National Christmas Surf Forecast 2015
Well, the Christmas holidays are well and truly upon us meaning that those days of scoring uncrowded waves now become increasingly rare. With an army of surfers soon to be armed with new boards and wetsuits, all eyes are on the waves. So how’s it looking?
Well for those of you residing along the East Coast, the short-term forecast isn’t too great. In saying that, it definitely won’t be flat, so not all is bad. The real action is set to take place across Victoria, as offshore winds and a strong SW swell combine to deliver a great Christmas present for surfers. South Australia will have their fair share of waves as well. But you’ll have to get out there early to beat the wind. To cap it off, a strong groundswell will also be evident across Western Australia on Christmas Day. However, it will be worth waiting for the winds to swing offshore on Boxing Day.
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Sydney, Newcastle & South Coast
There isn’t much happening on the wave front for those of us along the Eastern Seaboard. Small 2ft waves coupled with onshore NNE-NE winds will be on offer throughout both Christmas and Boxing Day.
E swell. 2ft across exposed beaches. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: NNE 5-10 knots tending NE 15-20 knots.
ENE swell. 2ft across exposed beaches. Grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: NNE 10-15 knots tending NE 15-20 knots.
A low pressure trough is forecast deepen and form into a low pressure system off the East Coast of Tasmania on Saturday. Consequently, a fresh southerly change is forecast to move up the NSW coast on Saturday night. Wind speeds in the Sydney region are expected to reach 20-25 knots, whilst offshore winds within Bass Strait may reach 30-35 knots. At this stage, wave models are predicting a rise in south windswell for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday; potentially peaking at 4-6ft on Monday morning, grading smaller along the South Coast. Beyond this, there isn’t much on the horizon.
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QLD & Far Northern NSW
A fun sized ESE swell will continue to generate 2-3ft waves across the region on Friday and Saturday morning before easing a touch by Saturday afternoon. Onshore winds are forecast for Christmas Day, whilst light and variable winds are expected on Boxing Day morning.
Mid-sized ESE swell. 2-3ft across northern NSW breaks. 2-3ft across QLD beaches, including the points and bays. WIND: SE 10-15 knots tending ESE 10-15 knots along Southeast QLD. SSE 5-10 knots tending E 10-15 knots along Northern NSW.
Easing ESE swell. 2-3ft easing to 1-3ft across northern NSW breaks. 2-3ft easing to 1-3ft across QLD beaches, including the points and bays. WIND: Light and variable tending NNE 10-15 knots.
Sunday morning should offer some fun waves in the 1-3ft range before building to 2-4ft later in the day. As per the NSW long range forecast, the development of a low pressure system near Tasmania, will see a strong front move up the coast. By Monday morning, surfers should see some wind affected SSE swell in the water. As it stands, those of you along the south facing beaches of Northern NSW will see 3-4ft waves, grading to 1-3ft along the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Beyond this, current model guidance is indicative of a larger rounds of south swell by Wednesday, December 30.
Christmas Day is shaping up to be an epic day of surf across Victoria. A solid SW groundswell coupled with stiff offshore winds will see many surfers skip their family lunch. On the contrary, Boxing Day will be wild and woolly as a brisk change sweeps across the state; there will be plenty of swell though, just keep your expectations low.
Solid WSW/ SW groundswell. 5-7ft with larger inconsistent sets across the East Coast. 3-4ft with larger inconsistent sets on the Surf Coast. WIND: N 15-20 knots tending NNE 15-20 knots.
Solid WSW/ SW groundswell building again in the afternoon. 5-6ft early increasing to 6-8ft across the East Coast with larger inconsistent sets possible. 2-3ft early increasing to 3-5ft along the Surf Coast. WIND: WSW 15-25 knots tending SSW 15-20 knots.
Model guidance is currently showing another spike in WSW swell on Sunday, December 27 as our low flattens out and hugs the Antarctic coastline; speculatively maintaining wave heights in the 6-8ft range. A semi-stationary high will also be located over SE Australia, so winds out of the eastern quadrant are likely throughout Sunday and Monday next week. Beyond this, we will see multiple mid-period SW/ WSW swells for the remainder of the year.
Those of you willing to get up at the crack of dawn should score some pumping waves on Christmas Day. Unfortunately, by mid to late morning, a strong change will destroy wave quality. Some strong swell will still be around on Boxing Day as well, but winds will be strong out of the SSW; limiting wave quality.
Solid SW groundswell. 4-6ft with larger inconsistent sets across the South Coast. Grading to 1ft+ along the Mid Coast. WIND: NNE 15-20 knots tending SW 20-30 knots.
SW groundswell eases and then builds again. 4-5ft building to 4-6ft across the South Coast beaches. 1ft+ along the Mid Coast. WIND: SSW 25-30 knots easing to 15-20 knots.
Wave energy and height should be maintained throughout Sunday morning before fading slightly by the afternoon. By Monday, we will see the swell tend SSW and ease throughout the day. In fact, by the late afternoon, wave heights across the South Coast will fall back to 2-3ft. Unfortunately, this easing trend will continue through Tuesday as well, before a small groundswell fills in on Wednesday.
There won’t be any shortage of swell across the Western Australian Coastline this Christmas. S strong SW groundswell will peak on Friday. Unfortunately, winds are looking a little dicey (perhaps a brief period of offshore winds before they tend south). Boxing Day is looking much better; an easing SW swell and early offshore winds will make for some great waves, particularly along the Southwest Coast.
Secondary pulse in solid SW swell. 6-8ft+ with bigger sets at open ocean breaks across the Southwest Coast. Inconsistent 1-2ft+ across the Perth/Mandurah region. WIND: SSE 15-20 knots tending S/ SSW 15-25 knots.
Easing SW swell. 3-5ft easing to 3-4ft across the Southwest Coast. 1-2ft early, easing to 1ft+ across the Perth/Mandurah region. WIND: E 10-15 knots tending SW 10-15 knots.
Looking beyond Saturday, we see waves heights temporarily ease into Sunday morning before a WSW groundswell makes its way to our coast by Monday. While not quite as large as what we are currently seeing for this week’s swell it’s well worth keeping an eye on. Current model guidance is hinting at a peak in swell occurring on Tuesday, December 29; with wave heights of 5-6ft likely along the SW coast. Winds are a little far off to call, although current long range wind models and synoptic charts are indicating that a southerly change may edge up the coast on Sunday afternoon.
Forecaster Blog: Dual Tropical Cyclones Lining up to Deliver Days of Pumping Easterly Groundswell to the East Coast.
Dual cyclones active over the tropical Pacific Ocean hold definitively large east-swell potential for the East Coast.
A distant Southwest Pacific cyclone holds latent east swell potential in the lead-up to Christmas.
A resurgent La Nina is about to rock the East Coast this December.
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Well, almost all. But definitely a solid weekend ahead.