Weekend Surf Forecast 8 - 10 February 2019

7 Feb 2019 1 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Forecast issued Thursday, 7 February 2019

Summer conditions remain in full-effect across the Eastern Seaboard as a combination of East, NE and South swells dominate proceedings. In the north, southern Queensland and far northern NSW coasts benefit from a modest uplift in wave energy to stronger 3 to 4ft levels; probably only enduring around this size over the next 48 hours before subsiding – but Sunday should still be offering up consistent waves in the 3ft range.

Further south, Sydney and the South Coast see a diluted version of the Easterly swell; initially supplanted by some localised NE windswell on Saturday. However, by Sunday morning we should see both E and NE swell-trains briefly superseded by a new spike in S windswell; offering up overhead sets across southern exposures all morning.

Meanwhile the Southern States are on the cusp of a major upswing in SW swell, linked to a very energetic phase in storm activity about to unfold below the mainland. So while Friday looks very quiet across both Victorian and South Australian shores, the weekend is another matter altogether.

Lastly, the West Coast is now entering a unusually suppressed phase in SW swell – which will no doubt be a shock to the system of Southwest surfers accustomed to an oversupply of wave energy. Lack of swell aside, there will still be waves; manifesting as slow, wind-affected sets, for the most part not exceeding 2 to 3ft all weekend.


Photo: Aquatic flare. Uploaded to CW by Shan_Glasson.

Photo: Aquatic flare. Uploaded to CW by Shan_Glasson.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
It’s shaping up as another weekend of fairly small-summer pickings across most of the NSW coast; comprised of a mixture of background easterly swell, NE windswell and, come Sunday, a fresh round of southerly windswell. While the former two swell-trains hold potential for some 2 to 3ft sets along the more exposed east facing stretches on Saturday, the impending S windswell may come in a big bigger in the 2 to 4ft range across south-facing beaches on Sunday morning. While still fresh SSE winds won’t add much in the way of quality to conditions early on Sunday, conditions should become a lot more appealing as winds back off during the day.

Friday
Mix of small ENE swell and slight NE windswell. Around 1 to 2ft+ exposed open beaches, bumping up in the afternoon. Otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. ENE swell speculatively bumps up in the arvo. WIND: Northerly, NNE 15 to 20 knots inshore early, increasing to 20 to 30 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
Scope for a lift in ENE windswell. Ranging from 2 to 3ft exposed open breaks, potentially mixing with a rising S windswell to 2 to 3ft across south facing beaches. Otherwise smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light NW to SW ahead of weak Southerly change around 5 to 15 knots in the morning, tending SSE to SE around 10 knots during the day and lighter East to NE in the afternoon and evening.

Sunday
S windswell peaks around 2 to 3ft+ across south facing breaks, while mixing with underlying ENE swell at about 2ft elsewhere. WIND: SSE to SE 10 to 20 knots, tending lighter ESE to ENE, then NE and freshening in the arvo.

A combination of ENE and S swells offer up a wide variety of typical summer surfing fare across the NSW coast this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by GreyC.

A combination of ENE and S swells offer up a wide variety of typical summer surfing fare across the NSW coast this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by GreyC.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
The late-summer tradewind regime delivers another timely upswing in easterly tradewind swell just in time for Friday and the weekend; nudging set waves up into the 3 to 4ft range across open areas on both days, before easing back a foot or so by Sunday. As per the last few days we’ll continue to content with predominant onshore winds; initially still out of the ESE on Friday, before swinging NE on Saturday – which won’t exactly be music to most of your ears. The good news is conditions are looking clean early on Sunday as a slackening ridge allows for lighter SW to NW land-breezes, before they turn to the SSE and progressively increase in strength into the afternoon.

Friday
ESE tradewind swell up to a consistent 3 to 4ft along exposed open breaks. Grading smaller along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early light S to SSW inshore 5 to 10 knots, tending Easterly 10 to 15 knots, then ENE and easing later.

Saturday
ESE tradewind swell ranges from 2 to 4ft exposed open beaches, easing a tad during the day. Otherwise grading smaller along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early light and variable inshore 5 to 10 knots, tending ENE to NE freshening to 10 to 15 knots in the arvo.

Sunday
Easterly tradewind swell holds a consistent 2 to 3ft+ along exposed coasts. Otherwise grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Light and variable tending SSE 10 to 15 knots.

The Southwest Pacific is starting to activate, generating overlapping trains of easterly swell inbound for days, if not weeks. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Ryan Marais.

The Southwest Pacific is starting to activate, generating overlapping trains of easterly swell inbound for days, if not weeks. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Ryan Marais.

Victoria
The heavily subdued surfing conditions currently in effect across Victorian coasts are set to endure for just one more day, before wave-energy begins to ramp up in a big way this weekend – not to mention early to mid next week. A strong activation in the long wave trough through Australian longitudes translates into a step-ladder building trend in groundswell; commending with relatively low-period WSW energy over the weekend through Monday, preceding something substantially bigger kicking in on Tuesday and Wednesday. The upshot looks like pretty consistent, windblown 5 to 7ft conditons along exposed beaches, wrapping in the 3 to 4ft plus range along the Surf Coast all weekend. With a westerly wind-regime in place, the latter area will be the place to be – and the same goes for next week.

Friday
Small SW swell continues. Slow sets to 2 to 3ft along the exposed beaches, bumping up in the arvo. Wrapping at 1 to 2ft along the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: Early West, tending WSW 10 to 20 knots, then SW and freshening during the afternoon.

Saturday
Potential for rising SW swell. Choppy, onshore 3 to 5ft early, rising to 4 to 6ft+ along the exposed beaches during the day and a foot bigger in the arvo. Sets up to a clean 2 to 3ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, up to 3 to 5ft later. Otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Westerly, WNW 10 to 20 knots, tending WSW to SW 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon, stronger in the east.

Sunday
Scope for large SW groundswell ranges from 5 to 7ft along the exposed beaches, settling marginally during the afternoon. Wrapping at 3 to 4ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, easing in the afternoon. WIND: Westerly, WNW 15 to 20 knots, tending West and easing during the morning, then to light sea-breezes in the arvo.

The Surf Coast makes a welcome return to form this weekend, and there's a whole lot more to come next week. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

The Surf Coast makes a welcome return to form this weekend, and there's a whole lot more to come next week. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

Western Australia
The surf doesn’t get much smaller than what’s in store across the Southwest this weekend – but that’s still a whole lot better than most other regions, where it actually does get flat. The subdued phase is the knock on effect of a persistent blocking high that remained anchored over the south-eastern Indian Ocean, south-west of the state for most of this week. It’s effects are set to continue for a few days yet; translating into slow 2 to 3ft sets at best along exposed Southwest breaks. At the same time strong SE to SSE winds will largely detract from the appeal of the small swell – but hey, it’s not entirely flat.

Friday
Fading SW swell slowly eases. Southwest: Slow, clean sets around 2ft to occasional 3ft along the exposed breaks early, fading in the afternoon. Perth: Virtually flat. WIND: SE 20 to 30 knots tending SSE in the afternoon.

Saturday
SSW swell bottoms out. South West: Inconsistent sets around 1to 3ft exposed breaks, grading to tiny or near-flat elsewhere. Perth/Mandurah: Virtually flat. WIND: ESE 15 to 25 knots, tending SE to SSE and freshening into the afternoon.

Sunday
Scope for a minor increase in long range SW groundswell. South West: Slow sets ranging from a semi-clean 2 to 3ft across exposed breaks, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth/Mandurah: Clean in the 0.5ft range. WIND: SE 15 to 20 knots, tending Southerly and freshening later.

An extended run of small SW swell and fresh SSE winds will have many dreaming of better days this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

An extended run of small SW swell and fresh SSE winds will have many dreaming of better days this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
Like Victoria, South Oz is on the cusp of a very energetic run of surf. Friday marks the final day of mostly subdued surf; still down to 1 to 2ft or so along the South Coast and virtually flat along the Mid. That’s all set to change on Saturday as a steep building trend in SW swell gets underway, leading in plenty of size on Sunday. Based on current model guidance, a much heavier push in SSW groundswell will follow into the middle of next week. The downside, is of course strong onshore winds accompanying the building trend, so you’ll have to adjust your expectations accordingly.

Friday
SSW swell under onshore winds. South Coast: Junky, onshore sets ranging from 1 to 3ft at Waits and Parsons. Grading to 1 to 2ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: Virtually flat. WIND: Southerly, SSW 15 to 20 knots, tending SW/WSW in the afternoon.

Saturday
Building trend in SSW groundswell under light offshore winds. South Coast: Sets around 3 to 5ft at Waits and Parsons, rising to 4 to 6ft+ during the afternoon. Grading to a clean 1 to 2ft around Middleton, bumping up later. Mid Coast: Around 0.5ft. WIND: SSW to SW 15 to 25 knots.

Sunday
Large SSW groundswell slowly eases. South Coast: Sets ranging from a junky 4 to 6ft+ at Waits and Parsons, grading to a lumpy 3 to 4ft+ around Middleton. Mid Coast: 1 to 2ft. WIND: Early lighter Westerly, WSW, tending SW 15 to 20 knots, then South in the arvo.

An impending building trend in SSW swell and strong SW winds sets in across SA this weekend. Photo: Rod Owen.

An impending building trend in SSW swell and strong SW winds sets in across SA this weekend. Photo: Rod Owen.


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