Weekend Surf Forecast 23 - 25 August, 2019
Issued Thursday, 22 August 2019
It’s game on, just about everywhere you look this weekend. Following the arrival of a one final, humungous winter storm-swell across Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast on Thursday afternoon, conditions will rapidly subside. Initially that means still big, but improving conditions across the region on Friday as winds rotate from early WSW to North/NE throughout the day. That paves the way for a full day of excellent conditions on Saturday as all-day offshore greet the tail end of the groundswell.
Further north, the monster South swell marches in at peak size across northern NSW on Friday morning, leaving the more exposed breaks as no-go zones – at least until it starts to settle down over the weekend. In contrast, the sheer size and long-period of the swell will bend in at still large, but very accessible levels across southern Queensland coasts on Friday – and there will still be plenty left in the tank on Saturday.
Across Victoria the bulk of surfing action will be found along the Great Ocean road as predominant WNW to NW winds open up clean, mid-sized surf on Friday and Saturday, before conditions deteriorate with the arrival of a SW change on Sunday. South Australia benefits from a similar pattern of cross-offshore winds across south facing coasts, before a southerly change takes the shine off conditions on Saturday afternoon.
And finally, conditions across the Southwest are set to light up in a big way on Saturday, as a favourable easterly wind-shift coincides with the arrival of a very large and powerful south-westerly groundswell. That will open up some serious – and still wobbly 10 to 12ft plus conditions across the Margaret River region. If that sounds a bit out of your league, there will still be solid and even cleaner conditions on offer come Sunday morning. Wherever you find yourself, have a good one.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Friday afternoon’s huge, blustery conditions belie a couple of good to excellent days of surfing on Friday and Saturday. As the deep, complex low responsible for this event moves further offshore overnight we’ll see a new high pressure system building over the NSW interior. This feature brings about a rapid calming in local winds; initially turning west into the early hours of Friday morning, before dropping to light and variable during the day, before swinging NE in the afternoon. That will open up all kinds of good and still large and powerful surfing options throughout the day, leading in a full day of excellent surf on Saturday as offshore WNW winds greet the tail end of the swell.
Easing SSE groundswell. Around 8 to 10ft across south facing beaches early, settling to 6 to 8ft+ during the day, settling later. Wrapping at 3 to 8ft levels along elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: WSW to SW 10 to 15 knots, tending variable during the day, then NE to NNE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.
Easing SSE swell around 4 to 5ft+ exposed open and south facing breaks early, easing to 3 to 4ft later. Wrapping at lower levels along open beaches with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early WNW tending NW 5 to 15 knots, then back to the WNW later.
Leftover SSE swell, speculatively reinforced by rising Southerly windswell in the afternoon. Inconsistent 2 to 3ft sets across exposed open and south facing beaches, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: WSW 5 to 15 knots, tending South to SSE 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
It’s not too often you see a southerly swell of large enough dimensions to produce well overhead surf north of the border – but that’s precisely what’s about to happen across the region – at least for the next two days. A large and complex low pressure system over the southern Tasman Sea is already generating an exponential rise in wave-heights across the southern half of the NSW coast, that’s projected to reach huge and stormy peaks this afternoon. This monster sea-state will propagate north in due course overnight, lighting up far northern NSW coasts at very large/ heavy levels on Friday, while wrapping in across southern Queensland coasts at more manageable – but still sizeable levels, leading in a gradual easing trend throughout the weekend.
Heavy Southerly groundswell peaks early. Far northern NSW: Energetic sets around 8 to 12ft across south facing breaks, settling to 8 to 10ft later. Wrapping at 4 to 8ft+ levels along open coasts with size depending on exposure elsewhere. Southern QLD: Around 4 to 6ft along exposed breaks, wrapping at 3 to 5ft along open beaches and more like 2 to 4ft inside the points and inside bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: SW to SSW 15 to 25 knots, tending Southerly, SSE in the afternoon.
Still large SSE groundswell gradually settles throughout the day. Northern NSW: Solid 5 to 8ft sets at the south-swell magnets, wrapping at 3 to 6ft+ along open coasts with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: Around 3 to 5ft+ across exposed breaks, ranging from 2 to 4ft along open beaches and smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light WNW to WSW 5 to 10 knots, tending Northerly, NNE up to 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
Leftover SSE groundswell continues to settle. Far northern NSW: Sets ranging from 3 to 4ft+ across south facing breaks early, more like 2 to 4ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure and fading into the afternoon. Southern QLD: 2 to 3ft sets exposed beaches, grading to 1 to 2ft or so elsewhere. WIND: Early light WNW to WSW 5 to 10 knots, tending Northerly, NE and freshening in the afternoon.
The Surf Coast offers up some great surfing options over the next few days – not to mention a good part of next week. A classic winter pattern featuring predominantly offshore NW to WNW winds (punctuated by a WSW/SW shift on Sunday), coincides with a steady run of overlapping, WSW and SW groundswells; large enough to keep wave-heights running at a good size across the region for days to come.
SW groundswell continues to subside under improving winds. Windy 5 to 6ft+ along the exposed beaches, dropping to 4 to 6ft during the afternoon. Wrapping at 3 to 5ft+ on the Surf Coast reefs, settling in the afternoon, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: NW 10 to 15 knots, tending NNW 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
Reinforcing WSW groundswell fills in. Solid 4 to 6ft+ along exposed beaches, bumping up in the afternoon. Wrapping at 3 to 4ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, picking up later. WIND: Early NNW 10 to 20 knots, tending NW to WNW 20 to 30 knots during the afternoon, WSW later.
Long range SW groundswell fills in over fading short-range swell. Around 5 to 8ft along exposed beaches, wrapping at slow 4 to 5ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: WSW 10 to 15 knots, tending SW in the afternoon.
There’s some potential wow-factor in the forecast for the Southwest this weekend as a large SW groundswell arrives under light winds. Thursday and Friday’s strong onshore winds belie a favourable easterly shift setting in early on Saturday morning, opening up rapidly improving conditions throughout the day. However, the offshore flow is only light – and that’s likely to translate into plenty of lump and wobble early on Saturday, before steadily cleaning up throughout the morning. That should, however, lead in a picture-perfect morning on Sunday as the tail-end of the groundswell slowly eases under continued easterly breezes.
Potential for larger, long-period SW groundswell superseding easing SW swell. Southwest: Around 6 to 8ft+ across exposed coasts, rising to 8 to 12ft in the afternoon. Perth. Sets up to 3 to 4ft. WIND: SW to SSW 15 to 30 knots, tending Southerly and easing 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
Heavy SW groundswell peaks under strong southerly winds, settling in the afternoon. Southwest: Clean 10 to 12ft+ along exposed breaks, settling to 8 to 10ft+ in the afternoon. Wrapping at 3 to 8ft+ inside sheltered bays with size depending on exposure. Perth: 3 to 4ft. WIND: Early ESE, tending Easterly 5 to 10 knots, then ENE, to light and variable to light SSW during the afternoon.
Easing SW groundswell under light offshore winds. Southwest: Speculatively 6 to 8ft across exposed coasts, settling to 4 to 6ft+ later. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Around 2 to 3ft, easing later. WIND: ESE, Easterly 5 to 10 knots, tending light and variable, then to sea-breezes around 10 knots in the afternoon.
There are half-decent surfing conditions on offer on Friday, as a consistent run of SW groundswell coincides with cross/offshore winds. This pattern looks most favourable on Friday morning as straighter northerly winds open up a wide range of options across southern exposures. Unfortunately it goes pear-shaped come Saturday morning, with a fleeting window of north-westerlies closing down with an early SW change, leading in onshore conditions for the duration of the weekend.
Improving conditions as SW groundswell settles under NW winds. South Coast: Potential for 6 to 8ft+ sets at Waits and Parsons, backing off in the afternoon. Wrapping at 3 to 5ft from Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: Around 1 to 2ft. WIND: Early light Northerly, tending NNW to NW 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
SW groundswell levels off under early cross-offshores. South Coast: Ranging from 4 to 6ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at 3 to 4ft at Middleton. Mid Coast: WSW swell up to 1 to 2ft. WIND: Early NW 15 to 25 knots, shifting West to SW in the morning, then SSW during the afternoon.
Reinforcing, long-period SSW groundswell arrives under fresh onshore winds. South Coast: Up to 4 to 6ft+ at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at junky 2 to 4ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: Around 1 to 2ft. WIND: SSW 10 to 15 knots, tending SW in the afternoon.
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