WEEKEND SURF FORECAST, 14 - 16 September, 2012

13 Sep 2012 0 Share

A case in point: The Wave Tracker peak wave period graph pics up a long range S groundswell travelling up out of the Southern Ocean on Monday night, producing waves across the NSW coast on Tuesday.

A case in point: The Wave Tracker peak wave period graph pics up a long range S groundswell travelling up out of the Southern Ocean on Monday night, producing waves across the NSW coast on Tuesday.

Dialling In Thursday, 13 September 2012

When the composer of Australia’s national anthem ‘Advance Australia Fair’ threw in the line ‘Our home is girt by sea’, it was probably not a sub-textual reference to our great nation’s awesome surfable coastline.  Nevertheless, Australia’s coastline is vast, to say the least, and a slight alteration in the lyric to ‘Girt by surf’ is arguably a better descriptor.

At first glance, the East Coast’s swell window appears cut off by New Zealand; that lies just over 1,000 nautical miles to the south-east. However, the NSW coast in particular has unique exposure the Southern Ocean storm track. Long period groundswells generated deep beneath the Victoria and Tasmania can, and regularly do trace Great Circle Paths, covering up to 2,000 nautical miles to arrive along the NSW coast.

The West Coast should see clean offshore goodness across exposed coasts this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

The West Coast should see clean offshore goodness across exposed coasts this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

Western Australia has incredible swell exposure; boasting a swell window stretching beyond the Indian Ocean into the far South Atlantic, as well as encompassing a fair percentage of the Southern Ocean. This gives the West Coast a theoretical swell window extending some 5,500 nautical miles westward. Likewise, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania have similarly vast swell windows, ensuring there’s virtually always a wave to be found along one stretch of coast or another.

There should be set waves around this size across south facing beaches on Saturday. No guarantee on banks like this though.

There should be set waves around this size across south facing beaches on Saturday. No guarantee on banks like this though.

NSW:
There’s south swell by the truckload over the coming days - admittedly not particularly big and a bit wind affected at times – but it will be good enough to surf all weekend. Friday morning sees first spike in S windswell topping out at two to four feet depending on location before easing back again during the afternoon.

This is reinforced by a new round of mid period S swell on Saturday; pushing wave heights back up into the three foot plus range across south facing coasts. Sunday sees a mix of long and short range S swells maintain two to three foot waves across the region. Conditions will be best early on both days, with light inshore SW to NW winds producing fairly clean conditions before onshores set in.

Summary
Friday
Short range S windswell up to 3 – 4ft south facing beaches. Around 2 - 3ft open beaches, easing into the afternoon. WIND: WSW 5 to 15 knots tending light SE to NE during the afternoon.

Saturday
New S swell 2 – 4ft south facing beaches, 1 – 3ft open beaches. WIND: SW 5 to 15 knots tending SE during the afternoon.

Sunday
Easing S swell 2 - 3ft south facing beaches, around 2ft elsewhere. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots, shifting NE 15 to 20 knots into the afternoon.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
A southerly change moving up the NSW coast arrives across northern NSW early on Friday leads in a slightly smaller round of S swell across northern NSW; up to two to three feet across the most exposed beaches grading to one to two feet north of the border. This sets the trend for the weekend as SSE windswell hangs in at low levels on Saturday, before being reinforced by small, mid period S swell on Sunday.

Friday
S windswell building to 2 – 4ft most exposed northern NSW south facing beaches 1 - 2ft south-east Qld exposed beaches. WIND: NNW 15 to 25 knots shifting SSE 20 to 30 knots during the morning.

Saturday
SSE windswell building to 2 – 3ft most exposed northern NSW south facing beaches 1 - 2ft south-east Qld exposed beaches. WIND: SSW 10 to 15 knots, tending SSE 10 to 20 knots.

Sunday
SSE windswell building to 2 – 3ft most exposed northern NSW south facing beaches 1 - 2ft south-east Qld exposed beaches. WIND: Early SSW 10 to 15 knots. Tending ESE during the day.

There will be clean, small to mid range waves on offer across the Surf Coast this weekend.

There will be clean, small to mid range waves on offer across the Surf Coast this weekend.

Victoria
There’s plenty of SW swell running across all Victorian coasts this weekend – mostly ranging from two to four feet across the Surf Coast and a larger three to six across the exposed coasts. At the same time a high pressure system moving in across the state keeps winds relatively light, ensuring surface quality will be reasonably good on both days.

Summary
Friday
SW swell backed up by some closer range W windswell. 2 to 3ft+ Surf Coast, 4 to 6ft open beaches early. Swell a bit more inconsistent in the upper range in the afternoon. WIND: Early W 20 to 30 knots tending WSW 15 to 25 knots.

Saturday
SW swell. 2 to 3ft+ Surf Coast, 3 to 5ft open beaches. WIND: Light W/SW 5 to 15 knots tending WNW during the morning.

Sunday
Refracted groundswell. 1 to 2ft+ Surf Coast, 3 to 4ft open beaches. WIND: Offshore early, tending more WSW in the morning at 5 to 15 knots.

Western Australia
It’s shaping up as a great weekend of surfing across the South West, with two full days of great conditions anticipated for the exposed coasts. A slow building trend in mid period SW swell should see wave heights starting out around the two to four foot mark on Saturday, with early light ESE winds gradually swinging SSE into the afternoon. The swell muscles up a notch by Sunday to a chunkier three to five feet – this time coinciding with a full day of ESE winds maintaining clean conditions from sun-up to sun-down.

Summary;
Friday
SW swell faded down
Southwest Coast: 2-3ft+
Perth: flat
WIND: ESE winds 5 - 10 knots

Saturday
Inconsistent SW swell
Southwest Coast: 2 – 3ft, inconsistent 4ft sets
Perth: flat-0.5ft
WIND: Variable SE 5 - 15knots tending SSE during the afternoon.

Sunday
SW groundswell
Southwest Coast: 3 – 5ft
Perth: flat
WIND: Variable ESE winds 5 - 15 knots.

South Australia
There’s plenty of SW swell on tap across southern coasts this weekend; comprised of mid period groundswell still emanating from an active Southern Ocean storm track. The swell coincides with early light winds both on Saturday and Sunday mornings – making for good conditions across the region before winds swing onshore during the day.

Friday
Strong SW groundswell 3 – 4ft South Coast. Up to 1 - 2ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: WSW 10 to 20 knots, easing during in the afternoon.

Saturday
SSW swell 2 - 4ft South Coast. Around 1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: NNW 5 to 10 knots tending light and variable during the day.

Sunday
SSW swell 2 - 4ft South Coast, 1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light W 5 to 10 knots tending SSW during the day.

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