Weekend Surf Forecast 4 - 6 January 2019
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
Issued Thursday, 3 January 2019
If your 2019 resolution is to surf more, then you should be able to find some waves this weekend with a little motivation. Depending on the stretch of coast, you may need to seek out shelter, but there seems to be options for surf around if you are determined to get in the water.
Sydney and the southern NSW coast continue to primarily see NE swell wrap, however, a trough will alleviate wind speeds on Saturday and Sunday for easing conditions. This trough also possibly allows for a brief southerly wind shift on the south coast and minor S wind waves.
Head up the coast and you will find surf becomes steady and fierce along Southern Queensland and northern NSW coasts. A high pressure pushes a persistent easterly tradewind swell that will build stronger from ENE as Tropical Cyclone Penny enhances the fetch. Surf remains solid but wind-affected at 3 to 6ft range this weekend and much of next week.
Meanwhile, both Victorian and South Australian see a westerly wind and swell pattern that will vary conditions from coast to coast. A low pressure front quickly dashes across the bight and follows with a WSW to SW airstream and a quick lived, mid period WSW swell Saturday to early Sunday.
Over West the outlook is best as a SSW groundswell coincides with favourable wind in the Margaret River region both Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast.
After a weeklong stretch of NE windswell, it seems that the northerlies would never cease. Friday shows much of the same NE pattern but the good news is: the winds are forecasted to decrease Saturday as a weak trough forms over the coast. As winds back off, conditions see smaller southerly conditions on the South Coast, while rotating back again from the NE on the Mid Coast. Waves will ease and the primary NE swell energy tends smaller along with minimal traces of S swell.
Short period NE windswell wrap reinforced, additional junky 2 to 3ft waves at the exposed open beaches early, tending 1 to 2ft towards the south with size and quality depending on northerly exposure. WIND: Early NNE 10 to 15 knots, tending NE 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon.
Decreasing northerly swell wrap, ranging from 2 to 3ft at the exposed open beaches, otherwise ranging smaller with size depending on exposure. Additional small S swell to south coast exposures crossing in 2ft windswell through the afternoon. WIND: Varied. Early variable to light N to NW 5 to 10 knots, tending calm before increasing NE 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon. Possible S wind 10 knots on south coast early, rising SSE 15 to 20 knots later.
Small and varied with two low range and opposing ENE swell and SSE swells. Easing ENE swell continues 1 to 2ft at open beaches and crossing with minor S’ly swell 1 to 2ft on south exposed areas. WIND: SSE to 10 knots early, tending ESE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
No shortage of surf here but wave quality will be the issue. A high pressure system remains well established over the Tasman and the dominant swell source will continue to march in with robust E to ENE winds driving off the northern portion of the high pressure. Tropical Cyclone Penny over the Coral Sea will also enhance the ENE fetch off the QLD coast, adding to the existing lumpy and straight waves. Expect steady consistent and textured surf at 3 to 4ft range and bumping up to messy 4 to 5ft+ at the more open beaches. Those easterly winds also mean textured conditions so expect poor to average form, with protected corners and coves the better options.
Textured E swell bumps up with ENE swell mixing in plus sets, tending to push in steadily into 3 to 5ft along exposed beaches and occasionally bigger, and grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: E to 10 knots early, tending ENE 10 to 15 knots during the day.
Increased lumpy E and ENE swell mix, consistent and straight 3 to 5ft along exposed open beaches with possible sets 4 to 6ft, grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: ENE early to 10 knots, tending 10 to 15 knots during the day.
Textured E and ENE swell continues, steady and straight 3 to 6ft along top exposed open beaches, grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: ENE early 10 knots, tending to 15 knots during the day.
Although swell will drop Friday, light N wind offers a temporary opportunity of settled surf early, before conditions turn breezy SW through the remainder of the weekend. Breezy and gusty SW winds lead to cleaner conditions on Surf Coast but swell will be limited by a westerly bias in swell direction. More wave size on the exposed beaches but expect breezy conditions, with WSW showing strongest Sunday morning.
SW swell fades, offshore morning conditions then breezy SW windshift in the afternoon. Settled to around 3 to 4ft along the open exposed beaches while wrapping at a slower clean 2ft range along the Surf Coast reefs. Breezy and gusty afternoon windshift. WIND: Early N to 10 knots, rising W then SW 25 to 30 knots+ in afternoon.
New WSW groundswell fills in late. Possibly undersized early at 2 to 3ft+, picking up to 3 to 4ft along exposed beaches. Wrapping at a slow 2ft along the Surf Coast reefs and smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early W around 10 knots, then SW 10 to 15 knots later.
Quick push of new WSW swell early, easing SW through the day. Ranging from 4 to 5ft along the exposed beaches, wrapping less at clean 2ft range along the Surf Coast reefs under side to offshore wind. Fading wave size by afternoon. WIND: W winds 10 knots early, tending SSW 10 to 15 knots later.
A decreasing mid period SSW swell will clean up and settle with favourable winds emerging. We may see some residual southerly drift on Saturday before winds shift into the ESE on Sunday. Fun sized surf expected across exposed breaks Down South at 4ft range, grading only around 1 to 1.5ft at exposed Metro breaks.
Swell directions shifts SSW and eases. South West: Unsettled 6 to 8ft+ early, easing in the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: Mostly clean in the 1 to 3ft range along exposed magnets, easing later. WIND: WSW at 5 to 10 knots tending freshening 15 to 20 knots SW, SSW in the afternoon. Grading light SE in the morning across Metro waters in the morning.
Mid period SSW swell eases further under improved wind conditions. Southwest: Mostly clean 3 to 5ft across exposed breaks. Perth/Mandurah: Clean 1 to 1.5ft range at exposed magnets. WIND: SSE at 10 to 15 knots, tending SSW and freshening 20 knots in the afternoon.
Minor overlapping SSW swell under morning offshore winds. Southwest: Clean 3 to 5ft sets across exposed breaks. Perth/Mandurah: Clean in the 1 to 1.5ft range at exposed magnets grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: ESE 15 to 20 knots, easing before shifting Southerly at 20 to 25 knots in the arvo.
A frontal passage brings a shift of fresh winds from the SSW on Friday leaving smaller wind affected surf across both coasts. Following this front, a new WSW swell builds Saturday, holding size Sunday morning. Winds moderate from the W/WSW Saturday before shifting SE on Sunday. This in affect may create clean conditions in areas across the South Coast Saturday morning (although due to the west element in swell direction these breaks in affect will only be small). Meanwhile Sunday holds promise to deliver one of the better days of waves we've seen for a little while on the Mid Coast.
Smaller left overs in SW groundswell as onshore SSW winds freshen. South Coast: Messy 2 to 4ft at Waits and Parsons, grading to 1 to 3ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: 1 to 1.5ft wind chop. WIND: Possible light variable at dawn before shifting SSW at 20 to 25 knots.
Large rise in WSW, SW groundswell as winds show from the WSW. South Coast: Messy 3 to 5ft at Waits and Parsons, grading unsettled to 3 to 4ft at Middleton. Mid Coast: 1 to 3ft. WIND: West to WSW 10 to 15 knots at dawn before freshening 25 knots WSW, SW.
WSW groundswell eases under SE winds. South Coast: Messy, unsettled 3 to 5ft at Waits and Parsons, grading to 2 to 4ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: Up to 1 to 3ft, easing later. WIND: SSE 5 to 10 knots before freshening south, SSW at 15 to 20 knots.
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