Weekend Surf Forecast 20 - 22 July 2018
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
Issued Thursday, 19 July 2018
There’s a purple elephant in the surf-forecasting room this week. It can be viewed on our Wave Tracker, forming over the south-eastern Indian Ocean, plumb inside Indonesia’s and Western Australia’s swell window this weekend. While at first glance this may appear to be your typical winter swell-blob, it’s shaping up as one of the biggest southern-Indian Ocean swell-events in living memory – initially for the West Coast on Sunday/ Monday, followed by Indo early to mid next week.
We’ll be monitoring this one closely over the coming days so stand by for more as it evolves. As for the rest of the country, Victoria and South Australia also sees a phenomenal run of oversized SW and WSW groundswell; maintaining serious size state-wide on Friday and Saturday before finally settling down to more accessible levels by Sunday.
Conditions across the East Coast are looking comparatively run-of-the-mill. A run of tiny to near flat conditions should reach a low-point on Friday, preceding the welcome arrival of a new south swell this weekend. Both the size and direction will invariably favour the NSW coast; generating good-sized surf in the 3 to 5ft range across southern exposures on Saturday, before backing off a foot or so by Sunday. Compared to locations further south, southern Queensland coasts draw the short-straw in the surf department; only receiving a small fraction of the southerly energy across the few south swell magnets, while still verging on flat inside the points and bays.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast.
This week’s near-flat spell breaks with the arrival of a fresh round of S swell kicking in just in time for the weekend. At the moment there are some indications it will come in a little undersized across Sydney and surrounds at first light before pulsing to solid 3 to 4ft+ levels during the morning – and the directional SSW band could mean notably larger surf pushing into the 4 to 5ft+ range across Newcastle and Hunter coasts – this will become clearer in Friday’s detailed update. Either way, there’s solid surf on tap across southern exposures under favourable WSW winds falling away to light and variable during the afternoon. Sunday is looking even better as wave height drops a notch, combining with light westerlies to generate high-quality 2 to 3ft+ surf all morning, with great conditions persisting as the swell backs off into the afternoon.
Mix of slight NE windswell and background S swell. Potential for 1 to 2ft sets exposed open and south facing beaches, grading to tiny or near flat elsewhere. WIND: NNW tending NW 15 to 25 knots, freshening and shifting W, then WSW 20 to 30 knots during the afternoon.
Potential for solid, short range S swell under favourable winds. Sets around 3 to 4ft+ south facing beaches, grading to 2 to 3ft+ elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early WSW 15 to 20 knots, rapidly easing and tending light S to SE during the afternoon.
Mid-period S groundswell slowly eases under light winds. Sets around 2 to 4ft south facing beaches, grading to about 1to 3ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: WNW 5 to 10 knots, tending NNE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
A new south swell inbound this weekend is unlikely to gladden the hearts of surfers Queensland surfers. It’s early arrival on Saturday morning is characterised by short-peak periods of six of seven seconds and a deepwater direction of 200 degrees – which isn’t exactly a recipe for pumping surf across the region. That means you’ll need to be south of the border to capitalise on the swell’s arrival, with solid 2 to 4ft sets on offer depending on where you look. The subsequent arrival of a longer period (10 second) pulse of S swell on Sunday probably offers up better conditions both north and south of the border – but once again it will be the latter, northern NSW region pulling in the lion’s share of surf all day.
Background ENE and S swells. Up to a slow 0.5 to 1ft along exposed beaches, virtually flat elsewhere. WIND: Early NW to NNW 15 to 20 knots tending WNW around 5 to 15 knots later.
Directional S swell fills in. Up to 3 to 4ft exposed northern NSW beaches, grading to 1 to 3ft open areas. Mixing with slight ESE swell at 1ft+ along exposed QLD beaches and grading to near-flat inside the points and bays. WIND: Early WSW to SW tending SSW 15 to 20 knots, tending S to SSE and easing throughout the afternoon.
Mid-period S groundswell up to 2 to 4ft exposed northern NSW coasts, grading to 1 to 2ft exposed southern QLD breaks and down to 1ft or less inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light WSW to SSW, tending light S to SE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.
The height of the Victoria winter remains in full effect this weekend. The state is now in the midst of one of the largest, sustained runs of WSW groundswell seen in a long while, with large 10ft plus surf hammering Victoria’s exposed beaches on Thursday. The overnight arrival of another heavy WSW pulse will see similarly huge surf pounding the state on Friday; probably generating clean, long-lined 8 to 10ft sets at premier Surf Coast reefs like Bells Beach. That will leave Saturday morning as your final window to get amongst some serious size across the Surf Coast, before the swell finally settles down to more accessible levels state-wide on Sunday.
Reinforcing WSW groundswell eases under fresh W winds. Ranging from 10 to 12ft along the exposed beaches. Sets to 8 to 10ft along the Surf Coast reefs and smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: WNW 15 to 25 knots, tending W 20 to 30 knots, then WSW during the afternoon.
Easing WSW and SW groundswells. Sets around 7 to 10ft along the exposed beaches early, easing to 6 to 8ft during the day and smaller into the afternoon. Grading to 6 to 8ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, dropping another foot or two during the day. WIND: Early WNW 10 to 20 knots, tending NW during the afternoon.
Easing SW groundswell ranging from 3 to 5ft along the exposed beaches, easing later. Wrapping at 2 to 4ft along the Surf Coast reefs and grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early NNW 10 to 15 knots, tending N and freshening to 15 to 25 knots.
Thursday’s still big and gradually improving surf opened a long-awaited crack in the door - to what’s been a long-run of huge, onshore and closed for business winter conditions this week. Unfortunately that door slams shut again come Friday morning as a rejuvenated, onshore north-westerly kicks in at strength; effectively writing off surfing options across the Southwest, Perth and Mandurah for days to come. That really only leaves the far northwest or the far south as the only regions holding good surfing options all weekend.
Settled SW groundswell mixes with rising westerly windswell under strong north-westerlies. South West: Windblown 4 to 5ft+ exposed areas, picking up later. Perth/Mandurah: Junky 1 to 2ft+. WIND: NNW to NW 20 to 30 knots, tending WNW during the afternoon.
Renewed WSW groundswell under strong onshore winds throughout the day. South West: Windblown 8 to 10ft+ exposed areas, rising to 10 to 12ft+ during the day. Perth/Mandurah: Junky 2 to 3ft+ exposed beaches, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: W 20 to 40 knots.
XXL WSW storm-swell builds under strong onshore WSW to SW winds throughout the day. South West: Windblown 15 to 20ft+ early, rising towards 20 to 25ft+ exposed areas. Perth/Mandurah: Junky 3 to 5ft+ exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: W or WNW 20 to 40 knots.
The ocean will effectively be a no-zone across the state on Friday as a peaking SW groundswell arrives under strong SW winds, rendering even the more sheltered corners pretty unappealing. However, conditions turn about-face as winds begin to come around; starting our NW on Saturday morning before swinging further north during the day, opening up rapidly improving conditions across the South Coast all afternoon. That leaves Sunday as a full day of good conditions as freshening northerlies greet the tail end of the swell.
Renewed SSW groundswell builds under fresh SW winds. South Coast: Heavily windblown 6 to 8ft+ Waits and Parsons, grading to a choppy 4 to 6ft+ at Middleton. Mid Coast: Windblown 3 to 4ft+. WIND: SW 20 to 30 knots tending WSW and easing during the afternoon.
Easing SSW groundswell during the day under fresh cross-offshore winds. South Coast: Cross-shore 4 to 6ft+ Waits and Parsons, grading to 3 to 5ft at Middleton, easing later. Mid Coast: Cross-onshore 1 to 3ft. WIND: NW 10 to 20 knots, tending NNW to N during the afternoon.
Leftover SSW groundswell. Around 3 to 4ft at Waits and Parsons settling during the arvo. Grading to 2 to 3ft at Middleton, fading later. Mid Coast: Around 1 to 2ft+, bigger later. WIND: N 15 to 30 knots.
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