Weekend Surf Forecast 26 - 28 January 2018

24 Jan 2018 2 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Forecast issued Thursday, 25 January 2018

At long last, the onset of the Australian monsoon is starting to make its presence felt; initially in the form of widespread rainfall across the far north of the continent – and eventually by swell of tropical origins – specifically for the East Coast. The early stages of this activity will begin to stir things up across southern Queensland and far northern NSW this weekend; manifesting as a slow building trend that holds potential for 3 to 4ft sets across the region into Sunday afternoon.

Further south, the onset of the building trend will be slower to take hold. Sydney and surrounds will continue to see relatively weak, small-scale NE windswell prevailing in the 2ft range, with scope for some larger waves pushing into the 2 to 3ft range on Sunday. For the southern states, it’s a case of business as usual. Both South Australia and Victoria see a slow easing trend in SW swell coinciding with light winds, making for several good days of surfing across the majority of exposed areas. Last but not least, the West Coast also keeps cranking out the goods as mid-sized SW swell ranges either side of 3ft under early offshore breezes on Friday and Saturday, preceding a stronger push in size topping out at 4 to 6ft on Sunday. Happy hunting.

There are good waves to be had across all surf exposed states this weekend. Photo: Bohditodd.

There are good waves to be had across all surf exposed states this weekend. Photo: Bohditodd.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
If you’ve found some joy amongst the current run of NE windswell, then you might as well just hit the repeat button and keep doing the same thing over the next few days. The long enduring windswell continues to run at similar 2ft levels throughout the weekend; still showing most size along the more exposed open beaches, while amounting to a smaller 1 to 2ft elsewhere. The good news comes in the form of a slow building trend in small increments of wave height and period setting in on Sunday. This will coincide with a slight shift in swell direction to the ENE, making for slightly stronger and consistent surf in the 2 to 3ft range along the more exposed open breaks. Surface quality won’t be ideal as persistent NNE to NE winds range from 10 to 20 knots all weekend, but hey, there’s waves.

Friday
Slightly larger NE windswell 2ft+ exposed open beaches, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light NNE tending NE 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
NE windswell up to 2ft along the most exposed open beaches, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: NE 10 to 15 knots, freshening to NE 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Junky ENE windswell ranging from 1 to 3ft exposed breaks, bumping up during the afternoon. WIND: Early NNE around 15 knots, tending NE during the afternoon.

Some weekends are just a blur. Photo: Dan Bielich.

Some weekends are just a blur. Photo: Dan Bielich.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
It’s coming. Not tomorrow, but by Saturday morning the ocean will be stirring – and it’s going to continue energising as new E swell gradually builds in size throughout the weekend. If you haven’t noticed, there’s some major east swell potential brewing over the coming week, with the first major Coral Sea storm set to develop inside Queensland’s swell window over the coming days. So while you might still be left wanting as ENE windswell bumps up above 2ft on Saturday morning, it should continue building to a more substantial 3 to 4ft during Sunday – and this just looks like a warm up for what’s in store next week.

Friday
Slight ENE windswell around 1 to 2ft along exposed open beaches. Wrapping at lower levels inside the points and bays WIND: Light and variable to N to NW 5 to 10 knots, tending ENE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
ESE windswell ranging from 1 - 3ft exposed breaks, slowly building throughout the day. Wrapping at 1 to 2ft inside the points and bays with size depending on exposure WIND: Early light and variable tending light ESE 10 to 15 knots during the day, freshening into the afternoon.

Sunday
Slow rising E swell. Around 2 to 3ft+ early, building to 3 to 4ft during the afternoon. WIND: Early SSW tending SE and freshening to 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

A building trend in E swell will see steadily improving wave quality across the region all weekend, not to mention next week. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Clay10Harris.

A building trend in E swell will see steadily improving wave quality across the region all weekend, not to mention next week. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Clay10Harris.

Victoria
At five to ten knots, onshore winds can actually be quite appealing; adding just enough texture to the surface to give a lip some slight crumble, while not detracting from one’s ability to turn. That’s pretty much what’s on offer over the next few days as SW groundswell slowly eases across the state; gradually lending the focus to the exposed beaches as the swell drops from 3 to 5ft early on Friday to a more accessible 2 to 4ft by Saturday morning. Sunday is then shaping up as an idyllic, small-wave day along the exposed beaches as lighter offshore NNE winds greet smaller leftover SW swell in the 2ft range.

Friday
Leftover SW groundswell slowly eases. Up to 3 to 5ft along exposed beaches, grading to 2 to 3ft+ across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light SSE to SE, increasing to 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Residual SW swell. Sets to 2 to 4ft along exposed beaches, wrapping at 1 to 2ft+ along the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light and variable tending SE to NE below 5 knots, then SE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Slow SW swell around 2ft+ along exposed beaches, grading to 1ft or near-flat along the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light N to NE, possibly tending light and variable during the afternoon ahead of a late SW change.

Victoria's exposed beaches are looking like the pick this weekend. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

Victoria's exposed beaches are looking like the pick this weekend. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

Western Australia
There are good waves for days in store across the West Coast. Fluctuating levels of SW swell will continue to favour exposed Southwest breaks at 2 to 4ft on Friday under early offshore ESE winds. A repeat performance should follow on Saturday morning, with the added bonus of a building trend in size setting in during the afternoon. This pulse is set to reach maximum size on Sunday; offering up some solid 4 to 6ft options Down South; albeit under strong SSE winds.

Friday
Minor overlap in SW swell under offshore SE to ESE morning winds. South West: Mostly clean, 2 to 4ft. Largest at magnets. Perth/Mandurah: Clean, 0.5 to occasional 1ft at magnets. WIND: ESE at 15 to 20 knots, shifting Southerly at 20 knots later.

Saturday
Mid period SW swell eases slightly under a continued SE to ESE wind pattern. South West: Mostly clean, 2 to 4ft, rising 3 to 5ft later. Perth, Mandurah: Clean, 1 to 1.5ft at best, rising wind swell. WIND: ESE at 10 to 15 knots. Tending southerly at 20 to 25 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
Rise in SW groundswell as winds freshen into the SSE. South West: Cross offshore wind affected, 4 to 6ft. Perth/Mandurah: Cross offshore wind affected, 1 to 2ft. WIND: SSE at 15 to 20 knots, freshening 20 to 25 knots.

A consistent run of mid-sized SW swell and early offshore winds are a recipe for joy across the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

A consistent run of mid-sized SW swell and early offshore winds are a recipe for joy across the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
Small, fun conditions are on the menu across the state over the next few days as low-levels of SW swell coincide with a light wind-regime. Expect most size on Friday as SW swell continues hover around the 3ft mark along the South Coast, preceding a notable drop in size by Saturday. Still, there should be good head-high sets on offer along the more exposed South Coast beaches and it’s well worth making the most it before it drops off into the 1 to 2ft range on Sunday.

Friday
SW swell eases as winds tend light in the morning. South Coast: Unsettled, 2 to 3ft, Possible larger at magnets before easing later. Mid Coast: Clean, 0.5ft to 1ft at best. WIND: Variable at 5 to 10knots before freshening 20 knots SSW.

Saturday
Swell eases further as winds show light offshore on both coasts. South Coast: Bumpy, 1 to 3ft, largest at magnets. Mid Coast: Mostly clean although pretty well flat. WIND: ENE - NE 10 to 15 knots, easing variable before an afternoon sea breeze.

Sunday
Small clean surf at magnets early prior to a southerly change. South Coast: Clean, 1 to 2ft at exposed magnets. Mid Coast: Clean although flat. WIND: Light NE to NNE at dawn before a fresh Southerly change.

Clean conditions beckon across SA this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by SSC.

Clean conditions beckon across SA this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by SSC.


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