Easter Long Weekend Surf Forecast 30 March - 2 April, 2018

29 Mar 2018 4 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 29 March 2018

How good are Easter eggs. And how good is surfing at Easter time? When these two amazing things coincide you have to call it a great time of year. Maybe even the best. More often than not, the Easter long weekend features good, even epic surf right around the country and this year is no exception. Southern Queensland is seriously on the pump for the entirety of the Easter break; compliments of a deep tropical depression that in a former life was called Tropical Cyclone Iris. The NSW coast also benefits from the system; albeit more indirectly in the form of a smaller NE pulse showing peak size on Friday, before slowly easing in size over the course of the weekend.

Further south, Victoria’s Surf Coast lights up under an ideal confluence of light offshore WNW breezes and consistent SW groundswell ranging anywhere from 3 to 6ft on Friday. The swell then eases over the weekend before pulsing again to solid levels on Easter Monday; all in all a veritable boon for the WSL and anyone else who happens to be in the vicinity. South Australia also benefits from a similar combination of mid-sized SW swell and light offshore, northerly breezes over the weekend. It’s only over West that, in the wake of last weekend’s freak NW swell, conditions look a bit run-of-the-mill. That still means days of solid surf under mostly favourable morning winds – the only exception being strong SSE winds on Saturday. Happy Easter!

Happy Easter indeed. Photo: Uploaded to CW by JMcj.

Happy Easter indeed. Photo: Uploaded to CW by JMcj.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Unlike last Easter it’s not shaping up as long weekend featuring consecutive days pumping easterly swell under favourable winds. Still, it’s fair to say the surf will have its moments – and the best of these looks like taking place on Friday morning.

A new round of NE swell coincides with light N to NW winds to produce good, perhaps even great waves along the more exposed open beaches for most of the day. From there conditions are set to deteriorate, following the passage of a weak southerly change across Sydney and surrounds on Friday afternoon. This will see lower-levels of leftover NE swell greeted by moderate onshore SE winds on Saturday morning. The good news is conditions will steadily improve as the onshore flow dies out into the afternoon. Sunday and Monday should then see smaller-scale NE swell still producing small, clean waves along open stretches; mostly in the 2ft range on both days.

Friday
NE swell peaks at 3 to 4ft along exposed open beaches early, grading to about 2 to 3ft elsewhere. WIND: Light N to NW 5 to 15 knots, tending NNE during the day before shifting S 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
NE swell mixing marred by slight SSE windswell and onshore winds. Junky sets ranging from 2 to 3ft+ exposed breaks early, easing during the afternoon. WIND: Early SSE to SE 10 to 15 knots, rapidly easing throughout the day and tending light ENE later.

Sunday
Combination of small NE swell and underlying S groundswell. Clean sets around 2ft exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light WNW to NW turning NNE during the day. A weak southerly change arrives across the South Coast mid to late morning and across Sydney in the evening.

Monday
Small mix of NE and S swells around 2ft exposed open and south facing breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: SSW 5 to 15 knots tending light SE to E during the afternoon.

Several days of small to mid-sized NE swell arrives right on time for the Easter long weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Luke Gordon.

Several days of small to mid-sized NE swell arrives right on time for the Easter long weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Luke Gordon.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
I saw an amazing thing when I logged onto the Snapper Camera this morning. Uncrowded waves. The arrival of a large, energetic round of ESE swell is producing enough sweep and consistency to keep everyone busy – or just plain surfed-out. This should set the trend for the Easter long weekend. The tail end of the ex TC Iris swell continue to run at solid levels on Friday before settling to more accessible 2 to 4ft levels along the points on Saturday. The onset of a reinforcing, short-range push in E tradewind swell looks like nudging set waves up a notch by Sunday, with plenty leftover on Easter Monday.

Friday
E swell slowly eases. Ranging from 4 to 6ft+ along exposed breaks early, easing to 4 to 5ft during the afternoon. Wrapping at 3 to 4ft+ into the points and bays. WIND: Early light SW to SSW inshore, tending SE 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday
E swell slowly eases. Solid sets ranging from 3 to 4ft exposed breaks. Wrapping at 2 to 3ft+ inside the points and bays. WIND: Lighter SW to SSW inshore, tending ESE to 10 to 15 knots, freshening to 15 to 20 knots into the afternoon.

Sunday
Rejuvenated E tradewind swell. Sets ranging from 3 to 4ft+ exposed breaks, wrapping at 2 to 4ft along the points and inside bays. WIND: Early light SW to SSW, tending E 10 to 15 knots (ENE across northern NSW).

Monday
E tradewind swell slowly eases. Around 3 to 4ft early, easing to 2 to 3ft+ during the afternoon. Wrapping in at lower levels inside the points and bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light land-breezes inshore, tending E to NE 10 to 15 knots.

Another extended run of energetic ESE swell will keep everyone busy this Easter. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Tanialnz.

Another extended run of energetic ESE swell will keep everyone busy this Easter. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Tanialnz.

Victoria
A full long-weekend of pumping waves across the Surf Coast leaves most surfers with the usual first-world dilemma. With the WSL assuming control of Bells Beach, you’ll be forced to choose between the voyeuristic option of watching the pros take apart perfect Bells and Winki, and/ or driving further afield to find a little slice of perfection of your own. Tough choices.

The good news is windows for good surf will stay wide open throughout the long-weekend. A first, large round of SW swell arrives under favourable winds; peaking on Friday before gradually easing throughout Saturday and Sunday. This precedes the arrival of yet another powerful SW groundswell on Easter Monday, making for four straight days of great conditions, supported by all-morning offshores and mostly light, cross-onshore afternoon winds into the afternoons. Happy Easter indeed. 

Friday
SW groundswell peaks. Solid 5 to 8ft along the exposed beaches. Sets wrapping at a clean 4 to 6ft along the Surf Coast reefs, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early WNW 10 to 15 knots, turning WSW to SW and freshening during the afternoon.

Saturday
Easing SW groundswell. 5 to 6ft+ along exposed beaches early, settling to 4 to 6ft during the afternoon. Up to 4 to 5ft+ along the major Surf Coast reefs early, easing to 3 to 5ft later. WIND: Early light WNW tending light and variable, then S 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Easing SW swell. Solid sets around 4 to 5ft along the exposed beaches. Grading to 3 to 4ft along the Surf Coast reefs and smaller elsewhere, easing throughout the afternoon. WIND: NW 5 to 15 knots tending to light sea-breezes during the afternoon.

Monday
Potential for reinforcing SW swell. Up to 5 to 6ft along the exposed beaches, wrapping at 3 to 5ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Light WNW early, turning SW and freshening to 15 to 20 knots during the arvo.

The Surf Coast won't be the only place holding pumping surf across Victoria over the Easter long weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Johnte.

The Surf Coast won't be the only place holding pumping surf across Victoria over the Easter long weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Johnte.

Western Australia
The Indian Ocean won’t be sending any NW curve-balls our way over the Eastern long weekend. Indeed, surfing conditions revert to their good old self; which isn’t necessarily great news - but at least you won’t be driving around and losing your mind wondering where the best waves of your life might be hiding.  Thursday’s large round of SW swell progressively eases throughout Friday before levelling off at fairly user-friendly 2 to 4ft levels over the weekend. With the exception of a strong SSE airflow on Saturday, winds should follow the early ESE tending SSE trend – and the arrival of a new, mid-period SSW pulse on Sunday should nicely round off a completely normal long-weekend of waves.

Friday
SW groundswell eases off as winds shift into an offshore direction. South West: Mostly clean, 3 to 5ft, easing. Perth/Mandurah: Mostly clean, 1 to 1.5ft, easing. WIND: SE to ESE at 10 to 15 knots freshening SSE 20 to 25 knots.

Saturday
Smaller left overs in mid period SW swell under freshening SE to SSE winds. South West coast: Cross offshore wind affected, 2 to 4ft. Perth/Mandurah: Cross offshore wind affected, 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: SSE at 20 to 25 knots.

Sunday
Winds shift back into the ESE coupled with a minor overlap in SSW swell. South West: Clean, 2 to 3ft, rising 4ft sets. Perth/Mandurah: Clean, 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: ESE 15 to 20 knots early, easing 10 to 15 knots before shifting SSE and freshening in the afternoon.

Monday
Mid sized SSW swell holds as winds remain offshore in the morning. South West: Clean, 3 to 4ft+, easing later. Perth, Mandurah: Clean, 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: ESE at 15 to 20 knots, easing 10 to 15 knots before shifting SSE and freshening in the afternoon.

In the wake of last weekend's freak NW swell, conditions revert to the norm over the Easter break. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Rod Draper.

In the wake of last weekend's freak NW swell, conditions revert to the norm over the Easter break. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Rod Draper.

South Australia
There’s great conditions on offer across the state over the long-weekend; perhaps not on Friday, or on Monday, but both Saturday and Sunday are looking good. A new SW groundswell arrives just in time for Easter Friday; albeit under less than ideal W to SW winds. By Saturday morning, however, winds will be light offshore; greeting a still solid SW swell in the 3 to 4ft plus range across the South Coast. The swell eases a foot or so by Sunday, but once again conditions are looking ideal under the influence of an ambivalent synoptic pattern. It looks like it won’t be until Monday morning that a new high pressure ridge sets up a fresh onshore southerly airflow across the state, so be sure to get your fill before then.

Friday
SW groundswell peaks under workable winds. South Coast: Mostly clean, 3 to 5ft. Largest at magnets Mid Coast: Semi clean, 1 to 2ft+. WIND: West at 10 knots freshening SW 10 to 15 knots. Possible light variable across the Mid Coast early.

Saturday
SW groundswell slowly eases under favourable morning winds. South Coast: Clean, 3 to 4ft+, easing. Largest at magnets. Mid Coast: Clean, 1 to 2ft early, easing. WIND: Calm north at 5 to 10 knots, tending Southerly.

Sunday
SW swell eases further as winds show light in the morning. South Coast: Clean, 2 to 4ft, largest at magnets, easing. Mid Coast: Clean, 0.5 to 1ft at best, easing. WIND: Calm variable at 5 to 10 knots, tending Southerly.

Monday
Winds tend southerly coupled with a rising mid period SSW swell. South Coast: Messy, 2 to 3ft+ rising, largest at magnets. Mid Coast: Semi clean, flat to 0.5ft, rising 1ft. WIND: SSE at 10 to 20 knots.

There are excellent conditions in store as light offshore winds light up south facing coasts on Saturday and Sunday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Mandy Zieren.

There are excellent conditions in store as light offshore winds light up south facing coasts on Saturday and Sunday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Mandy Zieren.


Tags: Easter long weekend forecast , Ben Macartney , WSL , topnews (create Alert from these tags)

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