Weekend Surf Forecast 26 - 28 October 2018

25 Oct 2018 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 25 October 2018

It’s shaping up as another one of those spring weekends featuring consistent waves just about everywhere you look. Having said that, onshore winds are also looking prolific around the country and you’ll need to time your run if you want to be getting amongst clean conditions.

Over east, the NSW coast sees two successive pulses of southerly swell keeping the hordes busy; the first on Saturday being relatively weak and localised, preceding a stronger, albeit windblown building trend setting in throughout Sunday. At the same time our most recent run of easterly swell finally begins to draw to a close over the next few days; initially hanging in at just rideable levels on Friday and Saturday before eventually fading below the threshold on Sunday. Further south, both Victoria and South Australia experience a mix of fluky winds and mostly small-scale SW swell; offering up fleeting windows of opportunity for good waves all weekend. That leaves the West Coast as the pick of the bunch; featuring a pattern of early cross-offshore winds and consistent SW swell, building to substantial 6ft+ levels across the Southwest on Sunday.


How to light up a closeout. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Patt Pombart.

How to light up a closeout. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Patt Pombart.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast.
While it’s definitely a long way from an ideal weekend of waves, there will be plenty of them on offer across the region; mostly comprised of short-period SSE windswell mixing with smaller underlying easterly swell on Friday and Saturday. The arrival of a strong southerly change on Friday morning leaves little to be desired – and that will leave Saturday morning as a better option for some semi-clean two to near three foot waves at south facing breaks. Sunday then marks the onset of a stronger round of S swell that should build to stronger 3 to 4ft plus levels during the day – but it will be accompanied by strong onshore winds from the same direction all day.

Friday
Mix of short range SE and ENE swell reinforced by slight rising SSE windswell. Up to a junky 1 to 2ft+ south facing breaks early, bumping up to a junky 2 to 3ft during the day. WIND: Early lighter WNW near-dawn, shifting SSW to S 20 to 30 knots early morning before easing and tending SSE 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Potential for minor SSE windswell ranging from 2 to 3ft across exposed open and south facing breaks, steadily easing during the day. More like 1 to 2ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light WSW to SW 5 to 10 knots tending light and variable, then NE and freshening to 10 to 15 knots later.

Sunday
Potential for rising S swell. Undersized at 2 to 4ft across south facing breaks early, picking up to 3 to 5ft during the morning and holding similar size all afternoon. Grading to 2 to 4ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early SSE 10 to 20 knots, shifting S 20 to 25 knots during the morning, then SSE and easing later.

A strong round of S swell arriving on Sunday won't be picture perfect under fresh southerly winds, but it's still a whole lot better than nothing. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Tony Palmer.

A strong round of S swell arriving on Sunday won't be picture perfect under fresh southerly winds, but it's still a whole lot better than nothing. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Tony Palmer.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Our already diminutive easterly swell continued to trend incrementally downward over the coming days. There’s still likely to be some little 1 to 2ft lines on offer on Friday, but by Saturday that’s likely to mean tiny surf in the 1ft plus range across exposed Queensland beaches, before further fading to sub-one foot levels on Sunday. The story for northern NSW is a little better. A slightly larger round of South swell is due to pick up a bit of slack; probably only showing most size in the 2 to 3ft range on Saturday before fading again on Sunday. The only upside is a more substantial rise in South swell early next week.

Friday
Background E lingers at a slow 1 to 2ft max along exposed beaches, mixing with fading SSE swell similar levels south of the border. Grading smaller along the points and inside the bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light WNW to NNW tending Northerly ahead of a SSE change 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
Potential for new SSE windswell. Sets up to 2ft+ northern NSW south facing breaks, otherwise mixing with background E swell at a slow 1 to 2ft exposed QLD beaches. Grading to tiny or near-flat along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early WSW to SSW tending SE to ESE and then ENE 5 to 15 knots later.

Sunday
Smaller SSE swell ranging from 1 to 2ft northern NSW south facing breaks, otherwise more like 1ft exposed QLD coasts, grading to near-flat along the points and bays. WIND: Early light WNW tending light and variable ahead of a SSE change 15 to 20 knots in the arvo.

Small can still mean fun, but by Sunday the last of the E swell will most likely be below the rideable threshold across SE Queensland. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jack Gore.

Small can still mean fun, but by Sunday the last of the E swell will most likely be below the rideable threshold across SE Queensland. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jack Gore.

Victoria
Opportunities for a few clean waves are looking a little bit scant across the state this weekend. The arrival of a strong SW to Southerly change on Friday will quickly eradicate wave quality across coasts throughout the morning. That leaves Saturday morning as a better window for some small, clean waves across the Surf coast, before winds revert to the SW and pick up in strength into the afternoon. Sunday sees lighter onshore ESE to SSE winds offering up some reasonable quality across all coasts as a new pulse of SW swell fills during the day.

Friday
Easing WSW groundswell bumps up marginally in the arvo. Clean sets ranging from 3 to 4ft+ along exposed beaches, grading to 2 to 3ft+ along the Surf Coast with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light WNW inshore, quickly turning SW to SSW during the morning and then stronger South 15 to 20 knots in the arvo.

Saturday
Easing SW swell under early offshore winds. Sets up to 3 to 4ft along exposed beaches early, dropping towards a slower 2 to 4ft later in the day. Sets around 2 to 3ft along the Surf Coast reefs, fading later. WIND: Early light WNW 10 to 15 knots tending SW and freshening to 15 to 20 knots in the arvo.

Sunday
Potential for junky onshore, short-range SW swell up to 3 to 4ft along the exposed beaches, grading to 2 to 3ft+ on the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: SSE to SE 10 to 15 knots, easing later.

Good surfing opportunities are looking slim across Victoria this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Mattmac.

Good surfing opportunities are looking slim across Victoria this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Mattmac.

Western Australia
Good to great in the mornings, turning to junk in the afternoons. That’s the rule of thumb to follow over the next few days as fluctuating levels of SW swell offer up early windows of clean conditions, before freshening southerlies blow it to bits. Sunday literally stands head and shoulders above the rest for size and quality as a powerful round of SW groundswell lights up exposed Southwest breaks in the 6ft plus range under early light ESE winds.

Friday
SW swell under early cross-offshore winds. South West: Sets up to 2 to 3ft+ exposed breaks early, settling to a slower 2 to 3ft during the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: Up to 1ft+ exposed beaches. WIND: Early SSE inshore around 15 to 20 knots, tending SSW 20 to 25 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
Potential for rebuilding SW groundswell under favourable cross-offshore winds. South West: Speculatively up to a clean 4 to 6ft across exposed breaks, deteriorating later. Perth, Mandurah: Sets around 2ft at exposed beaches, smaller elsewhere. WIND: SE to SSE 10 to 15 knots, tending SSW and freshening to 15 to 25 knots later.

Sunday
Potential for stronger SW groundswell reaching 5 to 7ft+ sets across exposed breaks, easing later. Perth/Mandurah: Clean in the 1 to 3ft range along exposed beaches, smaller later. WIND: ESE to SE 10 to 15 knots early, tending S to SW during the afternoon.

Early cross-offshore south-easterly winds open up good conditions during the morning hours. Photo: Dev Coote.

Early cross-offshore south-easterly winds open up good conditions during the morning hours. Photo: Dev Coote.

South Australia
Fluky winds and small-ish levels of SW swell don’t hold a great deal of surf-potential for the state this weekend. Saturday sees low-levels of SW swell under early light easterlies, lending the focus to the most exposed south-west facing breaks all day. That pretty well sets the trend for Sunday as a minor uptick in size again coincides with a similar pattern of early light easterlies, turning to moderate southerly sea-breezes during the afternoon.

Friday
Faded SSW groundswell around 2 to 3ft+ at Waits and Parsons, grading to 2ft+ around Middleton. Mid Coast: Tiny to near-flat. WIND: SE to SSE 5 to 10 knots, tending South around 10 knots in the arvo.

Saturday
Slight SW swell slowly fades. South Coast: Sets around 2 to 3ft at Waits and Parsons. Grading to 1 to 2ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: Flat to 0.5ft. WIND: Early East 5 to 10 knots, tending ESE to SE 15 to 20 knots, then SSW in the arvo.

Sunday
Potential for rebuilding SW groundswell. South Coast: Speculatively 2 to 3ft building to 2 to 4ft at Waits and Parsons. Grading to a junky 1 to 2ft around Middleton, bigger later. Mid Coast: WSW swell around 1ft. WIND: ESE to SSE 5 to 15 knots.

The most exposed south-west facing coasts will have their moments across the state this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Dkimber.

The most exposed south-west facing coasts will have their moments across the state this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Dkimber.


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