Weekend Surf Forecast 27 - 29 July 2018

26 Jul 2018 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 26 July 2018

All the action has clearly been reserved for Indonesian coasts this week - and that will probably remain the case as a still super-active storm-track sets up a series of new SSW pulses for the Archipelago into late July and early August. In comparison, the news for the Eastern Seaboard isn’t great. A slow ebb in background swells pervades the entire region throughout the weekend; offering up slow one to two foot waves along the more exposed south-facing stretches across the NSW coast, but for the most part only amounting to one foot or less across southern Queensland coasts. The only upside is a continuation of mostly perfect winds and weather as a pattern of offshore to light northerly winds continues.

Further south, the news is substantially better. Victoria sees an easing SW groundswell greeted by favourable breezes; mostly ranging from NW to N until winds begin to pick up out of the west on Sunday. Likewise South Australia also benefits from a similar pattern of favourable conditions on Friday and Saturday, before things turn wintery again on Sunday.

Across the West Coast we see a continuation of big, onshore winter conditions prevailing across the region as another monumental WSW groundswell fills in. However, this time around it looks like a small window of good conditions will open up as the bulk of swell hits on Saturday morning as a short-period of light winds sets in – but that window will slam shut again as strengthening WNW winds set in throughout the afternoon.

There's a cracking winter weekend in store down south. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jordan Smith.

There's a cracking winter weekend in store down south. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jordan Smith.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast.
The NSW coast is now entering a subdued phase in wave-activity that should leave us with smaller surf this weekend. Expect lower-levels of S swell on Friday; still up to a clean 1 to 2ft along the more south facing beaches, but otherwise smaller elsewhere. This sets the trend for Saturday as some minor, mid-period S swell endures as the dominant swell-train across the region and the real upside is a continuation of idyllic local conditions; characterised by early light offshore land-breezes tending variable to light northerly. It’s only on Sunday that we see a slight shift in the pattern; featuring the addition of some slight, refracted NE windswell along open beaches. However, going on latest model guidance there’s not a lot of confidence surrounding any notable increase. For now even a minor push into the 1 to 2ft range along exposed open beaches looks optimistic – but this will become clearer over the next 24 hours so stay tuned to Friday’s update for an update on this.

Friday
Background S groundswell up to a slow 1 to 2ft max south facing beaches. Otherwise Sub-1ft or virtually flat elsewhere. WIND: Early WNW 5 to 15 knots, tending light N, then NNE at around 10 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Potential for minor S swell. Around 1 to 2ft across exposed south facing beaches, grading tiny/ near-flat elsewhere. WIND: WNW 10 to 15 knots, easing light variable, then NNE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Mix of slight NE windswell and smaller, residual S swell. Up to 1 to 2ft exposed open beaches, grading to 1ft or so elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: NNW 10 to 15 knots, shifting W and freshening during the afternoon.

Only the slightest of S swells hold out hopes of some one to two foot sets across southern exposures this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Dkimber.

Only the slightest of S swells hold out hopes of some one to two foot sets across southern exposures this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Dkimber.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
There isn’t really any meaningful surf to speak of across the region this weekend. A very neutral synoptic pattern leaves both our short and long-range swell windows devoid of swell-sources; leaving us with the slightest of background swells in the water over the coming days. That probably means that only the most exposed far northern NSW beaches will be pulling in the odd 1 to 2ft set. For southern Queensland, that’s likely to mean virtually-flat conditions; probably not exceeding 1ft across exposed beaches all weekend.

Friday
Residual SSE swell up to 1 to 2ft exposed northern NSW coasts, fading during the day. Wrapping into southern QLD exposed breaks at 1ft or less and grading to flat inside the points and bays. WIND: NW 5 to 15 knots tending NNW to N and freshening to 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Slight NE windswell mixing with background E swell. Around 1ft+ exposed open beaches, otherwise tiny or virtually flat elsewhere. WIND: Early NW to NNW 10 to 15 knots, tending north in the afternoon.

Sunday
Slight NE windswell mixing with background E swell at 1ft or so exposed open beaches, otherwise verging on flat elsewhere. WIND: NNW 10 to 20 knots, tending north later.

Only in your dreams across southern Queensland this weekend. Photo: Simon Muirhead.

Only in your dreams across southern Queensland this weekend. Photo: Simon Muirhead.

Victoria
There’s some great windows of surfing opportunity across the state this weekend as an easing trend in WSW groundswell coincides with mostly favourable winds. By Friday we should see a further drop in wave-energy opening up more accessible options along the exposed beaches; albeit under still moderate north-westerlies lending the focus to the Surf Coast and the more south facing beaches all day. That leads in some great conditions along exposed areas on Saturday as a lighter north to northwest wind-regime coincides with a still substantial SW groundswell in the 3 to 4ft plus range; probably producing the best day of surf before things start to get woolly again on Sunday. The arrival of a vigorous cold front across Bass Strait on Saturday evening leads in strong westerlies across the state on Sunday; again turning the focus to the Surf Coast all day.

Friday
Easing SW groundswell. Sets around 4 to 5ft+ along the exposed beaches early, easing to 3 to 4ft+ during the afternoon. Grading to 2 to 3ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, dropping during the afternoon. WIND: Early NW 10 to 15 knots, tending WNW in the afternoon.

Saturday
Reinforcing SW groundswell ranging from 3 to 4ft+ along the exposed beaches. Wrapping at a slower 2 to 3ft along the Surf Coast reefs and grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light NW tending NNE 5 to 15 knots.

Sunday
New, long-period WSW groundswell gradually builds in with long lulls between sets. Speculatively 3 to 4ft+ along exposed beaches early, rising to 4 to 6ft during the day and up to 5 to 8ft into the afternoon. Wrapping at slower 2 to 3ft across the Surf Coast reefs picking up during the afternoon. WIND: WNW 15 to 25 knots, freshening to 20 to 35 knots during the day, then tending SW 20 to 30 knots later.

Victoria's exposed beaches will make a welcome return to form this weekend. Photo: Jordan Smith.

Victoria's exposed beaches will make a welcome return to form this weekend. Photo: Jordan Smith.

Western Australia
Conditions get el loco again as yet another huge round of WSW groundswell fills in this weekend. But this time around there is a key difference. As the bulk of energy fills in throughout Saturday morning we’ll see a brief period of light winds opening up some interesting options across the Southwest. Having said that, there will still be enough sea-state to preclude any real quality surf across the majority of exposed breaks. Still, it should open up some reasonably good quality inside the protected spots and it will be well worth making the most of the lull in onshore winds before they swing WNW and rebuild in strength into the afternoon. That will leave Sunday as a complete write-off across both Perth and the Southwest.

Friday
Mid period SW swell bottoms out prior to the arrival of a reinforced pulse. South West: Windblown 4 to 6ft+ exposed areas, rising to 8 to 10ft during the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: Junky 1 to 3ft exposed beaches, rising. WIND: W 20 to 25 knots, shifting SW and easing later.

Saturday
Potential for new, heavy WSW/SW groundswell under light/ variable winds. South West: Heavy 12 to 18ft sets exposed areas. Perth/Mandurah: Sets to 3 to 4ft+ exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Light S 10 to 15 knots, tending variable 5 to 10 knots, then WNW and freshening to 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Heavy SW groundswell slowly eases under strong westerly winds. South West: Stormy 10 to 12ft+ exposed breaks. Perth/ Mandurah: Windblown 2 to 4ft exposed breaks. WIND: WNW 20 to 35 knots, easing and tending WSW, SW during the afternoon.

Another huge WSW swell-event peaks across the Southwest on Sunday under relatively light early winds, but unfortunately it probably won't resemble anything like this. Photo: Dan Wyer.

Another huge WSW swell-event peaks across the Southwest on Sunday under relatively light early winds, but unfortunately it probably won't resemble anything like this. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
It’s well worth making the most of the next 48 hours if you want to capitalise on the current run of user-friendly surfing conditions across the state. An overnight decline in SSW groundswell should see great 2 to 4ft conditions across the South Coast on Friday morning as light and variable winds precede moderate south-westerlies developing during the afternoon. Likewise, Saturday morning is also well worth a look as similarly light winds greet a slightly smaller SW swell – again producing not-necessarily-epic, but good conditions as north-westerlies freshen during the day. However, conditions are set to turn ballistic again on Sunday as a heavy pulse of WSW groundswell arrives under strong west to south-westerlies.

Friday
Leftover SW 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 1.5ft. WIND: Early light land-breezes around 5 knots, tending variable then turning SW around 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Small left overs prior to a building wind swell later. South Coast: Clean to 2 to 3ft at Waits and Parsons, grading to 2ft or so at Middleton. Mid Coast: Clean 1ft, rising wind swell later. WIND: Early variable 5 to 10 knots, tending NW and freshening 15 to 20 knots during the day, stronger later.

Sunday
Large WSW groundswell builds in under moderate to fresh WSW, SW winds. South Coast: Windblown 5 to 6ft+ early, building to 6 to 8ft+ sets at Waits and Parsons, grading to 4 to 6ft at Middleton, undersized early. Mid Coast: Semi stormy 2 to 3ft, rising 4ft sets. WIND: WSW 20 to 35 knots, easing 20 to 25 knots later.

There will be some great opportunities for some clean waves over the next 48 hours, before a vigorous front leads in strong WSW winds early on Sunday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Dkimber.

There will be some great opportunities for some clean waves over the next 48 hours, before a vigorous front leads in strong WSW winds early on Sunday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Dkimber.


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