Weekend Surf Forecast 16 - 18 August 2019
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
Winter conditions remain in full affect around the coastal fringes through the middle of August. Across the NSW coast, the waves have been non-stop – and while we’re finally seeing south-swell activity scaling down over the coming days, it’s clear there’s a whole lot more to come over the course of next week. That of course doesn’t hold much sway for surfers across southern Queensland. The dominant southerly swell-regime will continue to see minimal refraction into the most exposed beaches, while leaving the majority almost bereft of notable surf for days to come.
Further south, Victorian coasts see a dynamic weekend of waves, starting out with a cracking day across the exposed stretches on Saturday, before the focus shifts to the Surf Coast from Sunday onwards. That trend also applies to South Australian coasts as a with Saturday offering up a good window of clean conditions across the South Coast that will quickly close with the arrival of a cold front on Saturday evening. Last but not least, the West Coast is beset by strengthening onshore winds and a steep rising SW swell on Friday and Saturday, before wind and swell quickly settle down throughout Sunday.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Following another epic week of clean, relentless southerly groundswell across the NSW coast, we finally see the tail end of our most recent pulse starting to conk out on Friday. Still, there will be small and still clean waves on offer across the more exposed beaches throughout the morning, before it really starts to dwindle into the afternoon. And just when you thought that was all she wrote, we have yet another increase in south-swell on Saturday’s radar, linked to a cold front sweeping across Tasmania and Bass Strait later on Friday.
Admittedly, it’s looking much shorter in period and fairly wind-affected – but there will be waves, to be sure. For now the models are still a little undecided on the strength of what’s shaping up as a short-range and fleeting fetch – so check Friday’s update for clarification. In the wake of the front’s rapid eastward departure we’ll see leftover SSE swell rapidly dwindling as a short-lived northerly burst whips up some minor NE windswell on Sunday afternoon.
Leftover SSE swell under offshore winds. Around 1 to 3ft along south facing breaks, wrapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure, fading during the afternoon. WIND: WNW/NW 5 to 15 knots, tending NNW, then shifting light Westerly during the afternoon.
New short-period Southerly swell picks up. Sets around 2 to 3ft+ across south facing breaks early, peaking at 3 to 4ft+ mid morning, then easing again in the afternoon. Wrapping at lower levels along open beaches with size depending on exposure. WIND: SSW 10 to 15 knots, tending Southerly, SSE to SE, then lighter Easterly in the late afternoon.
Leftover SSE swell mixing with slight NE windswell. Up to 2ft+ south facing beaches, fading later. NE windswell bumps up to 1 to 2ft along open beaches in the afternoon. WIND: NW to NNW 5 to 15 knots, tending Northerly, NNE and freshening 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Anywhere south of the border will continue to see larger surf under the persistent southerly swell regime that’s been in effect across the East Coast throughout August. Friday sees a continuation of still solid surfable options up to 3 to 4ft at standout breaks – but this episode is on the way down – and by Saturday it’s likely to be much smaller at these venues and verging on flat across southern Queensland coasts. That leads in a renewed uptick in shorter period south-swell on Sunday – again favouring locations from Byron south for size and power. If it’s any consolation, there’s a whole lot more in the way of south swell taking shape on the long-term horizon, with large surf looking likely across northern NSW mid to late next week.
Easing Southerly groundswell under early offshore winds. Far northern NSW: Inconsistent 3 to 4ft along south facing breaks settling to 2 to 3ft in the afternoon. Wrapping at 2 to 3ft along open beaches with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: SSE swell wraps up to 2ft along exposed beaches, grading to 1 to 2ft or less elsewhere. WIND: WNW to NW 5 to 15 knots, tending NNW to Northerly 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.
Residual South swell continues to fade. Northern NSW: Around 1 to 2ft+ at the south-swell magnets, otherwise 1ft+ to near flat elsewhere. Southern QLD: Virtually flat. WIND: Early light Westerly, WNW 5 to 10 knots, tending SSE to SE sea-breezes in the afternoon.
New short period Southerly swell, potentially trending SSE in the afternoon. Far northern NSW: Up to 2 to 3ft across south facing breaks, more like 1 to 2ft+ elsewhere. Southern QLD: Scope for 1 to 2ft sets exposed beaches, otherwise tiny to near-flat elsewhere. WIND: Early light WSW to SW 5 to 10 knots inshore, tending light and variable, then ENE to NE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.
While Friday clearly isn’t looking like anything to write home about, the exposed beaches are looking well worth your time on Saturday. A modest pulse of SW swell coincides with a full day of NNE to NE winds; opening up a full day of pretty ideal conditions across a wide range of Victorian coastline. However, come Sunday, the exposed beaches will quickly become overwhelmed under the combined influence of a rising SW/WSW swell and strengthening NW to WNW winds – and that should see the focus shifting to the Surf Coast all afternoon.
Long range SW groundswell fills in. Exposed beaches: Slow sets ranging from 3 to 4ft+. Surf Coast: wrapping at 2 to 3ft+ along the reefs, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure and easing in the afternoon. WIND: Early NW to NNW, tending WNW 10 to 15 knots during the morning, before shifting SSW in the afternoon.
Easing SW swell, reinforced by new SW groundswell in he afternoon. Clean 3 to 4ft along exposed beaches, wrapping at a slow 2 to 3ft along the Surf Coast reefs, bumping up during the afternoon. WIND: NE, NNE 5 to 15 knots, tending NNE and freshening later.
Rising SW groundswell overlaps with shorter period WSW swell. Around 3 to 4ft along exposed beaches, building to 3 to 5ft+ in the afternoon. Wrapping at a slow 2 to 3ft along the Surf Coast reefs, bumping up in the arvo. WIND: Northerly 15 to 25 knots, turning NW to WNW 20 to 30 knots.
Conditions go from woeful to slowly improving over the coming days as a vigorous cold front sweeping across the coast on Friday is quickly superseded by a high pressure system building in across the Southwest this weekend. The front leads in strong NW to WSW winds; effectively writing off conditions altogether on Friday. By Saturday The most sheltered bays are look like holding your only viable surfing options as still fresh SW/SSW winds cut across a heavy SW swell; large enough to offer up a range of smaller options inside these select venues. That should lead in steadily improving conditions on Sunday as southerly winds steadily run out of puff as the high moves overhead, potentially opening up good conditions into the afternoon.
Underlying SSW groundswell and renewed WSW swell build steeply under fresh NW winds, shifting WSW during the afternoon. Southwest: Windblown 4 to 6ft along exposed coasts, picking up to 6 to 8ft+ during the day and bigger into the afternoon/ evening. Perth: Around 1 to 2ft, building to 2 to 3ft+ later. WIND: NW 20 to 35 knots, tending Westerly, WSW and freshening during the afternoon.
Heavy SW groundswell peaks under strong southerly winds. Southwest: Windy 10 to 12ft+ along exposed breaks, wrapping at 3 to 8ft+ inside sheltered bays. Perth: 3 to 4ft. WIND: SSW to SW 20 to 30 knots, easing to 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon.
Easing SW groundswell reinforced by new SSW groundswell under moderate offshore winds. Southwest: Sets up to 8 to 12ft across exposed coasts, settling to 6 to 10ft later. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Around 2 to 4ft, easing later. WIND: Early SSW, Southerly 10 to 15 knots, fading to 5 to 10 knots in the afternoon.
A welcome uptick in SW groundswell offers up a bit more push across all coasts over the next couple of days; initially under less than ideal, cross/onshore winds on Friday. That should lead in more appealing 2 to 4ft+ options across the South Coast on Saturday as early light northerly winds remain in play – probably marking the best window for this weekend, before conditions turn more wintery on Sunday. A freshening westerly quarter airflow leads in a steeper building trend in SW swell throughout Sunday, leading in successive days of large surf across the state, enduring at size right through to late next week.
Long range SW groundswell slowly eases. South Coast: Slow sets ranging from 3 to 5ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at 2 to 3ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: Around 1 to 2ft. WIND: Early light WNW to WSW, tending South to SE 5 to 15 knots.
Older SW swell reinforced by new SW groundswell under NE winds. South Coast: Potential for 3 to 4ft+ sets at Waits and Parsons, bumping up in the afternoon. Wrapping at 2 to 3ft at Middleton. Mid Coast: Around 1 to 2ft. WIND: Early NNW to NNE 5 to 10 knots, tending NNW 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
Scope for steep rising SW swell. South Coast: Speculatively 4 to 6ft at Waits and Parsons, rising to 5 to 8ft+. Wrapping sets 2 to 3ft+ at Middleton, bigger later. Mid Coast: WSW swell up to a stormy 2 to 3ft+. WIND: Early WNW 15 to 25 knots, tending Westerly, then WSW 20 to 30 knots in the afternoon.
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