Weekend Surf Forecast 7 - 9 September 2018

6 Sep 2018 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 6 September 2018

Pumping surf is looking a bit on the elusive side around the country for the first weekend of September. On the upside, there will be waves on offer pretty much everywhere you look. Across the East Coast the swell chops and changes in size and direction day by day; starting out NE across the NSW coast as a fleeting uptick in windswell peaks early on Friday, before turning SSE to SE as a weak trough/ low moves offshore over the weekend. Further north, southern Queensland and northern NSW see a similarly small combo of swells that will for the most part, favour the most exposed swell-magnets all weekend.

Further south, Victoria sees a slow building trend in WSW swell under WNW winds; progressively opening up improving wave quality across the Surf Coast as size and period muscle up throughout Saturday and Sunday. Although the same swell will arrive across South Australia from a more south-westerly direction, the state will also see a predominant WNW wind-regime producing cross-shore options across the South Coast, grading to smaller and onshore along the Mid. It’s only further west that conditions are looking thoroughly unappealing. Over the course of this week the West Coast has seen a return to large, onshore conditions – and this pattern is set to remain intact throughout Friday and the weekend; leaving little to the imagination across Perth and the Southwest.


While nowhere looks epic, but every region has waves this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Luke Gordon.

While nowhere looks epic, but every region has waves this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Luke Gordon.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast.
If there’s one thing you can say about the forecast, there are a lot of different swell-trains in the mix – but it’s also clear that none of them will be packing a great deal of size or power. Still, there should be some fun to be had; starting with a minor uptick in NE windswell showing most size early on Friday. As this pulse rapidly fades it’s joined by an underlying E swell that should add small, albeit infrequent 1 to 2ft sets into the mix. However, on Saturday both of these swells will be superseded by a minor rise in SSE windswell under onshore winds; picking up in response to a weak trough/ low moving off the NSW coast. For now the particulars on this remain a little murky, but this uncertainty should be largely resolved by Friday, so be sure to tune in to the detailed update.

Friday
NE windswell peaks early. Sets ranging from 2 to 3ft along the most exposed open beaches early, grading to more like 2ft elsewhere and fading throughout the day. WIND: Early light WNW to NNW inshore, tending variable southeast to northeast 5 to 10 knots during the day.

Saturday
Combination of long-range E groundswell and slight S and SE windswells up to 1 to 2ft+ exposed open breaks. Scope for increasing, localised SSE/ SE windswell towards a junky 2 to 3ft into the afternoon. WIND: Early WSW to SW shifting S 10 to 20 knots, then SE and easing later.

Sunday
Potential for slight ESE to SE windswell mixing with background E swell. Around 2ft+ exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early WSW 10 to 15 knots turning variable onshore to 10 knots during the afternoon, then W in the evening.

A combo of small NE and SSE windswells should offer up some small, fun waves at the right time and place. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Leana.

A combo of small NE and SSE windswells should offer up some small, fun waves at the right time and place. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Leana.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Following this week’s welcome reprieve from winter’s extended run of tiny surf, we’re looking at a return to – yep, you guessed it – mostly small waves across the region all weekend. Having said that, there will be waves ranging anywhere from 1 to 2ft plus as a combination of E, NE and SSE swells continue to cross-over along exposed stretches of coast. Initially we have a north to north-westerly wind-regime lending the focus to the more exposed south facing beaches and sheltered northern corners on Friday and Saturday – but that’s all set to turn about face with the arrival of a SW to SSE change on Sunday.

Friday
Mix of smaller-scale E and SE swells around 2ft+ exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light WNW to NNW inshore, tending N to NNE and freshening to 15 to 20 knots.

Saturday
Background E/SE swells and light NE windswell. Sets around 2ft+ exposed beaches, grading to more like 1 to 2ft elsewhere. WIND: Early NW to NNW around 10 to 20 knots, shifting S across northern NSW coasts in the evening.

Sunday
Mix of small-scale ESE joined by rising S windswell. Mostly around 2ft exposed QLD breaks. S windswell potentially picks up to a junky 2 to 3ft+ across northern NSW coasts during the afternoon. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early SW to SSW at 10 to 15 knots tending S to SSE and freshening to 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

While this week's solid SSE groundswell is set to fade, there will still be a combination of small swells offering up fun surf across the region all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Aquatic Horizons.

While this week's solid SSE groundswell is set to fade, there will still be a combination of small swells offering up fun surf across the region all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Aquatic Horizons.

Victoria
It’s all looking at bit middle of the road, or neither here nor there, across Victoria over the coming days. While there’s enough WSW swell inbound to generate accessible waves across all coasts, it’s likely to be a bit on the choppy side along exposed beaches. Although the prevailing WNW to NW wind-regime favours the Surf Coast, a westerly bias in swell direction is likely to see some inconsistency in set waves across the Surf Coast. That said, there should be plenty of half decent surfing options to be found all weekend.

Friday
Potential for rising WSW groundswell. Speculatively 2 to 3ft+ exposed beaches early, building to 3 to 4ft+ during the day. Wrapping at a mostly clean 1 to 2ft along the Surf Coast reefs, bumping up later. WIND: WNW 10 to 15 knots during the morning, easing and tending light and variable, then to sea-breezes later.

Saturday
WSW groundswell peaks under SW winds. Up to a solid and messy 3 to 5ft along the exposed beaches, wrapping at a wind-affected 2 to 3ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early NNW to NW 10 to 20 knots, tending WNW in the afternoon.

Sunday
Potential for reinforcing WSW groundswell. Cross-shore 4 to 6ft conditions along exposed beaches. Wrapping at a clean 3 to 4ft across the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: Early WNW 10 to 20 knots, tending WSW later.

Conditions look pretty well suited to the Surf Coast all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Mark_H.

Conditions look pretty well suited to the Surf Coast all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Mark_H.

Western Australia
Ahhh, hello? Did someone forget to tell Huey that winter has ended? What started out as a pretty fun looking start to spring has quickly devolved into a return to large, stormy conditions prevailing for days at a stretch – and that trend is set to continue all weekend – and early next week isn’t looking a whole lot better.

Friday
Reinforcing, mid period SW groundswell hampered by strong westerly winds: Windblown 4 to 6ft exposed breaks picking up into the 5 to 6ft+ range during the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: Up to 1 to 2ft+ at the magnets. WIND: W 20 to 30 knots, tending WSW and easing during the afternoon.

Saturday
Potential for rebuilding SW groundswell blown out by strong westerly winds. South West: Speculatively 5 to 6ft+ exposed breaks early, rising towards 6 to 8ft later. Perth, Mandurah: 1 to 2ft+, bigger later. WIND: WNW 20 to 25 knots.

Sunday
Large SW groundswell rebuild under strong onshore winds. South West: Windblown 6 to 8ft exposed breaks early, rising towards 8ft+ during the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: Junky 2 to 3ft+ early, rising windblown sets to 2 to 4ft later. WIND: NW 20 to 30 knots.

Winter's late return continues unabated across the West Coast this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

Winter's late return continues unabated across the West Coast this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
You could say conditions are looking a bit on the mediocre side – but hey, at least there’s waves – and plenty of them this weekend. Friday starts out with a building trend in SW swell that should offer up 2 to 4ft wind-affected options across the South Coast, with more size showing later in the day. This pulse then scales down throughout Saturday, ahead of a new round of SW groundswell rebuilding throughout Sunday – again making for windy 2 to 4ft waves across the South Coast all day.

Friday
SW groundswell builds in throughout the day. South Coast: Messy 3 to 4ft+ at Waits and Parsons early, picking up a foot or two later. Grading to 2 to 3ft at Middleton, bigger in the arvo. Mid Coast: Semi Junky 1 to 3ft. WIND: Light WNW 5 to 10 knots and up to 15 knots later.

Saturday
SSW groundswell slowly eases. South Coast: Clean sets ranging from 2 to 4ft Waits and Parsons, settling to 2 to 3ft during the arvo. Grading to 2ft+ around Middleton and dropping a foot or so later. Mid Coast: WSW swell around 1 to 2ft. WIND: NW 10 to 20 knots, shifting W during the afternoon.

Sunday
Reinforcing SW swell. Sets ranging from 3 to 4ft Waits and Parsons, grading to 2 to 3ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: Junky 1 to 2ft. WIND: WNW to NW 15 to 20 knots, tending W to SW and easing later.

A consistent run of SW swell under WNW winds should be sufficient to keep you in the water across SA this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jordan Smith.

A consistent run of SW swell under WNW winds should be sufficient to keep you in the water across SA this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jordan Smith.


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