Weekend Surf Forecast 13 - 15 December, 2019

12 Dec 2019 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 12 December 2019

As far as competitive surfing goes, watching the Pipe Masters is always a highlight – and this year is no exception. The last two days have seen WCT surfers dropping into one double/ triple overhead barrel after another – and it’s been nothing short of inspiring, to be sure. But when your local beachie is a weak and choppy 1 to 2ft, it can leave you with a sense of, well - not FOMO – it’s more like YAAMO (You are actually missing out). That said, 10ft Hawaiian bombs are not everyone’s cup of tea – and there is some consolation in knowing you won’t be risking life and limb when you head out for a wave this weekend.

If you could take your pick of surfing anywhere you like around the mainland this weekend, it would be hands down the Southwest Coast of Western Australia. The entire region running north and south of Margaret River will be on the cook over the next few days as a solid pulse of SW swell coincides with morning offshore breezes. As for the Eastern Seaboard and the southern states, you will see (below) that generally speaking, conditions are found somewhere on a scale between average and woeful.


The Southwest is hands down the place to be this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Shanericho.

The Southwest is hands down the place to be this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Shanericho.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Small and smoky. That pretty well sums up what’s in store across the region over the next few days as a continued run of short-period Southerly windswell coincides with light to moderate winds. On the upside, it’s not looking entirely flat – and it looks like there will still be reasonably 2ft sets on offer as a new southerly pulse fills in on Friday. However, this modest uptick in energy looks like it will progressively dwindle over the course of the weekend – and that means you’ll probably want to aim for a paddle on Saturday, before it really starts to conk out under a renewed layer of smoke haze developing on Sunday.

Friday
Mix of small South and SE swells under light winds. Around 2ft across exposed open and south facing beaches, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Light SSE tending SE around 10 knots, tending ESE, then ENE up to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
Slight South swell. Up to a slow 1 to 2ft across south facing beaches, wrapping at lower levels along open beaches with size depending on exposure and fading in the afternoon. WIND: Early light NW to North, turning NE to ENE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
Small South swell ranging from 1 to 2ft across south facing beaches, wrapping at 1 to 2ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure and slowly easing in the afternoon. WIND: Early light WNW to NW, tending North, then NE, ENE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

A small pulse of South swell moving in on Friday is shaping up as the best of an ordinary bunch across the NSW coast this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jackogrady.

A small pulse of South swell moving in on Friday is shaping up as the best of an ordinary bunch across the NSW coast this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Jackogrady.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Surfers residing across southern Queensland and far northern NSW have little choice but to grin and bear a woeful start to the 2019/20 tropical swell-season. Normally by this time of year we’d already be immersed in consistent easterly tradewind swell; somewhere in the two to three foot range, with prospects of something approaching 3 to 4ft or better lying just over the forecast horizon. Instead, we’re looking at another full weekend of tiny NE and SSE windswells, for the most part not exceeding a junky 1 to 2ft. The harsh reality is this year’s extremely positive Indian Ocean dipole’s suppressing influence on the southern hemisphere monsoon will probably delay the onset of any notable tradewind swell until early next year.

Friday
Slight NE windswell superseded by a modest increase in localised SSE windswell throughout the day. Far northern NSW: Junky 1 to 2ft along south-exposed beaches, picking up a notch in the arvo.  Southern QLD: Mixing with slight NNE windswell around 1ft+ exposed QLD beaches, swinging SSE during the day. WIND: Early light NW to SW, turning South to SSE  15 to 20 knots across northern NSW in the morning, arriving across southern QLD in the afternoon.

Saturday
Fading SSE windswell. Far northern NSW: Inconsistent 2ft sets south-exposed beaches early, ranging from 1 to 2ft along open beaches with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: Up to 1 to 2ft on the sets exposed beaches, grading to 1ft+ or less elsewhere. Revisions likely. WIND: Early light SW to SSW tending SSE to SE during the day and ESE to ENE around 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon/ evening.

Sunday
Negligible ESE and NNE windswell up to 1ft+ exposed coasts, tiny to virtually flat elsewhere. WIND: Early light and variable, tending North to NE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

A small mix of NE and SSE windswells offer up the bare minimum of surf across the region this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Photocartel.

A small mix of NE and SSE windswells offer up the bare minimum of surf across the region this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Photocartel.

Victoria
A continuation of fresh onshore WSW winds won’t exactly warm the hearts of Victorian surfers this weekend. On the upside, we can look forward to a modest boost in SW swell; probably just enough to open up some small, rideable options across the Surf Coast – as well as some larger, wind-affected options along the exposed coasts. Sunday morning is shaping up as your best window, with a lull in the westerly flow seeing lighter WNW to Westerly breezes at 5 to 10 knots opening up some half-decent options, before they swing back to the south and freshen during the day.

Friday
Short range SW swell deteriorates under onshore winds. Choppy sets ranging from 2 to 3ft+ along the exposed beaches, wrapping at a textured 1 to 2ft along the Surf Coast reefs and smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light West to WNW, tending WSW, SW 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
New SW swell under continued onshores. Exposed beaches: Sets up to 3 to 4ft+ deteriorating in the afternoon. Surf Coast: slow sets ranging from 2ft to 3ft on the reefs, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early Westerly 10 to 15 knots, tending SW to SSW 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
Easing SW swell reinforced by small SW groundswell in the afternoon. Exposed beaches: 3 to 4ft sets, easing later. Surf Coast: Inconsistent sets around 2 to 3ft along the reefs, wrapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early WNW to Westerly 5 to 10 knots, tending SW to SSW, then Southerly, SSE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

There's plenty of waves this weekend, but Victorian coasts have seen better days, to be sure. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Otwaydundee.

There's plenty of waves this weekend, but Victorian coasts have seen better days, to be sure. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Otwaydundee.

Western Australia
There is, unequivocally, nowhere better to be hunting around for waves than across the Southwest Coast this weekend. While every other state languishes under varying combinations of onshore winds and a lack of swell, the coastline bounded by Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin will be on the proverbial cook; benefiting from a solid push in SW swell under early offshore winds for several days to come.

Friday
SW swell levels off under early offshore winds. South West: Ranging from 2 to 4ft sets across exposed breaks, inconsistent in the upper range and grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth/Mandurah: Around 0.5 to 1ft then dropping. WIND: ENE to NE  10 to 15 knots, tending lighter North to NW during the day, before shifting South to SW 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
Larger SW groundswell arrives under early offshore winds. Southwest: Clean 3 to 5ft, rising towards 4 to 6ft across exposed coasts in the afternoon. Perth: Clean 1 to 2ft exposed beaches. WIND: ESE to Easterly 5 to 15 knots, fading before turning South to SW 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
Easing SW swell with early cross-offshore winds. South West: 3 to 5ft sets across exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth/Mandurah: Up to 1ft+ and easing later. WIND: ESE to ENE 5 to 15 knots, tending South to SW and freshening to 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

The Southwest is holding all weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

The Southwest is holding all weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
There’s a bit of light on South Australia’s forecast horizon this weekend. In the short-term we continue to languish under the combined influence of small SW swell and fresh onshore winds on Friday and Saturday. However, as the sun rises on Sunday morning there are likely to be some better prospects opening up under the influence of early light NE breezes – and with any luck that will set the trend for early to mid next week.

Friday
SW swell underpinned by small SW groundswell with continued onshore winds. South Coast: Inconsistent 2 to 3ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping up to 1 to 2ft around Middleton to Goolwa, smaller later. Mid Coast: Virtually flat. WIND: SSW to SW 10 knots, freshening to 10 to 15 knots during the morning.

Saturday
SSW swell levels off under SE winds. South Coast: Semi-clean sets around 3 to 4ft around Waits and Parsons, easing in the afternoon. Wrapping at about 2ft from Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: Around 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: Early light SW 5 to 10 knots, tending SW to SSW and freshening to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
Leftover SW swell reinforced by new SW groundswell in the afternoon. South Coast: Clean 2 to 3ft+ around Waits and Parsons, wrapping at either side of 2ft from Middleton to Goolwa and fading through the afternoon. Mid Coast: Around 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: Early light NE 5 to 10 knots, tending South to SSE and freshening in the afternoon.

Slim as they may be, Sunday morning offers up your best chances for one of these. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Getwet.

Slim as they may be, Sunday morning offers up your best chances for one of these. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Getwet.


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