Weekend Surf Forecast 15 - 17 March 2019

14 Mar 2019 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 14 March 2019

In the wake of Tropical Cyclone Oma lighting up the Queensland points back in late February, we’re still waiting for something big to kick-start the autumn season across the Eastern Seaboard. For now, East Coast surfers will have to be content with a continuation of small or tiny waves. Sydney and south, as well as Newcastle and Hunter coasts will fare reasonably well this weekend as a minor building trend in ESE/SE windswell sets in under onshore winds – not to mention torrential rain. While this definitely isn’t the autumn perfection we might hope for, it’s still looking a bit better than locations further north. Both southern Queensland and northern NSW coasts will continue to see marginal conditions as background easterly swell trundles in at about 2ft all weekend.

Following an energetic week of SW groundswell across the southern states, Victoria and South Australia will see subsiding levels of SW swell opening up reasonably good beach-break options across exposed coasts as lighter winds coincide with pretty accessible waves in the 2 to 4ft range all weekend. That leaves the West Coast as the usual, good bet for some clean, powerful waves. Friday morning sees the tail-end of the most recent SW swell opening up very appealing 3 to 4ft conditions under light offshore breezes. While this should culminate in a lull in wave-action on Saturday, it looks like it will be game on again on Sunday as a new SW swell builds in steeply throughout the day. Have a good one!


Another autumn weekend is almost upon us. Photo: Uploaded to CW by PhotographyNel.

Another autumn weekend is almost upon us. Photo: Uploaded to CW by PhotographyNel.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
The swell is on the rise this weekend. Admittedly, conditions aren’t looking flash. It’s going to bucket with rain all weekend and the swell looks both short-in-period and also wind-blown by moderate onshore ESE winds. Never the less, the swell-direction is good; building from a broad ESE to SE direction throughout Saturday and probably showing peak size in the 3ft+ range on Sunday. To date, the models have been pretty temperamental regarding the associated swell-source – and even at this late stage we may well see some further tweaking to projected conditions on Friday. Either way, there will be waves to be had – and that’s got to be better than none.

Friday
ESE windswell ranges from 1 to 3ft across exposed breaks, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Fluky conditions. Early SSW 10 to 20 knots, tending variable during the day, then SE to ESE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Scope for rising ESE windswell. Around 1 to 3ft exposed beaches early, building to a junky 2 to 3ft+ in the afternoon. WIND: ESE to SE 10 to 15 knots.

Sunday
Potential for consistent ESE windswell around 2 to 4ft exposed open beaches, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: SE, SSE 10 to 20 knots.

Junky, onshore, but waves there will be across Sydney and surrounds this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Colin.

Junky, onshore, but waves there will be across Sydney and surrounds this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Colin.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Come on, where have our late-season tropical cyclones and pumping autumn conditions gone? Although we’re seeing a renewed deepening of the monsoon trough over the mainland, this isn’t expected to flow through to any major increase in easterly tradewind swell anytime soon. The upshot is interminable days of small surf, mostly hovering around the 2-foot mark along exposed beaches throughout Friday and the weekend. Still, it’s definitely not looking flat – so keep your best small-wave board close at hand and you should do just fine.

Friday
Fading SSE windswell mixing with slight Easterly tradewind swell, around 2ft exposed coasts, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Calm to light and variable SW to NW, tending NE, ENE around 5 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
Slight ESE swell up to 2ft across the most exposed coasts, grading to 1 to 2ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light SW to SSW inshore, tending SSE/SE around 10 to 15 knots.

Sunday
ESE swell and slight SE swell around 2ft across the most exposed coasts, grading to 1 to 2ft at best along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early light SW to NW below 5 knots inshore, tending ENE to NE around 10 knots.

Not a lot of power on tap across the region this weekend, but still good for a frolick. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Deryck.

Not a lot of power on tap across the region this weekend, but still good for a frolick. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Deryck.

Victoria
All signs point to the exposed beaches over the next few days as subsiding levels of SW groundswell coincide with light easterly quarter winds. This pattern looks like opening up good surfable options in the 2 to 4ft range for several days, with both Saturday and Sunday mornings likely to be offering up good quality under light ENE breezes, before conditions gradually deteriorate as they swing to the Southeast in the afternoons.

Friday
Reinforcing mid period SW groundswell. Speculatively increasing around 3 to 4ft+ along the exposed beaches, wrapping along Surf Coast reefs at 2 to 3ft+. Otherwise smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable SW to SE up to 5 knots, tending SE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon, then ESE to SE later.

Saturday
Easing SW swell gradually fades. Slower sets up to a clean 3 to 4ft along the exposed beaches, while wrapping at a slow 2 to 3ft along the Surf Coast reefs early, otherwise smaller elsewhere and easing later. WIND: Easterly, ENE around 10 to 20 knots, tending lighter ESE to SE up to 5 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
SW swell bottoms out ahead of a slight rise in the afternoon. Clean sets ranging from 2 to 3ft along the exposed beaches. Sets wrapping at about 1 to 2ft along the Surf Coast reefs, picking up a bit in the afternoon. WIND: Early light E to NE land-breezes, tending to ESE around 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

This week's run of SW swell opened up some good days along the Surf Coast, but the focus will shift back to the exposed beaches this weekend. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

This week's run of SW swell opened up some good days along the Surf Coast, but the focus will shift back to the exposed beaches this weekend. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

Western Australia
This week’s thumping SSW groundswell offers up one more day of still good sized surf in the 3 to 4ft range on Friday morning, as early easterly winds likely to see one of the cleanest mornings of the week. In contrast, Saturday morning is shaping up as a pretty lacklustre affair as smaller SW leftovers bottom out in the 2ft range under moderate SSE winds, turning south to SW at strength in the afternoon. That leaves Sunday as the next best option as a steep-rising SW swell coincides with stronger SE/SSE winds; opening up a variety of good options throughout the day.

Friday
Easing SW groundswell under early offshore ESE winds. Southwest: 3 to 4ft early, easing 2 to 3ft+ later. Perth: About 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: Easterly, ESE 5 to 10 knots, tending variable, then South to SW and freshening to 15 to 20 knots later.

Saturday
Minor mid period SW overlapped by a building SSW groundswell in the afternoon. South West: Small, clean sets up to a slow 2ft at the most exposed breaks, rising to 2 to 3ft+ in the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: About 0.5ft. WIND: SSE 10 to 15 knots, tending Southerly and freshening to 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
Potential for new SW groundswell under early ESE, SE winds. South West: Scope for 3 to 5ft+ sets early, building to 5 to 8ft across exposed breaks during the day – potentially bigger in the arvo. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth/Mandurah: Clean in the 1 to 2ft+ range. WIND: SE 15 to 25 knots, tending SSE and freshening to 20 to 30 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday is looking like your best option as a new SW swell rapidly builds in across the Southwest throughout the day. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Surfingmr.

Sunday is looking like your best option as a new SW swell rapidly builds in across the Southwest throughout the day. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Surfingmr.

South Australia
This week’s energetic run of SSW groundswell finally comes back down to earth over the next few days. Still, there will be plenty of good quality, smaller-wave options as a dropping SSW swell coincides with early lighter East to NE winds on Saturday. While Sunday isn’t looking quite as appealing, there will be a good window of opportunity while early lighter East to SE winds last.

Friday
Renewed, mid period SSW swell. South Coast: Junky 3 to 5ft at Waits and Parsons, grading to a lumpy 2 to 3ft+ around Middleton, easing later. Mid Coast: Unsettled sets around 1ft+. WIND: SE to ESE 10 to 15 knots, tending SSE 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
Easing SSW swell under light winds. South Coast: Clean sets around 2 to 4ft at Waits and Parsons, backing off during the afternoon. Grading to 2ft+ around Middleton. Mid Coast: Around 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: Easterly, ENE 5 to 10 knots, tending SSE in the afternoon.

Sunday
Residual SSW swell bottoms out under early light winds. South Coast: Sets ranging from 1 to 3ft at Waits and Parsons, grading to a slow 1 to 2ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: About 0.5ft. WIND: SE to ESE around 5 to 10 knots, tending South 10 to 15 knots in the arvo.

The more exposed South Coast beaches return to life as fading SSW swell drops to more accessible levels this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by AquaticHorizons.

The more exposed South Coast beaches return to life as fading SSW swell drops to more accessible levels this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by AquaticHorizons.


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