Weekend Surf Forecast 25 - 27 May, 2018

24 May 2018 0

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 24 March 2018

There’s large swell bombarding Australian shores from a variety of sources this weekend, but not every region is expected to see much in the way of quality surf. The NSW coast is one such region; benefiting from another large, high-period S groundswell showing peak size across Sydney and the South Coast on Friday, before easing under a favourable wind-regime remaining in place throughout the weekend. This event will travel north to rock northern NSW coasts on Saturday morning – and it looks like the intervals will be long enough to facilitate some fun-sized sets in the 2 to 4ft range across southern Queensland coasts to boot.

Further south, Victoria’s sees a transition in conditions underway as an easing SW swell coincides with a northerly wind-regime. This is set to open up excellent conditions along exposed south and southwest facing stretches of coast both on Saturday and Sunday – and this also applies to South Australia. It’s only further west that conditions don’t look so rosy. In fact, they are looking downright diabolical, owing to strong onshore westerly winds (getting up to 30 to 45 knots on Friday) and large unruly storm-swell all weekend.

There's likely to be many fine moments around the country this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Ben McGrath.

There's likely to be many fine moments around the country this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Ben McGrath.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Southerly swells are, by and large, not the preferred wave-trains of East Coast surfers. Even big, long-period events like the one inbound on Friday tend to shut-down the majority of exposed beaches; limiting good options to just a handful of semi-sheltered breaks or deeper-water reefs. But like it or lump it, S swell is all that’s on offer this weekend – and plenty of it. Friday marks the arrival of another robust pulse of long-period S groundswell; arriving off a giant wave-field primarily aimed at Fiji and New Zealand. Still, this event is looking powerful indeed, so if you’re planning to tackle it on Friday be prepared. Thursday’s unwelcome appearance of a southerly airflow across will persist on Friday. Thankfully this only marks a blip in the autumn offshore-wind regime. By Saturday we should be looking at a return to perfectly clean lines of easing SSE groundswell, groomed by light W winds that will eventually turn NE later in the day – and the favourable conditions are set to continue to as the swell eases to more manageable levels on Sunday.

Friday
New long period S groundswell builds in
. Probably undersized early at a lumpy 4 to 6ft, rising to 5 to 8ft south facing breaks during the day with scope for larger sets on outer reefs. Grading to 2 to 6ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: SSW to S 5 to 15 knots, tending lighter SSE during the afternoon.


Saturday
Easing SSE groundswell
. Around 4 to 5ft south facing breaks, easing during the afternoon. Mostly ranging from 2 to 4ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: W 5 to 10 knots tending NE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Mid period SSE groundswell
. Sets around 2 to 4ft south facing beaches, easing into the afternoon. Grading to 1 to 3ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure WIND: Early WNW 5 to 15 knots tending light NNE into the afternoon.

The arrival of another powerful pulse of S groundswell may require a little bit of searching to find somewhere holding quality surf on Saturday morning. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Pete.

The arrival of another powerful pulse of S groundswell may require a little bit of searching to find somewhere holding quality surf on Saturday morning. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Pete.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW

This week’s run of S swell continues at very energetic levels as a new, long period event arrives this weekend. A seriously big and powerful long-period groundswell begins to show across northern NSW throughout Friday afternoon, leading in a strong peak in the 5 to 8ft range across exposed northern NSW coasts throughout Saturday morning, while wrapping at comparatively modest levels north of the border. The groundswell will ease overnight but there’s still likely to be plenty of juice left in the tank on Sunday – particularly from Ballina south. Once again conditions will be at there best throughout the AM hours as lighter land-breezes precede moderate/ fresh south-easterlies on both afternoons.

Friday
Leftover S swell reinforced by new S groundswell during the afternoon. Sets to 3 to 4ft exposed northern NSW breaks, bumping up to 4 to 6ft later. Grading to about 1 to 2ft+ across Queensland’s exposed beaches and tiny to near-flat inside the points and bays. WIND: Early lighter WSW to SSW inshore tending S to SSE and freshening to 15 to 20 knots during the arvo.
Saturday

SSE groundswell slowly eases. Ranging from 5 to 8ft exposed northern NSW breaks, easing later. Ranging from 2 to 4ft across Queensland’s exposed beaches and to 1 to 2ft or so inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light WSW to SSW tending light SE to ESE 15 to 20 during the afternoon.
Sunday
Easing SSE groundswell up to 3 to 4ft exposed northern NSW breaks, mixing with E windswell at 1 to 2ft+ southern QLD exposed beaches and to 1ft or so inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light WSW to SSW 5 to 10 knots, tending ESE 10 to 15 knots and variable during the day.

A new long-period S groundswell should be strong enough to wrap at a fun size across select Queensland coasts on Saturday. Photo: Penny Kempe.

A new long-period S groundswell should be strong enough to wrap at a fun size across select Queensland coasts on Saturday. Photo: Penny Kempe.

Victoria
After a long week featuring great waves along the Surf Coast and large, windblown conditions across Victoria’s exposed beaches, we’re finally seeing a shift in the pattern this weekend. The exposed beaches are set to make a return to form as the swell drops and winds turn north. Saturday morning is shaping up as the pick for some clean 3 to 4ft waves along exposed areas as dropping SW swell coincides with all-day offshores. Sunday will also be offering up fun surf at these venues as a smaller, reinforcing WSW groundswell keeps set waves running at about 2 to 3ft under straight northerly winds, making for a full weekend of great conditions.


Friday
Mid period SW swell gradually eases. Around 4 to 6ft along the exposed beaches, easing to 3 to 5ft later. Around 3 to 4ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, easing later. WIND: Early variable to SSE around 5 to 10 knots, tending SW to E during the afternoon.


Saturday
Smaller scale SW swell levels off around 3 to 4ft along the exposed beaches early, dropping into the 2 to 3ft range during the afternoon. Grading to 1 to 3ft along the Surf Coast reefs, fading later. WIND: Early N to NNE 5 to 15 knots, freshening to 10 to 20 knots during the day.


Sunday
Mix of smaller-scale, mid and long interval SW groundswells around 2 to 3ft along the exposed beaches. Up to a slow 1 to 2ft along the Surf Coast reefs, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: NNW to NNE 10 to 20 knots.

The focus shifts to Victoria's south facing breaks as winds swing to the north this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jordan Smith.

The focus shifts to Victoria's south facing breaks as winds swing to the north this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jordan Smith.

Western Australia
Huge, onshore, dark and stormy conditions point to more cups of tea than waves across the Southwest this weekend. Thursday’s freshening pre-frontal northerlies lead in an even stronger 30 to 45kt westerly airflow across the region on Friday, leaving little to the surfing imagination – unless of course, you find yourself a long way north. Even on Saturday you can pretty much forget about it this weekend. An early SW bias in winds early on Saturday is projected to revert to the west during the morning – and this pretty much sets the trend for Sunday as westerlies persist at 20 to 30 knots; again leaving very little in the way of surfable options all weekend.


Friday
XL combo of stormy sea’s and swell. South West: Stormy, 10 to 12ft+. Perth/Mandurah: Stormy, 3 to 4ft+, rising 6ft. WIND: Westerly 30 to 35 knots, tending WSW.


Saturday
Large to XL mix of stormy seas and swell
, easing. South West: Stormy, 10 to 12ft+ early, easing. Perth/Mandurah: Messy, 4 to 6ft, easing. WIND: WSW 25 to 30 knots, freshening WNW in the afternoon.


Sunday
Strong reinforcing pulse in SW groundswell under continued onshore winds. South West coast: Messy, 8 to 10ft, peaking 10 to 12ft+ in the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: Messy, 2 to 4ft, rising plus sets. WIND: West, WSW at 20 to 25 knots early, tending WNW then easing 25 to 30 knots late afternoon.


What a difference an offshore breeze makes. Unfortunately strong westerly winds and a large SW storm-swell will render surfing untenable across the Southwest all weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

What a difference an offshore breeze makes. Unfortunately strong westerly winds and a large SW storm-swell will render surfing untenable across the Southwest all weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
There’s a great run of clean, solid surf in store across SA this weekend. The arrival of a strong SSW groundswell on Friday coincides with moderate north to north-east breezes, making for great conditions across the South Coast and all exposed areas further afield. This sets the trend for the weekend as SW swell scales down in size; opening up great options across the most exposed areas as the northerly wind regime remains in place; supported by a slow moving high pressure system anchored over the southwest Tasman Sea.


Friday
Overlapping SSW groundswell peaks under favourable morning winds. South Coast: Clean, 3 to 5ft+. Largest at magnets Mid Coast: Clean, 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: NE 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday
SSW groundswell bottoms out as winds freshen into the north. South Coast: Clean, 2 to 4ft. Mid Coast: Semi clean, 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: NNE, at 10 to 20 knots tending northerly in the afternoon.

Sunday
Mix of easing SSW groundswell, rising WSW swell. South Coast: Clean, 2 to 3ft, rising plus sets late. Mid Coast: Cross shore wind affected, 1 to 1.5ft early, rising 2 to 4ft. WIND: NNW at 10 to 20 knots. Grading NNE across the Mid Coast in the morning.

Consistent SSW and northerly winds should have some desirable effects across the state this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Luke Gordon.

Consistent SSW and northerly winds should have some desirable effects across the state this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Luke Gordon.


Tags: Weekend Surf Forecast , Ben Macartney (create Alert from these tags)

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