Weekend Surf Forecast 5 - 7 April 2019

4 Apr 2019 1 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Issued Thursday, 4 April 2019

Good waves abound around the coastal fringes this weekend - and it’s now clear there’s some pretty serious looking stuff brewing for the southern states early/ mid next week. In contrast, there’s nothing that really qualifies as big and scary on the East Coast’s forecast horizon. Still, there will be plenty of rippable waves on tap as multiple wave-trains overlap to produce a steady run of two to three foot surf; comprised of East and SE swells of varying heights and periods. That generalisation pretty well applies to Sydney and the South Coast, as well as Southern Queensland and northern NSW coasts. Further south, both Victorian and South Australian coasts sees a short-lived lull in swell-activity on Friday and Saturday, preceding the onset of a major swell-event; initially picking up to modest levels on Sunday before ramping up to serious levels across both states early to mid next week.

That pretty much leaves the Southwest as the pick of the bunch. The arrival of successive, and increasingly larger SSW swells will open up all manor of good surfing conditions; kicking off in the 4 to 6ft plus range this weekend before jumping in both height and period as winds swing offshore early next week.

I love autumn. Photo: Digby Ayton.

I love autumn. Photo: Digby Ayton.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast.
The Tasman Sea keeps on giving over the next few days as multiple wave-trains overlap at a fun size. This commences with a steady rise in short-period SE swell, quickly overtaking a smaller, underlying Easterly swell throughout Friday; picking up into the 2 to 3ft range and perhaps a bit bigger into the arvo; albeit under onshore winds from the same direction. This should culminate in the best conditions in this short-forecast window on Saturday morning as still good-sized SE swell holds around the 3ft mark, with the odd four-footer not out of the question under early offshore winds. This is underpinned by the arrival of an additional, long-range easterly swell on Sunday that, at least on-screen looks pretty solid – but the remoteness of the source from the East Coast hints at a bit of fizzer; featuring long-waits between 2 to 3ft sets. Only time will tell.

Friday
Faded Easterly swell superseded by rising SE swell and underlying S groundswell. Around 2 to 3ft south facing breaks, bumping up a bit in the afternoon. WIND: Early SE tending SE 10 to 15 knots, then shifting South during the afternoon.

Saturday
Combo of new, short-period SE swell and underlying, long-range Easterly swell up to 2 to 3ft exposed open beaches, easing during the afternoon. Otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Westerly, WNW around 5 to 10 knots, turning NE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Potential for slower, long-range East and shorter-period ESE swells in the 2 to 3ft range across exposed beaches, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light WSW to SW, tending variable 5 to 10 knots, then NE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

The arrival of a new, short-period SE swell should see a return to clean 3ft autumn conditions by Saturday morning. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Tony Palmer.

The arrival of a new, short-period SE swell should see a return to clean 3ft autumn conditions by Saturday morning. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Tony Palmer.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
A slow decline in ESE tradewind swell continues to favour the more exposed stretches of coast across the region over the next few days. An overnight drop in size should see still fun, 2 to 3ft plus waves across the region, before fading another notch by Saturday. The good news (it will have to do until better news gets here) is there’s a couple of new wave-trains inbound this weekend. The first is a long-range Easterly groundswell inbound from a source some 2,400 nautical miles distant. That means long-waits between pretty modest set waves; probably in the 2 to 3ft range, with scope for the odd bigger one. This energy looks like showing most size on Sunday – and it will combine with a much shorter-period SSE swell originating over the southern Tasman Sea. So, all in all it’s probably not a bad weekend for a surf or three – or for just watching the world’s best tearing apart Duranbah.

Friday
ESE swell slowly eases. Up to 2 to 3ft+ across the more exposed open breaks, grading to 1 to 3ft along the points and inside the bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: SSW to Southerly 10 to 15 knots inshore early, tending SSE to SE 15 to 20 knots.

Saturday
Faded ESE swell, reinforced by long-range E groundswell in the afternoon. Around 2 to 3ft exposed breaks, otherwise more like 2ft along the points and inside the bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light WSW to SSW inshore, turning SSE to SE 10 to 15 knots.

Sunday
Mix of short-period ESE and long-range East swells; speculatively 2 to 3ft+ along exposed breaks, inconsistent in the upper range. Grading to 1 to 3ft along the points and inside the bays with size depending on exposure. Scope for a gradual building trend into the afternoon. WIND: Early lighter WSW to SSW inshore, turning Eat 10 to 15 knots, then ENE to NE in the afternoon.

A declining ESE swell receives a minor boost from a long-range E groundswell this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Dutzi.

A declining ESE swell receives a minor boost from a long-range E groundswell this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Dutzi.

Victoria
There’s some big things brewing in the way of surf for Victorian coasts over the coming week – but it’s clear that these developments won’t come to a head until early to mid next week. Until then, you’ll be wanting to time your run to get the most out of conditions. Friday sees a good window for some small, clean waves along the exposed beaches as fading SW swell briefly offers up some slow 2 to 3ft sets, before fading to tiny levels into the afternoon. That’s likely to lead in tiny conditions state-wide on Saturday morning under fresh WNW winds, developing ahead of a low pressure system approaching from the west. This will lead in a steep rise in directional westerly swell throughout Saturday that looks unlikely to have a major effect on wave-heights until Sunday morning; speculatively generating good 3 to 6ft conditions along exposed areas under early favourable winds.

Friday
Leftover SW swell under light offshore NE winds. Up to a clean 2 to 3ft along the exposed beaches, fading in the afternoon. Sets up to 1 to 2ft along the Surf Coast reefs, settling in the arvo. WIND: NE 10 to 15 knots, tending NNE and freshening to 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
SW swell bottoms out ahead of a gradual building trend in WSW swell throughout the afternoon. Around 1 to 2ft+ along the exposed beaches, picking up towards 2 to 3ft+ in the afternoon and bigger later. Wrapping at a slow 1ft along the Surf Coast reefs and possibly tiny/ near flat elsewhere. WIND: Westerly, WNW 15 to 25 knots, turning SW to  South and easing to 10 to 15 knots later.

Sunday
WSW swell. Speculatively ranging from 3 to 5ft+ along the exposed beaches, potentially building in the arvo. Wrapping at an inconsistent 2 to 3ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, otherwise smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light NW to NE 5 to 10 knots, tending NW to West and freshening ahead of a SW change in the afternoon.

The Surf Coast looks primed to light up next week, but until then the exposed beaches will remain the pick across the state. Photo: Judith Scanlon.

The Surf Coast looks primed to light up next week, but until then the exposed beaches will remain the pick across the state. Photo: Judith Scanlon.

Western Australia
It’s hard to go past the Southwest as a reliable region for clean, sizeable waves – and this weekend - not to mention most of next week, is a good case in point. An initial push in shorter period SSW swell will open up good options ranging anywhere from 4 to 6ft plus across the region over the next couple of days, with lighter inshore ESE winds on Saturday morning shaping up as the pick. From Sunday onwards, however, it’s game on as a larger round of long-period SSW groundswell build in, leading in a sustained phase in large SSW groundswell early to mid next week.

Friday
Stormy SSW groundswell gradually settles under easing onshore winds. Southwest: Up to a junky 4 to 6ft+ along exposed breaks early, settling in the arvo, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Around 1 to 2ft. WIND: Early SSE 15 to 25 knots in the early morning, easing during the day and turning South, then SSW and freshening in the arvo.

Saturday
Potential for reinforcing SSW groundswell under early offshores. South West: Wobbly, semi-clean sets up to 4 to 6ft+ at the most exposed breaks early, slowly easing in the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: About 1 to 2ft. WIND: Light Easterly, ESE 10 to 15 knots, turning South to SW in the afternoon.

Sunday
Settled SSW swell, speculatively reinforced by renewed SSW groundswell in the afternoon. South West: Sets around 5 to 6ft+ at the most exposed breaks, potentially ramping up to 6 to 8ft+ during the day and 8 to 10ft+ later.  Otherwise smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth/Mandurah: Clean 1 to 2ft range. WIND: SE to SSE 10 to 15 knots, tending Southerly and freshening in the afternoon.

There are some excellent autumn days in WA's forecast window; commencing this weekend before getting serious early next week. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Surfingmr.

There are some excellent autumn days in WA's forecast window; commencing this weekend before getting serious early next week. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Surfingmr.

South Australia
There’s one final day to get amongst some small, but straight offshore conditions across the most exposed south-facing stretches on Friday, before a robust westerly pattern and building trend in SSW swell set in this weekend. By early Saturday we’re already likely to be staring at building, onshore conditions, but there should be a bit of respite to be found as winds briefly go NW early on Sunday. From there, however, winds will shortly shift back to the west, leading in a major jump in SSW groundswell early next week.

Friday
Fading SSW swell under light winds. South Coast: Small sets ranging from 2 to occasional 3ft+ at Waits and Parsons. Grading to 1 to 2ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: up to 0.5ft. WIND: NNE 15 to 30 knots tending NNW ahead of a shift to the West in the afternoon.

Saturday
Rising SW swell under strong SW winds. South Coast: Windy 2 to 3ft+ at Waits and Parsons, building to 3 to 4ft+ during the afternoon. Grading to a choppy 1 to 2ft around Middleton, picking up to 2 to 3ft. Mid Coast: Junky 1ft, picking up towards 1 to 2ft later. WIND: WSW/SW 15 to 20 knots, rapidly easing and tending South/ SE later.

Sunday
SSW groundswell slowly eases under westerly winds. South Coast: Sets ranging from 3 to 5ft at Waits and Parsons, easing in the afternoon. Wrapping at 3 to 4ft around Middleton easing a foot or so later. Mid Coast: About 1 to 2ft and settling. WIND: Early NNW to NW tending Westerly, 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon.

There are good autumn conditions on tap across the state over the coming days. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Angryfish.

There are good autumn conditions on tap across the state over the coming days. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Angryfish.


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