Weekend Surf Forecast 24 - 26 May 2019

23 May 2019 1 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 23 May 2019

The last weekend of autumn brings a mixed bag of surfing conditions to the various states. Victoria’s Surf Coast is looking like one of the better places to be, as the arrival of a solid run of WSW groundswell coincides with successive days of offshore NW to WNW winds. Further East, South Australia also benefits from the same swell-train; albeit under a developing westerly wind-regime that will quickly take the shine off conditions over the course of the weekend.

Following an extended run of light winds and solid, mid-sized southerly groundswell across the NSW coast this week, we’re finally seeing this activity dissipating; leaving the region largely bereft of notable surf. That said, it may not quite qualify as dead-flat. There’s a tiny fraction of long-range Southerly swell projected to arrive out of the depths of the Southern Ocean to produce some tiny lines across south facing breaks – and this will cross over with a similar small ENE swell-train that might just qualify as 1 to 2ft along the more exposed open beaches by Sunday.

This ENE swell-train will be exhibiting more grunt up north; holding good potential for 2 to 3ft sets or better as it kicks in across southern Queensland and far northern NSW coasts on Sunday, while also showing reasonably good size across mid-northern NSW coasts over the same time-frame. Over West, persistent onshore winds keep a lid on the appeal of a mid-sized SW swell on Friday, before conditions start to clean up throughout Saturday, leading in a typically excellent day of offshore winds on Sunday.

Farewell to autumn. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Otwaydundee.

Farewell to autumn. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Otwaydundee.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast.
In the wake of an unusually long run of light winds and long-range southerly groundswell, the late autumn party is officially over. Over the next few days surfing conditions will reside somewhere within the tiny to near-flat surf-spectrum; exhibiting different shades of virtual flatness depending on when and where you look. For learners and micro-grommets there will be a few tiny and still clean waves to be had; comprised of a mix of background South and ENE swells; collectively showing maximum surf potential on Sunday. If this isn’t enough to move you seaward, then just hang tight until mid to late next week: there are waves coming, to be sure.

Friday
Residual South groundswell and underlying East swell. Up to a slow 0.5 to 1ft across south facing beaches, virtually flat elsewhere. WIND: Early WNW 5 to 10 knots, tending to NNE seabreezes around 5 to 15 knots in the afternoon, then WNW later.

Saturday
Mix of faint, long-range South groundswell and slight Easterly swell. Scope for occasional sets not exceeding a slow 1 to 2ft max across south-facing breaks. East swell up to 1ft along exposed open beaches, otherwise verging on flat. WIND: Early light WNW, tending North to NNE 5 to 15 knots in the afternoon, then back to the west in the evening.

Sunday
Small, long-range South groundswell. Inconsistent sets around 1ft+ south facing beaches. Mixing with slight ENE swell up to a slow 1 to 2ft along open beaches. WIND: Early WNW around 5 to 10 knots, tending Westerly later.

The recent run of Southerly groundswell dries up, leaving the NSW coast bereft of notable swell all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by FSC.

The recent run of Southerly groundswell dries up, leaving the NSW coast bereft of notable swell all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by FSC.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
There’s just enough easterly swell inbound to keep you in the water over the next few days. Initially this is only expected to amount to a relatively weak 2ft along exposed areas on Friday and Saturday, but by Sunday there will be a bit more power on tap; derived from a mid-period Easterly pulse that’s projected to pick up into the afternoon and maintain good size throughout Monday.

Friday
Easterly swell up to 2ft along exposed QLD beaches. Mixing with background South groundswell at more like 1 to 2ft across northern NSW south facing beaches. Grading to tiny to near-flat along the points and inside the bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light East to light WSW to SSW at 5 to 10 knots, tending SE/ESE up to 10 knots in the arvo.

Saturday
Potential for slight Easterly swell around 2ft across exposed coasts, grading to tiny levels along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early light Westerly to SSW up to 5 knots, tending SE to ENE 5 to 10 knots.

Sunday
Scope for stronger, mid-period Easterly tradewind swell. Sets around 2 to 3ft exposed coasts, grading to more like 1 to 2ft along the points and inside the bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light WNW, tending North up to 10 knots in the arvo, NW later.

A couple of days of small easterly swell lead in a minor increase in mid-period energy across the region on Sunday and Monday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by GCUTS.

A couple of days of small easterly swell lead in a minor increase in mid-period energy across the region on Sunday and Monday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by GCUTS.

Victoria
The Surf Coast is looking like a focal point for good surfing conditions across the state throughout the weekend – not to mention next week. A steady building trend in WSW groundswell looks like overpowering the exposed beaches from Friday onwards; pushing up into the 5 to 6ft plus range all weekend. At the same time a developing nor’west to WNW wind-regime will open the door to great conditions along the Great Ocean Road as sizeable WSW groundswell wraps, most likely in the vicinity of 3 to 5ft along the premier reefs, under all-day offshores to boot. 

Friday
Potential for larger, reinforcing WSW groundswell. Sets around 4 to 6ft+ early, building to 5 to 8ft along exposed beaches. Wrapping at a clean 3 to 4ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, building to 4 to 6ft later. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: WNW to NW 10 to 20 knots, tending WNW in the afternoon.

Saturday
Easing SW groundswell settles during the day. Up to a clean 5 to 8ft along the exposed beaches. Wrapping at a clean 3 to 5ft on the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: NW to NNW 15 to 20 knots, tending WNW and easing later.

Sunday
Potential for steep rising WSW swell. Speculatively 5 to 6ft+ along exposed beaches, rising to 6 to 8ft in the afternoon. Wrapping at 3 to 4ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Revisions likely. WIND: NW 15 to 25 knots, tending West 20 to 35 knots in the afternoon.

The Surf Coast turns on under a favourable combination of WSW groundswell and NW to West winds this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Mattmac.

The Surf Coast turns on under a favourable combination of WSW groundswell and NW to West winds this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Mattmac.

Western Australia
The Southwest remain entrenched in an onshore wind-pattern that will continue to take the shine off an otherwise robust SW swell on Friday; still holding good size at anywhere from 3 to 6ft across exposed areas on Friday. It won’t be until Saturday that conditions will start to shift in our favour; commending with a gradual anticlockwise shift in wind-direction from SSW to SSE as the day progresses, making for improving 4 to 6ft conditions throughout the afternoon. However, it won’t be until Sunday that the surf-switch really gets turned back on. An emerging high pressure ridge is on track to reinstate a light easterly wind-pattern across the region from Sunday onwards; opening up potential for clean 3 to 5ft sets, with plenty more to come early next week.

Friday
Easing SW groundswell. South West: Junky 4 to 5ft+ sets along exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth/Mandurah: Around 1 to 2ft. WIND: WSW to SW mostly 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday
Rejuvenated SSW swell continues under improving winds. South West: Clean 4 to 6ft sets across exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth/Mandurah: Clean in the 1 to 2ft+ range, fading later. WIND: Early SSW to Southerly 5 to 15 knots, tending SSE in the afternoon.

Sunday
Older SSW swell reinforced by new, rising SSW groundswell under offshore winds. Southwest: Up to a semi-clean 3 to 5ft along exposed breaks, easing in the afternoon. Perth: 1 to 2ft. WIND: ESE to ENE 5 to 15 knots, tending SE in the afternoon.

The Southwest is set to turn it on as winds revert to the east on Sunday. Photo: Dan Wyer.

The Southwest is set to turn it on as winds revert to the east on Sunday. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
There’s no shortage of waves to be had this weekend as a rising trend in SSW swell sets in across the state, but local conditions won’t be what you might hope for. Friday presents reasonably good options across the South Coast under NNW breezes, but from Saturday onwards they veer west, making for solid, but wind affected condition across the region right through to early next week.

Friday
Potential for stronger SSW groundswell under early Nor’west winds. South Coast: Speculatively 3 to 4ft+ at Waits and Parsons, grading to 2 to 3ft+ around Middleton. Mid Coast: About 1ft+. WIND: NNW 10 to 15 knots, turning NW and freshening during the day, before tending lighter West in the afternoon.

Saturday
Easing SSW groundswell under nor’west winds. South Coast: Clean 4 to 6ft at Waits and Parsons,. Wrapping at 3 to 4ft+ around Middleton. Mid Coast: Ranging from 1 to 2ft. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots, turning Westerly, WSW and freshening later.

Sunday
Potential for rebuilding SW swell and fresh onshore winds. South Coast: Junky 4 to 5ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at 2 to 4ft at Middleton. Mid Coast: Ranging 1 to 2ft+. WIND: Westerly, 10 to 20 knots, freshening to 15 to 25 knots later.

A developing northwest to westerly wind-regime will keep a lid on clean options across SA this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Maxswellphoto.

A developing northwest to westerly wind-regime will keep a lid on clean options across SA this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Maxswellphoto.


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