Forecaster Blog: New Year Forecast

30 Dec 2014 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Forecaster’s Blog issued 12.00pm Tuesday, 30 December 2014.

It’s been an eventful year in surfing. A revamped ASP World Tour saw a pumping year of surf culminate in the crowning of the first Brazilian surfing world champion. Huge waves were tackled, huge tubes were successfully threaded, Kirra pumpedmore than once and Mick Fanning was awsomeCape Solander pumped, northern NSW did too and even Southern NSW had it’s moments. But enough with the gratuitous embedded links – this blog is all about the future – at least the immediate future – and with respect to that, there will be waves on tap pretty much wherever you happen to be surfing, both on New Years Eve and to greet January 1. Let’s hope 2015 is a wave-filled year for all of us. Happy New Year.

Let's hope there's plenty of these for all of us in 2015. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Liam.

Let's hope there's plenty of these for all of us in 2015. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Liam.

Sydney and the South Coast
The final day of 2014 sees a robust (at least in the context of summer) south swell peaking at solid 3ft levels across south facing beaches – initially under moderate onshore SE winds that will quickly drop off and slowly swing around to the east during the day. Sure, it’s nothing epic, but it’s not a bad way to see out the surfing year either. The tail end of this pulse will still be running at lower, 2ft levels early on New Years Day and it will continue to cross over with a long-enduring ENE tradewind swell that should still be running at a slow 1 to 2ft across open breaks. Friday 2nd sees short range NE windswell emerging as the primary source of surf across the coast and this should set the trend for Saturday, maintaining peaky 2ft plus sets across east facing breaks. There will also be some underlying S groundswell showing at low levels across south facing breaks over this time frame and while it should nudge up a foot or so on Sunday and Monday it isn’t anticipated to exceed 2 to 3ft at the most exposed south facing breaks.

A short-lived S swell peaks on New Years Eve and hangs in at lower levels on New Years Day. Photo: Coastalwatch user Lana.

A short-lived S swell peaks on New Years Eve and hangs in at lower levels on New Years Day. Photo: Coastalwatch user Lana.

SUMMARY
Wednesday
New S swell peaking at 2 - 3ft south facing beaches, probably undersized early. Mixing with small ENE swell around 2ft east facing breaks. WIND: Early SE 10 to 20 knots tending light E 5 to 10 knots.

Thursday
S swell up to 1 – 2ft+ south facing beaches early, steadily easing throughout the day. Mixing with underlying ENE swell around 2ft exposed breaks. WIND: Early light N tending NNE 10 to 20 knots.

Friday
Mix of leftover S swell and ENE windswell around 1 - 2ft exposed open beaches. WIND: Early light and variable 5 to 10 knots tending NE 10 to 15 knots later.

Saturday
Mix of NE windswell and underlying S swell around 1 – 2ft exposed beaches, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: N 5 to 15 knots tending NNE 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon.

Queensland and Northern NSW
An extended run of low scale E tradewind swell keeps on keeping on over the New Year. Although the tradewind belt has substantially eased in strength over the last few days we should see long-range E swell still fluctuating around the 2ft mark across exposed breaks through the New Year period and it should continue to run at similar levels into the first days of 2015. If you’re a bit nonplussed by the seemingly unending run of 2ft waves, there’s some light on the horizon in the form of a stronger building trend in E swell setting in around Monday 5th January, triggered by a rejuvenated tradewind belt becoming established throughout the southern Coral Sea this weekend. These developments are still a little way off so stay tuned to the detailed forecast for updates over the coming days.

The extended run of small-scale E swell continues across the region through the New Year period. Photo: Simon Muirhead.

The extended run of small-scale E swell continues across the region through the New Year period. Photo: Simon Muirhead.

Wednesday
E tradewind swell. Inconsistent sets around 2ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light NNW tending SE 5 to 15 knots during the morning.

Thursday
E tradewind swell. Around 2ft exposed breaks. WIND: Early light and variable tending ENE 5 to 15 knots.

Friday
E tradewind swell. Inconsistent sets around 2ft+ exposed breaks. Grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: ENE 5 to 15 knots.

Saturday
Inconsistent E tradewind swell around 2ft+ exposed breaks. Grading to 1 – 2ft inside the points and bays. WIND: E 10 to 15 knots.

Victoria
Late December’s extended run of heightened Southern Ocean wave energy is finally set to wind down over the New Year. Wednesday should see a final day of large surf in the 6ft plus range across Victoria’s exposed beaches preceding a steady decline into the first days of January 2015. This will quickly shift the surfing focus to the exposed beaches as SW swell levels off in the 2 to 4ft range across the region, producing good quality surf under light and variable winds on New Years Day. Good conditions should persist as winds tend light E to NE throughout Friday and Saturday.

Victoria has fared pretty well into late 2015 and the first days of the New Year aren't looking bad either.

Victoria has fared pretty well into late 2015 and the first days of the New Year aren't looking bad either.

SUMMARY
Wednesday
Mid period SW swell 5 – 8ft exposed beaches, easing during the afternoon. Grading to 3 - 4ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: W to SW 5 to 15 knots tending light S SE during the afternoon.

Thursday
Easing SW swell 4 - 6ft exposed breaks. Grading to 2 – 3ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light and variable tending to sea-breezes during the afternoon.

Friday
SSW swell. Sets to 3 - 4ft exposed beaches. Around 2ft+ across the Surf Coast. WIND: Early light ENE tending to sea-breezes during the afternoon.

Saturday
SSW groundswell 3 – 5ft+ exposed beaches. Grading to 2 - 3ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: N 15 to 25 knots ahead of a SW change during the afternoon.

Western Australia
A continuation of low-scale SW swell sees out the final day of 2014 and similarly small surf is set to greet the New Year; hovering around the 2ft mark across exposed Southwest breaks on both days. The good news is Friday 2nd marks the beginning of a slight building trend in SSW swell that should see set waves pushing back up to a solid 3ft plus into the afternoon and it should peak at a stronger 3 to 4ft throughout Saturday before slowly easing from there. Get in early to make the most of the offshore winds before the sea-breeze.

A continued run of small-scale SW swell greets the New Year across the West Coast. Photo: Dev Coote.

A continued run of small-scale SW swell greets the New Year across the West Coast. Photo: Dev Coote.

SUMMARY
Wednesday
Decreased SW swell. Southerly winds. Southwest coast: 2ft inconsistent sets on open areas. Perth/Mandurah: flat. S to SE winds early 10-15kt, tending SW in afternoon 15-20kt.

Thursday
Low level SW swell. Southwest coast: 1-3ft on open breaks Perth/Mandurah: flat occasional better. Calm early, tending seabreeze in afternoon 10-15kt.

Friday
SW swell. Southwest coast: 1-3ft inconsistent sets. Perth/Mandurah: flat occasional better. SE wind early 10kt, tending SW in afternoon 10-15kt.

Saturday
SW swell increases sets. Inconsistent. Southwest coast: 2-3ft occasional sets at standouts. Perth/Mandurah: flat occasional 1ft. ESE wind early 10kt, tending SW 10-15kt in afternoon.

South Australia
SW swell continues to run at respectable, 2 to 4ft levels across South Australian coasts through the New Year transition. Wednesday morning presents your last opportunity for some clean 3 to 4ft waves before the swell eases and winds swing onshore on January 1st. From there conditions should improve as winds briefly swing back to the NNE on Friday and remain fairly light on Saturday.

SW swell keeps on coming into the first days of 2015. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Corey.

SW swell keeps on coming into the first days of 2015. Photo: Coastalwatch Plus member Corey.

SUMMARY
Wednesday
SSW swell. Sets to 3 – 4ft South Coast, slowly easing. Around 1 - 2ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light and variable tending SSE during the afternoon.

Thursday
SSW swell. 2 – 3ft South Coast beaches, easing during the afternoon. Around 1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light SSE tending SE 10 to 15 knots.

Friday
SSW swell around 2ft+ South Coast beaches, easing during the afternoon. Grading to 0.5 - 1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: NNE 10 to 20 knots tending NW during the afternoon.

Saturday
SSW swell around 2 - 3ft South Coast beaches. Grading to 1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light and variable tending SW 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

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

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