Weekend Surf Forecast 4 - 6 October, 2019
Issued Thursday, 3 October 2019
If you live in NSW or Victoria, you’ll wake up on Monday morning an hour earlier than you otherwise would have – if daylight savings didn’t exist. For the early risers among us, that means those quiet, pre-sunrise, before work/school surfs will suddenly become a little less attainable – and conversely the window for an after-work surf will be wide open. So, whether or not you view the whole daylight saving thing in a positive or negative light (no pun intended), this weekend marks the last two days of normalcy before it kicks in.
Arbitrary time adjustments aside, just about everywhere has waves this weekend. The NSW coast sees a continuation of south swell dominating the forecast as a first, long-period pulse peaking early Friday is backed up by a new round of short and mid-period energy over the weekend. These predominantly small to mid-sized wave-trains will refract at low-levels across southern Queensland coasts, so a trip south of the border could be in order.
Further south, both Victoria and South Australia see winds varying around most points of the compass as a series of very active and mobile weather systems migrates west to east across both states – so you’ll need to be on your toes if you want to score a few clean waves. That rule also applies to the West Coast. A looming, cut-off low will wreak some havoc across the Southwest; initially offering up some big, clean conditions under fresh east winds on Friday morning, before they veer north in the afternoon – and then strong south to SW on Saturday, before settling to light onshore on Sunday.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
South swell is the proverbial bread and butter of swell-trains across the NSW coast. True, it can get pretty bland after several weeks of little else, but it’s better than starving. So, following another full week of south swell in the 2 to 4ft range we can look forward to, yep, you guessed it, more south swell in the 2 to 4ft range. This kicks off with a small, long-range southerly groundswell filling in on Friday evening to maintain 2 to 3ft conditions on Friday. That’s backed up by a modest push in short-period energy that looks like nudging up into the 3 to 4ft range early on Saturday, before easing a foot or so as the day progresses. That in turn overlaps with a renewed push in mid-period South swell on Sunday to round off a full weekend of pretty consistent surf. The only change in the trend takes the form of a localised NE windswell, developing late Sunday and probably holding peak size in the 2 to 3ft range early on Monday.
South groundswell slowly fades. Inconsistent 2 to 3ft sets south facing beaches, dwindling throughout the day. Mixing with slight NE windswell at 1 to 2ft across open beaches, ahead of a late rise in South windswell during the afternoon. WIND: WNW to NW 5 to 10 knots, tending West ahead of a Southerly change 20 to 25 knots late morning, turning SSE and easing in the afternoon.
Southerly windswell slowly fades. Up to 2 to 3ft+ across south facing beaches, more like 2ft+ elsewhere and easing in the afternoon. WIND: S to SSE 5 to 10 knots, fading to light and variable, before turning ENE to NE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.
Mid period South groundswell up to 3 to 4ft south facing beaches early, inconsistent in the upper range. Settling to 2 to 3ft as NE windswell rapidly builds to a junky 2 to 3ft exposed open beaches in the late arvo/ evening. WIND: Northerly 10 to 15 knots, turning NNE to NE 15 to 25 knots, up to 20 to 30 knots during the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
As the last of the recent easterly swell dwindles to tiny levels, we’ll once again be leaning on our indefatigable south swell window for a few waves – and it’s clear that south swell will keep coming, effectively unabated over the coming days. The downside is a continuation of predominantly small to tiny surf across southern Queensland coasts; mostly in the vicinity of 1 to 2ft+ across exposed beaches and even smaller elsewhere. That leaves the more exposed spots across far northern NSW as your best bet for some head high sets - and occasionally bigger – particularly as a new round of long-period groundswell fills in on Friday. This pulse will quickly evaporate again by Sunday, ahead of a new upswing in shorter-range SSE swell on Sunday.
New Southerly groundswell fills in. Far northern NSW: Inconsistent sets ranging from 2 to 3ft+ across south facing breaks, more like 2ft+ elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: Mixing with light Easterly windswell at around 2ft at the exposed breaks, grading to 1 to 2ft or less elsewhere. WIND: Light WNW to NW/NNW 5 to 10 knots inshore, tending Northerly in the morning and freshening to 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
Fading Southerly swell under light winds. Far northern NSW: Slow sets around 2ft across south facing breaks, more like 1 to 2ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. New, short-period Southerly windswell picks up in the afternoon. Southern QLD: Slight East swell ranging from 1 to 2ft exposed breaks, tiny to near-flat elsewhere. WIND: Light NW to SW ahead of a Southerly change 10 to 20 knots during the morning, tending SSE to SE in the afternoon.
SSE windswell bumps up. Far northern NSW: Sets ranging from 2 to 3ft across south facing breaks, more like 2ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: Sets up to a slow 2ft at the exposed breaks, up to 1 to 2ft elsewhere. WIND: Early light WSW to SW, tending SE, then East to NE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.
There are limited windows of opportunity to pounce on some clean conditions across the state this weekend – you’ll just need to time it with a fair degree of precision. Initially, Friday is looking pretty forgettable. Fresh onshore SSW to SW winds and a small SW swell don’t hold much promise. Likewise, conditions probably won’t be much chop on Saturday morning, with moderate ESE winds limiting your options to the most west facing breaks – and these venues may be worth a look as a welcome push in SW groundswell moves in. The good news is winds may ease and tend more East to NE later on Saturday afternoon – so it’s well worth keeping an eye on the late. That leaves first light on Sunday morning as a better bet for some clean conditions as fresh NNE winds blow offshore across the exposed coasts - but a looming NW to WNW wind-shift arriving during the morning will quickly shift the focus across the Bay to the Surf Coast.
Easing SW groundswell settles to a slower 2 to 3ft+ along the exposed beaches, fading to 2 to 3ft later. Wrapping at a slow 1 to 2ft along the Surf Coast reefs, smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: SW 15 to 20 knots, tending SSW 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.
Scope for rising, long-period SW groundswell. Undersized early at 3 to 4ft+ along exposed beaches, picking up to 4 to 6ft during the afternoon. Wrapping at a clean 2 to 3ft along the Surf Coast reefs early, up to 3 to 4ft+ later. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: ESE 5 to 15 knots, tending SE during the afternoon, lighter East to NE later.
Easing SW groundswell settles under fresh nor’east winds. Around 3 to 5ft along exposed beaches, wrapping at clean 2 to 3ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, otherwise smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: NNE to NE 20 to 35 knots, shifting WNW 20 to 30 knots during the day, Westerly later.
A deepening frontal low situated immediately west of the Margaret River region promises all manner of conditions over the next few days. Underneath a dark, stormy and torrentially rainy conditions, there will be clean 6 to 8ft+ bombs marching through across exposed breaks on Friday. If the general surfing population behaves anything like those along the East Coast, the inclement weather is likely to see thin crowds at the major breaks. Either way, it’s worth making the most of Friday morning if you can. Winds will soon shift northerly and increase ahead of the approaching low, before abruptly falling away again as the low moves overhead in the afternoon. This is likely to see a period of fluky winds before the winds start to fresh out of the south as the western flank of the low moves in later in the day. That will lead in a full day of windy, mid-sized conditions on Saturday, before winds swing back offshore early on Sunday.
Still heavy SW groundswell eases under early offshores. South West: Solid 6 to 8ft+ sets across exposed breaks, becoming windblown in the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: Around 2 to 3ft. WIND: Easterly 15 to 25 knots, shifting Northerly during the day, then rapidly easing and turning variable, then southerly and freshening in the evening.
Easing SW groundswell reinforced by new SSW groundswell under cross-onshore winds. Southwest: Windy sets ranging from 4 to 5ft+ along exposed coasts, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Around 2ft+ exposed beaches, easing later. WIND: Southerly, SSW 15 to 25 knots, easing in the afternoon.
Scope for new SW groundswell under light onshore winds. Southwest: Clean 4 to 5ft+ sets across exposed coasts, picking up to 5 to 6ft+ in the afternoon. Wrapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Around 1 to 2ft. WIND: Possibly lighter ESE to SE 5 to 10 knots, otherwise SW 5 to 15 knots tending SSW and freshening in the afternoon.
Saturday morning stands out as the highlight of an otherwise dicey short-term forecast. Moderate onshore ESE to SE winds are set to take the shine off conditions throughout Friday, with early inshore ENE winds offering up a limited window before the onshores develop throughout the morning. However, the arrival of a new SW groundswell on Saturday morning coincides with favourable north-easterly quarter winds; producing a full day of clean conditions across all south and southwest facing breaks. A westerly wind-shift due on Sunday will invariably take the shine off it, but there will still be no shortage of swell if you’re keen.
Reinforcing SW groundswell hangs in under favourable NE winds. South Coast: 2 to 3ft+ around Waits and Parsons. Wrapping at 1 to 2ft from Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: Up to 0.5ft. WIND: Early ENE 10 to 15 knots, tending ESE during the day and SE in the afternoon.
New SW groundswell fills in under strengthening winds. South Coast: Ranging from 3 to 5ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at about 2 to 3ft at Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: Around 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: ENE to NE 15 to 25 knots, tending NNE in the afternoon.
SW groundswell settles under west winds. South Coast: Sets up to 3 to 4ft+ around Waits and Parsons, easing later. Wrapping at 2 to 3ft from Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: around 0.5ft. WIND: WNW 15 to 25 knots, tending West to SW afternoon.
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