Weekend Surf Forecast 3 - 5 August, 2018
Issued Thursday, 2 August 2018
A highly active winter storm-track remains in full swing across the southern states, but if live along the East Coast you could be forgiven for thinking spring has arrived early. Across the NSW coast the surfing focus briefly shifts to the north as a fleeting round of NE windswell peaks at a fun size early on Saturday, before rapidly dwindling again during the day. The localised, northerly winds driving this episode reside too far south of the Queensland coast to have any notable effect on the region – and that means virtually nada in the way of surf all weekend.
In contrast, the southern states continue to exist in another swell-universe as a series of large, overlapping pulses of WSW groundswell hammer both South Australian and Victorian coasts; combining with strong north to north-westerly winds to light up south facing breaks across both states all weekend. Over west, the song remains the same as previous weekends. The wintery onslaught of huge SW swell under howling onshore winds continues unabated across the West Coast, leaving the most sheltered nooks and crannies as the only viable surfing options across the Southwest. That pretty much leaves both Western Australia’s North-west coast and Indonesia as by far the best surfing bet in our neck of the woods throughout the weekend and beyond.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast.
You’ll have to be on the proverbial ball if you want to make the most of what’s shaping up as a fleeting uptick in NE swell over the next 48 hours. The source is a localised northerly airflow developing immediately offshore on Friday; driving short-period wind-waves up to a junky 2ft plus during the afternoon. The best part of this swell should materialise at peak intervals of 6 to 7 seconds during the early hours of Saturday morning; offering up some peaky 2 to 3ft sets at the more exposed open beaches before it rapidly fades throughout the day. By Sunday morning any residual NE swell will be all but gone. In it’s place we’ll see some low-scale S swell offering up a tiny wave across south facing breaks – otherwise it’s likely to be lapping the shore along the majority of open beaches all day.
Residual S swell superseded by rising NE windswell. Slow sets ranging up to 1 to 2ft across exposed open beaches early, building to a junky 1 to 3ft later. WIND: NNW 10 to 15 knots, tending NNE at around 15 to 25 knots.
NE windswell eases under light offshore morning winds. Ranging from 1 to 3ft exposed open beaches early, grading smaller elsewhere and rapidly fading during the day. Potential for small/ tiny, refracted S swell picking up to an inconsistent 1 to 2ft southern exposures during the afternoon. WIND: WNW 5 to 10 knots tending light and variable, then light N during the afternoon.
Small S swell around 1 to 2ft south facing beaches. Otherwise tiny/ near flat elsewhere. WIND: WNW to NW 5 to 15 knots turning N to NNE 10 to 15 knots later.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
There’s not a whole lot of swell to speak of across the region over the coming days. In fact, if it wasn’t for a short-lived increase in S swell showing up on Friday there wouldn’t be any at all. This minor pulse is set to peak in the vicinity of two to three feet across far northern NSW southern exposures early on Friday before gradually dropping away from there; leaving little beyond 1to 2ft surf at the magnets by Saturday morning. By Sunday it’s likely to be smaller again – and broadly speaking this does not bode well for southern Queensland coasts. It looks like we’ll see a continued run of tiny surf; not pushing much beyond a slow 1ft+ at the magnets while verging on flat across the majority of open stretches all weekend.
New S swell peaks early. Sets ranging from 2 to 3ft at northern NSW southern exposures. Mixing with slight ESE windswell at a slow 1 to 2ft at best along exposed SE QLD beaches and grading to near-flat inside the points and bays. WIND: Light W to variable inshore early, tending NNE in the afternoon and freshening to 10 to 15 knots.
Mix of short period E windswell and background S swell leftovers. Ranging from 1 to 2ft northern NSW southern exposures, grading to 1ft or so along exposed QLD beaches and near-flat elsewhere. WIND: WNW to NW 10 to 15 knots, tending light N to NE later.
Tiny S swell up to 1ft+ northern NSW southern exposures, mixing with slight rising NE wind-chop at 0.5 to 1ft exposed QLD breaks and near-flat elsewhere. WIND: Model divergence. Possibly light NNW early, tending N and freshening to 15 to 25 knots later.
There’s no shortage of powerful, long period groundswell inbound across the state this weekend – but that doesn’t mean it will translate directly to epic surfing conditions. A series of overlapping WSW pulses arrive from a fairly acute directional band; probably acute enough to provide an effective constraint on wave size and consistency across the Surf Coast. Directional swell aside, an emerging, strong north to north-westerly wind-regime will keep the surf-focus fixed on the more south-facing stretches over the coming days, so finding one of these venues making sense of the long-period WSW swell could be the key to scoring some good surf.
Reinforcing mid period WSW groundswell under continued fresh north winds. Around 2 to occasional 3ft along the exposed beaches early, rebuilding towards 2 to 3ft+ later. Virtually flat or up to 1ft along the Surf Coast, bumping up later. WIND: NNE 20 to 30 knots, shifting NNW/NW then WNW later.
Underlying SW swell reinforced by larger, long-period WSW groundswell building in under moderate NNW winds. Around 3 to 4ft along exposed beaches early, rising into the 3 to 6ft range during the afternoon. Wrapping at slower 1 to 2ft+ across the Surf Coast reefs picking up during the afternoon. WIND: NNW 15 to 25 knots, tending N later.
Large W groundswell builds under fresh north winds. Undersized early at 3 to 4ft+ exposed beaches, rising to 4 to 6ft+ during the day and up to 6 to 8ft across exposed beaches during the afternoon. Inconsistent sets wrapping at a wind-affected 1 to 3ft along the Surf Coast, picking up to 2 to 3ft+ during the day and potentially rising to 3 to 5ft later. WIND: N 20 to 25 knots, tending NNW to NW and easing later.
The wintery onslaught of huge SW swell under howling onshore winds continues unabated across the West Coast this weekend. The upside is an emerging southerly bias in wind-direction, opening up much cleaner surfable options inside the sheltered nooks and crannies pulling in a diluted version of the swell. So if you are familiar with such sheltered breaks you’ll probably want to be on the spot as another monstrous SW swell-event peaks on Saturday. The only other qualifier is a much stronger southerly bias in swell direction this time around – and that’s likely to mean much smaller surf inside sheltered spots compared to some of the recent WSW episodes. In the absence of that, you could jump on a plane to Indonesia or drive north in search of greener pastures.
Overlapping pulse in XL SW groundswell under continued onshore winds. South West: Messy, 8 to 12ft, rising later. Perth/Mandurah: Messy, 3 to 4ft+. WIND: W 25 to 35 knots.
Strong peak in heavy SW groundswell under improving south winds. South West: Messy, 12 to 20ft. Perth/Mandurah: Messy, 3 to 6ft. WIND: SSW 25 to 40 knots tending southerly and easing later.
XL SW groundswell eases under potentially light winds South West coast: Semi clean, unsettled, 8 to 12ft+, easing to 6 to 10ft later. Perth/Mandurah: Clean, 2 to 4ft, easing. WIND: SSW 15 to 20 knots, steadily easing and tending SW in the afternoon.
A renewed building trend in SW groundswell gets underway again on Friday; albeit slowly – but inexorably building into the weekend as winds turn NNW to W and ramp up in strength. The strengthening winds will invariably lend the focus to the more sheltered South Coast beaches as the swell builds; initially offering up wind-affected 2 to 3ft conditions at Middleton on Saturday, prior to a major pulse of long-period SW groundswell kicking in on Sunday. This should see substantially larger sets in the 3 to 5ft realm; albeit under strong NW winds turning WNW during the day.
Reinforced mid period SW swell under fresh WSW tending WNW winds. South Coast: Unsettled 2 to 3ft Waits and Parsons, rising later Grading 2ft or so at Middleton, rising later. Mid Coast: Semi stormy 2 to 3ft, rising later. WIND: NW 20 to 30 knots, turning west during the morning.
Small WSW groundswell under fresh NW winds. South Coast: 3 to 4ft at Waits and Parsons. Slower sets around 2 to 3ft at Middleton, bumping up during the afternoon. Mid Coast: Semi stormy, 2ft+. WIND: NNW 20 to 40 knots, easing later.
Large SW groundswell peaks during the day under strong westerlies. South Coast: Windblown 5 to 7ft Waits and Parsons, undersized early. Grading to a cross-shore 3 to 5ft at Middleton. Mid Coast: Windblown 2 to 4ft. WIND: NW to WNW 15 to 25 knots.
The weekend brings surf. And plenty of it.
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