Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 11 - 23 October, 2017

10 Oct 2017 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | BALI, INDO SURF FORECAST 

Forecast Issued Tuesday, 10 October 2017

A deeply ingrained, primal fear of death by liquid hot magma appears to be working wonders on the crowd situation in Bali. There have been reports filtering through of sparsely populated lineups – world class breaks usually teeming with punters of wide ranging ages and nationalities, suddenly reduced to a handful of lucky souls.

And with Mount Agung’s belly still grumbling away like a toddler with gastro, it’s apparently still only a matter of time before she erupts. With that in mind, there could be no better time to fly into Bali and set up shop for a week or three. The trick might just be a one-way flight, with a contingency plan to evacuate to an island east or west via public ferry when the fine volcanic ash finally rains down.

The prospect of some more substantial SSW groundswell and uncrowded line-ups sound like just the ticket mid to late October. Photo: World Surfaris.

The prospect of some more substantial SSW groundswell and uncrowded line-ups sound like just the ticket mid to late October. Photo: World Surfaris.

Short Forecast
A continued run of small to mid-sized SSW groundswells maintain 2 to 4ft surf across Indonesia for the remainder of the week, preceding a slightly larger episode peaking this weekend. This may be followed by a series of overlapping, mid to large SSW groundswells throughout mid to late October.

Daily Summary

Wednesday 11
Mid-period SSW groundswell. Sets ranging from 2 - 4ft exposed breaks, slow easing during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 20 knots.

Thursday 12
Leftover SSW swell. Slow sets ranging from 2 - 3ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE 10 to 12 knots.

Friday 13
Inconsistent SSW swell. Sets ranging from 1 – 3ft exposed breaks, bumping up during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 12 knots.

Saturday 14
New SSW groundswell. Solid sets up to 3 – 4ft exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Light and variable tending ESE 5 to 10 knots.

Sunday 15
Easing SSW groundswell. Sets to 2 - 3ft+ exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE to SSE 5 to 10 knots.

Monday 16
Leftover SSW swell. Slow sets ranging from 2 – 3ft max exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE to SSE 5 to 15 knots.

Latest Bali virtual buoy data: A consistent run of small to mid-sized SSW groundswell over the coming week belies some more substantial swell-potential into the back half of the month.

Latest Bali virtual buoy data: A consistent run of small to mid-sized SSW groundswell over the coming week belies some more substantial swell-potential into the back half of the month.

Overview
To date it’s been a fairly sleepy run of surf across The Archipelago throughout the first third of October; characterised by a groundhog-day run of 2 to 4ft surf under mostly light and variable winds tending to moderate ESE trades. In the short term this pattern is forecast to persist as a series of small-scale SSW groundswells keep surf-heights fluctuating either side of 3ft under light winds.

The good news is there are some excellent longer-term surf prospects appearing on latest model runs; largely stemming for a significant activation of the storm-track directly south of Indonesia and Western Australia over the weekend and early to mid next week. To briefly return to the immediate future, we can look forward to another full day of 2 to 4ft sets on Wednesday as the bulk of a mid-period SSW groundswell fills in.

As discussed last week, this followed rejuvenated storm-activity over the south-eastern Indian Ocean, below Indonesia and Western Australia late last week. This activity exhibited all the hallmarks of spring; generating maximum significant wave-heights of 20 to 25ft below the 40S parallel. A mid-sized SSW groundswell emanating from this source began filling in on Monday and was generating sets in the vicinity of 2 to 3ft plus across the major breaks on Tuesday morning.

Peak energy associated with this source should materialise at a stronger 3 to 4ft during Tuesday afternoon and early Wednesday, before easing back into the 2 to 3ft range by Thursday. Friday then marks the arrival of a stronger round of SSW groundswell; gradually building throughout the day and showing peak size on Saturday. This is linked to an intense polar low that traversed eastward, below the Kerguelen Islands over the weekend before pushing out across the south-eastern Indian Ocean on Monday. A combined, mid and long-period SSW groundswell emanating from this source begins to show throughout Friday, pushing set waves into the 2 to 4ft range along exposed breaks during the day.

The arrival of the bulk of mid-period groundswell on Saturday should see a full day of solid 3 to 4ft waves across Bali and Nusa Tengarra. The tail end should still be generating consistent 2 to 3ft plus sets across the region on Sunday – marking the last substantial day of waves before it drops to a lower 2 to 3ft by Monday 16th October.

Long Range
The good news is any decline in surf is likely to be short-lived. As mentioned above, we can look forward to a notable reactivation in storm-activity throughout our south swell window later this week, leading in a series of strong SSW swells for Indonesia over the course of next week – and potentially carrying over into the weekend of Saturday 21st of October and beyond.

This activity commences with the gradual intensification of a cut-off low over the south-central Indian Ocean on Thursday and Friday. This small-scale storm interacts with a high pressure system to the west to establish a strengthening southerly fetch over the mid-latitudes on Friday; speculatively ramping up to gale force thresholds as the high and low simultaneously intensify this weekend.

The fetch is then forecast to gradually weaken as the low and high propagate further east on Sunday and by Monday the remnants of the system may be absorbed into the broader westerly flow associated with a larger polar low positioned well to the south.

Given latest GFS model runs prove accurate, the bulk of the resulting SSW groundswell will fill in throughout Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th October; generating a solid peak in the 4 to 6ft range across exposed breaks. However, given this is all still contingent on the storm’s development, there’s still plenty of scope for revisions to both the size and timing of this event.

Beyond that, the speculative development of an intense, broadscale polar low inside Indonesian and Western Australian longitudes early to mid next week holds even larger, albeit less-certain surf-potential for the weekend of Saturday 21st; potentially manifesting as a larger 5 to 8ft event. Stay tuned for an update on how this will play out next week.


Tags: ben , macartney , indo , surf , forecast (create Alert from these tags)

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