Weekend Surf Forecast 19 - 21 October, 2018

18 Oct 2018 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 18 October 2018

It's one big mixed bag of surfing conditions around this vast island we inhabit this weekend. Across the Eastern Seaboard this week's much anticipated, albeit persistently wind-affected E/NE swell continues to gradually scale-down in size; opening up incrementally smaller, but also cleaner and better organised waves across both Sydney and the southern NSW coast as well as southern Queensland and northern NSW areas.

Further south, Victoria and South Australia see a mix of good and bad as N to NE winds give way to a west to southwesterly wind-shift later Friday, leading in mostly onshore conditions across both states on Saturday. The good news is conditions will start to turn back on as winds begin to revert to the northeast on Sunday. Further afield, the news for Western Australia is not good. Strong and persistent onshore winds will lay an otherwise solid run of SW swell to waste for days to come.

One mans comfort zone. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Ollie Whitlam.

One mans comfort zone. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Ollie Whitlam.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
This week’s solid, albeit junky NE swell is on the way back down over the next few days – and by the looks of the long-range outlook is well worth milking it for all its worth. Friday and Saturday should continue to see good sized sets ranging anywhere from 2 to 4ft across the exposed open breaks. The other key upside is early lighter offshore winds opening up improving quality as the north-easterly airflow gradually wanes.

Friday
NE swell. Sets around 3 to 4ft exposed breaks, grading to 2 to 3ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure.
WIND: Early light WNW to NNW 5 to 15 knots tending NE 10 to 20 knots during the day.

Saturday
Easing ENE swell. Ranging from 2 to 4ft exposed open breaks, easing to 2 to 3ft during the afternoon.
WIND: NNE to 10 knots, tending NE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Background ENE swell around 2 to 3ft exposed open beaches. Mixing with a minor rise in SSE windswell during the day.
WIND: Early light and variable tending ENE around 10 knots, potentially 10 to 15 knots later.

Our junky NE swell cleans up and gradually eases over the coming days, opening up some good quality surf along the most exposed east facing stretches. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Tony Palmer.

Our junky NE swell cleans up and gradually eases over the coming days, opening up some good quality surf along the most exposed east facing stretches. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Tony Palmer.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
It’s not that unheard of to get an early taste of easterly things to come in October – but these sorts of season-openers are usually interspersed with a long hiatus in activity before the next one arrives. That means regardless of the unfavourable onshore NE airflow, you might as well make the most of the swell while it lasts. The tail end of this event should continue to range from 2 to 4ft across the region over the next couple of days, with an incremental decline likely to culminate in a return to small/ tiny leftovers early to mid next week.

Friday
Easing E swell under light NW to N winds. Clean 3 to 4ft sets exposed beaches, dropping a bit during the afternoon. Grading to a junky 1 to 3ft along the points and bays, bigger later. WIND: Early light WNW to NNW tending ENE around 10 knots during the day.

Saturday
Leftover E swell around 2 to 4ft exposed beaches, grading smaller along the points and inside the bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light WNW to NNW tending NE 10 to 15 knots in the arvo.

Sunday
Leftover E swell around 2 to 3ft exposed beaches. Grading to 1 to 2ft+ or so elsewhere. WIND: Early light and variable tending light ENE to NE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

It's not exactly epic, but the current run of easterly swell is still worth making the most of before it dries up early to mid next week. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Aquatic Horizons.

It's not exactly epic, but the current run of easterly swell is still worth making the most of before it dries up early to mid next week. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Aquatic Horizons.

Victoria
Friday morning offers up one final opportunity to get amongst some smaller, but mostly clean conditions across Victoria’s exposed beaches. A dying NNE airflow should see good offshore winds prevailing ahead of a late swing to the west, leading in less-than-ideal WSW/SW winds across the state on Saturday. That leaves Sunday as your best option for some junky but improving surf as a slacking pressure gradient sees winds fading to light and variable, opening up reasonably good small to mid-sized surf across the state all day.

Friday
Easing WSW groundswell. Clean sets ranging from 2 to 4ft along exposed beaches and around 2ft along the Surf Coast with size depending on exposure. WIND: NW to N/NE 10 to 15 knots, turning NW to freshening to 15 to 20 knots in the arvo.

Saturday
Potential for a steep rising, short-range WSW swell under fresh westerly winds. Speculatively undersized at 2 to 3ft+ along exposed beaches early, bumping up to a junky 3 to 4ft during the afternoon. Wrapping at a smaller 1 to 2ft along the Surf Coast, bumping up later. WIND: WSW around 15 to 20 knots, tending SW and easing to 10 to 15 knots, then tending south in the arvo.

Sunday
WSW swell fades from 3 to 5ft along the exposed beaches early, dropping to 3 to 4ft later. Around 2 to 4ft on the Surf Coast reefs, easing later. WIND: Light and variable tending SE around 10 knots.

The exposed beaches will be well worth a look while NE winds last on Friday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jordan Smith.

The exposed beaches will be well worth a look while NE winds last on Friday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jordan Smith.

Western Australia
Persistent and strong onshore winds lay an otherwise solid SW swell to waste over the next few days. That leaves very little to recommend in the way of surfing options, so if you have a bunch of stuff on your to-do list, this weekend looks like a good opportunity to knock it on the head.

Friday
SW swell blown out by strong south-westerlies. South West: Choppy 5 to 6ft+ early, settling to 4 to 6ft across exposed breaks during the day. Perth/Mandurah: Up to a junky 2ft. WIND: Early WSW 15 to 25 knots, tending Westerly in the afternoon

Saturday
Old SW swell potentially reinforced by rising WSW swell under strong westerly winds. South West: Windblown 4 to 5ft across exposed breaks, building towards 5 to 6ft+ later. Perth, Mandurah: Choppy 2ft at exposed beaches, picking up later. WIND: WNW 15 to 25 knots, freshening to 20 to 30 knots.

Sunday
Potential for larger SW groundswell under fresh onshore winds. South West coast: Junky 6 to 8ft+ sets at exposed breaks, building into the afternoon. Perth/ Mandurah: Around 1 to 3ft exposed beaches. WIND: WSW 20 to 35 knots early, tending SW and easing to 15 to 25 knots later.

Onshore winds take the shine off an otherwise solid run of SW swell this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

Onshore winds take the shine off an otherwise solid run of SW swell this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
The passage of a vigorous cold front across the state on Friday keeps a lid on your surfing windows of opportunity this weekend. Friday morning offers up good conditions across the more exposed South Coast breaks as fresh NE winds precde a strong westerly wind-shift as the front moves in during the afternoon. The good news is it will move through swiftly, making way for a new ridge that will see onshore winds rapidly easing in strength throughout Saturday, before reverting to light offshore on Sunday morning.

Friday
Faded SW groundswell around 2 to 4ft at Waits and Parsons, grading to 2ft+ around Middleton. Mid Coast: Tiny to near-flat. WIND: NE 20 to 25 knots, tending North and freshening ahead of a NW/ SW wind-shift at 20 to 35 knots in the arvo.

Saturday
SW swell early, building later with new WSW swell and wind combo. South Coast: Windy 2 to 3ft at Waits and Parsons. Grading to 1 to 2ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: Southesterly 10 to 20 knots, tending South and easing in the arvo.

Sunday
Potential for settling WSW groundswell under favourable northerly winds. South Coast: Clean 2 to 4ft s at Waits and Parsons early, fading quickly in afternoon. Around 2 to 3ft at Middleton. Mid Coast: Around 0.5ft. WIND: NE 5 to 15 knots tending light and variable onshore in the arvo.

Exposed southern coasts will be the pick both on Friday morning and again on Sunday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jack O'Grady.

Exposed southern coasts will be the pick both on Friday morning and again on Sunday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jack O'Grady.


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