. WIND: SE tending ESE at 15 to 20 knots before shifting SSW at 20 to 25 knots later.
Like Western Australia and Victoria, the forecast for South Australian doesn’t hold anything out of the ordinary this weekend. Expect mostly wind-affected 3ft conditions across the South Coast, grading substantially smaller across the mid Coast on both Saturday and Sunday. It won’t be until Tuesday that the ocean begins to stir under the leading edge of a long-period SW groundswell. The bulk of deepwater energy is set to peak across the state on Wednesday under light NE to E winds, so it’s well worth sitting up and taking notice of what’s to come in Dan’s detailed update.
Building mid period SW groundswell. South Coast: Clean, 2 to 3ft early, rising wind affected sets later. Mid Coast: Messy, 1, rising sets later. WIND: NNW 10 to 15 knots, shifting West - WSW at 15 to 20 knots.
New SW swell peaks under moderate west to WSW winds. South Coast: Semi clean, 2 to 4ft. Larger sets likely into the morning. Mid Coast: Messy, 1 to 2ft early, possible larger sets later. WIND: WSW 10 to 20 knots freshening SSW in the afternoon.
Mid range SW swell eases as winds shift into the south. South Coast: Unsettled, 2 to 4ft, easing. Mid Coast: Semi clean, 1 to 2ft, easing. WIND: SSW at 10 to 15 knots, tending 20 knots Southerly. Possible light SSE on the Mid Coast in the morning.
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