Weekend Surf Forecast 2 - 4 February, 2018

1 Feb 2018 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Forecast issued Thursday, 1 February 2018

Onshore winds are the bane of many surfers existence across the coastal fringes this weekend. Indeed it’s only across the West Coast seeing some light offshore winds over the next couple of days – albeit under a rare absence of notable swell. Across the Eastern Seaboard both the NSW coast and southern Queensland remain under the influence of dual wave-trains; the first being a mid-period easterly groundswell linked to the now ex-Tropical Cyclone Fehi. The second is a shorter-range SSE swell that’s also in part derived from the south-bound tropical storm. Both swells are projected to steadily ease over the next few days, opening up plenty of wind-affected surfing options under a prevailing southerly wind-regime.

Further south, Victoria’s exposed beaches will be the places to be as a small-scale SSW swell combines with cross-onshore ESE to SE winds, making for pretty average, but better than nothing 2 to 3ft conditions on Friday and Saturday, before the swell dwindles by Sunday. Similar conditions are expected to keep conditions below par across South Australia this weekend as smaller SSW swell combines with mostly onshore winds. Last but not least, the West Coast sees a rare flat spell remaining in place as light offshore winds prevail throughout Friday and Saturday mornings. The flat spell breaks in very unspectacular fashion on Sunday as a minor SW swell arrives under onshore winds.

The weekend beckons. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Patt Pombart.

The weekend beckons. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Patt Pombart.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Thursday’s combined rise in ENE groundswell and junky SSE swell isn’t exactly the epic run of conditions we might have been hoping for in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Fehi. On the upside there’s no shortage of swell on tap this weekend. A combination of dominant SSE swell and smaller, underlying ENE swell combine to produce peaky 2 to 4ft conditions on Friday before easing to slightly lower levels on Saturday. This should precede a notable drop in size by Sunday, but the presence of a persistent S to SSE wind-regime won’t be adding much appeal to conditions on all three days. Still, there’s plenty of surf – and the water is still warm to boot.

Friday
Mix of easing SSE swell and smaller, underlying ENE groundswell. Around 3 to 4ft south facing beaches early, dropping into the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light SSW inshore, tending S to SSE 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Easing E and SE swells. Slower sets to 2 to 3ft+ exposed open beaches, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: S 10 to 20 knots, tending SSE 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Leftover E and SE swell. Sets to 1 to 3ft along exposed open beaches, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early SSW 5 to 15 knots, tending S 10 to 15 knots during the day and SSE to SE later.

There's plenty of swell left in the tank this weekend, albeit under predominantly south to southeast winds. Uploaded to CW by BetelBailey.

There's plenty of swell left in the tank this weekend, albeit under predominantly south to southeast winds. Uploaded to CW by BetelBailey.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Wednesday and Thursday undoubtedly marked a high-point in wave activity as E groundswell originating from Tropical Cyclone Fehi combines with a shorter-period SSE swell across the region, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of fun to be had as it eases over the next few days. Friday and Saturday should continue to offer up good 2 to 4ft conditions inside sheltered bays and points under the prevailing southerly airflow, with the dominant SSE swell producing larger surf across northern NSW coasts on both days. Both swells will have eased a notch or two by Sunday; probably opening up better conditions along exposed beaches under early inshore SW to SSW winds.

Friday
SSE swell and smaller leftover ESE swell slowly ease. Up to 3 to 5ft exposed northern NSW south facing breaks, grading to 2 to 4ft along exposed Queensland beaches early, easing during the afternoon. Wrapping at 1 to 3ft inside the points and bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early lighter SSW 10 to 15 knots inshore, tending SSE 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
ESE/ SSE swell combo. Around 2 to 4ft across northern NSW south facing breaks, grading to 2 to 3ft exposed southern Queensland coasts. Wrapping at lower levels inside the points and bays with size depending on exposure WIND: Early lighter SSW 10 to 15 knots inshore, tending SSE 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Easing SE swell 2 to 3ft exposed breaks, grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early inshore SSW tending SSE 15 to 20 knots during the day.

The combination of ESE and SSE swells continues to keep us busy as both swells slowly abate over the weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by MikeBJ.

The combination of ESE and SSE swells continues to keep us busy as both swells slowly abate over the weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by MikeBJ.

Victoria
It’s looking like very slim pickings with respect to surfing this weekend. Along the exposed beaches Saturday morning looks like your best bet as an early ESE bias in wind-direction opens up some good cross-shore options in the 1 to 3ft range. Winds are forecast to veer to the south during the day before coming further around to the SSW by Sunday; making for very sloppy 2ft conditions along exposed areas, while amounting to a tiny, wind-affected 1ft across the Surf Coast. So, overall, planning some alternative amusement is highly recommended – at least until the onshore flow backs off early next week.

Friday
Leftover SW swell. Up to a choppy 2ft+ along exposed beaches, grading to 1 to 2ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: SSE to ESE 5 to 15 knots, tending S during the afternoon.

Saturday
Potential for small, reinforcing SSW swell. Wind-affected sets to 1 to 3ft along exposed beaches, wrapping at 1 to 2ft along the Surf Coast. WIND: ESE 10 to 15 knots, tending SE and freshening later.

Sunday
Fading SSW swell hangs in around 2ft along exposed beaches early before dropping into the afternoon. Wrapping in at 1ft or so along the Surf Coast. WIND: SE 5 to 15 knots tending S 10 to 15 knots.

This about as far-removed from this weekend's reality as you can get. Photo: Brendan Boxall.

This about as far-removed from this weekend's reality as you can get. Photo: Brendan Boxall.

Western Australia
You don’t see too many perfectly clean flat days across the Southwest, but that’s exactly what’s happening right now – and it’s pretty clear the surf will remain at tiny to near-flat levels for the next couple of days. The knock on effect of a rare lull in storm-activity throughout the southern Indian Ocean remains in effect on Friday and Saturday; probably keeping surf down to low 1ft plus levels across the most exposed breaks on both days. The  upside is early light offshore ENE winds prevailing on both mornings, making for excellent surface quality well suited to a swim or casting a line. By Sunday we should see a little more energy trickling in out of the southwest, but even this looks minor at about 2 to 3ft under light onshore winds, so all in all there isn’t much to get excited about.

Friday
Minor overlap in mid period SW swell under continued offshore winds. South West coast: Clean, 1 to 1.5ft at magnets, otherwise near flat. Perth/Mandurah: Clean although tiny to flat. WIND: ENE at 10 to 20 knots, easing NE then northerly before a mid to late afternoon sea breeze.

Saturday
Offshore winds morning winds and a building swell later. South West: Clean, 1 to 2ft, possible inconsistent larger set at magnets, rising later. Perth/Mandurah: Clean although tiny to flat. WIND: ENE at 10 to 20 knots, rotating north and easing before shifting NW then SW at 10 to 15 knots.

Sunday
Minor rise in SW swell shows as winds tend onshore. South West: Unsettled, 2 to 3ft, easing later. Perth, Mandurah: Clean, 0.5 to 1ft early, easing. WIND: SW at 5 to 10 knots at dawn, freshening 15 to 20 knots.

There will be one key ingredient missing from this picture over the weekend: swell. Photo: Dan Wyer.

There will be one key ingredient missing from this picture over the weekend: swell. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
Conditions are set to remain eminently forgettable across the region as the SE wind-regime coincides with small-scale SSW swell this weekend.  That means several days strait of sloppy, junky surf in the 2ft range along the South Coast, grading to clean and flat across the Mid. That doesn’t leave much to recommend beyond a bit of fishing or a swim – and that looks like it will apply to early next week too.

Friday
Wind slop Down South, flat on the Mid under moderate ESE morning winds. South Coast: Small, messy combo sea's and swell, 1 to 2ft. Mid Coast: Clean although pretty well flat . WIND: ESE 10 to 20 knots, freshening Southerly 15 to 20 knots.

Saturday
Slight rise in small SSW swell as winds remain from the SE. South Coast: Sloppy, 1 to 2ft+, largest at magnets. Mid Coast: Clean although pretty well flat. WIND: SE at 10 to 15 knots freshening SSE 25 knots.

Sunday
Continued small, bumpy swell on the South Coast, grading clean and flat on the Mid. South Coast: Bumpy, 1 to 2ft, largest at magnets. Mid Coast: Clean although pretty well flat. WIND: SE at 10 to 15 knots freshening SSE 25 knots.

You'd be hard-pressed to nail one of these across SA this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Leroy_Getwet.

You'd be hard-pressed to nail one of these across SA this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Leroy_Getwet.


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