WEEKEND SURF FORECAST, 19 - 21 April 2013

18 Apr 2013 0 Share

Forecast issued 4.00pm, 18 April 2011. By Ben Macartney

The vast expanse of Australia’s exposed coastline is awash in swell this weekend. The Eastern Seaboard in particular receives a heavy round of SSE storm swell, following the development of an East Coast Low over the southern Tasman Sea. It’s shaping up as a great weekend across Victoria’s exposed coasts as SW eases to user friendly levels and winds turn ENE during Saturday afternoon and remain NE throughout Sunday. Western Australia sees overlapping SW groundswells maintaining mid to large surf across the south-west coast, but winds will be generally blowing cross-onshore all weekend.

Source: BOM. A complex East Coast Low developing over the southern Tasman Sea drives a steep run up in SSE swell across the southern half of the NSW coast on Friday and Saturday.

Source: BOM. A complex East Coast Low developing over the southern Tasman Sea drives a steep run up in SSE swell across the southern half of the NSW coast on Friday and Saturday.

NSW

What’s shaping up as one of the larger swells of the year so far impacts the NSW coast this weekend. A steep increase in SSE swell is generated by a deep East Coast Low (ECL) developing over the south-west Tasman Sea over the next 24 hours. The ECL drives a heavy rise in stormy SSE swell throughout Friday afternoon - in all likelihood peaking in the eight to ten foot plus range across Sydney and the South Coast early on Saturday. Strong SSW winds generated by the low are likely to approach gale force across the region on Friday afternoon and persist at 20 to 35 knots on Saturday morning – effectively limiting rideable options to the most sheltered southern corners and north facing coasts. Sunday is another matter altogether. As the low begins to weaken and drift offshore winds are likely to ease in strength and turn SW on Sunday morning before easing to light and variable during the day, opening up good surfable options across the region as the swell begins to subside.

East Coast Low's are notorious for producing big clean surf across the NSW coast. Sunday may just be one of those days. Image: Coastalwatch Plus member J_ace13

East Coast Low's are notorious for producing big clean surf across the NSW coast. Sunday may just be one of those days. Image: Coastalwatch Plus member J_ace13


Friday
New S swell 3 – 4ft south facing beaches, building to 4 – 6ft+ during the afternoon and bigger again during the evening. Grading a foot or two smaller across open beaches depending on exposure. WIND: Early SSW 15 to 25 knots tending S 20 to 30 knots during the day, increasing to 30 to 40 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Stormy SSE swell 6 – 8ft+ across south facing beaches early, increasing to 8 – 12ft during the day before easing during the afternoon. Grading to 4 – 8ft+ across open beaches depending on exposure. WIND: Divergence in modelling. Possibly SW 15 to 25 knots early tending S or SSE 20 to 35 knots during the morning.

Sunday
SSE swell 5 – 8ft south facing beaches early, grading to 4 – 6ft open beaches, rapidly easing during the day. WIND: SW 10 to 15 knots, tending light and variable into the afternoon.

South-eastern Queensland only receives a fraction of the SSE swell generated by the ECL. As the swell period ticks up on Sunday expect fun sized surf on offer across locations predisposed to the SSE direction. Image: Coastalwatch Plus member Kerle.

South-eastern Queensland only receives a fraction of the SSE swell generated by the ECL. As the swell period ticks up on Sunday expect fun sized surf on offer across locations predisposed to the SSE direction. Image: Coastalwatch Plus member Kerle.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW


A pulse of SSE swell spreading northward off the ECL gradually fills in across the region throughout Friday and the weekend – initially showing across far northern NSW locations while bypassing south-eastern Queensland coasts altogether. The gale force S/SE fetch sets up a little too far south to have a direct impact on the region and both northern NSW and south-east Queensland are partially shadowed from this swell source by the eastward extension of the Hunter Coast. As a result locations north of Foster receive a diluted version of the swell compared to Sydney and the South Coast. Expect strong S swell ranging from three to six feet (depending on exposure) across northern NSW on Saturday, building to a peak of four to six feet plus on Sunday. The southerly bias in swell direction will see much smaller surf wrapping in north of the border; mostly ranging from two to four feet across the region depending on location.

Friday
ESE swell 1 - 2ft exposed Qld coasts. SSE windswell building to 2 - 4ft across northern NSW during the afternoon. Grading smaller inside the Points and Bays. WIND: WSW to WNW tending SSE 15 to 25 knots during the day.

Saturday
SSE windswell 1 – 3ft south-east Queensland, grading to 3 – 5ft+ across northern NSW. Increasing during the afternoon. WIND: WSW 10 to 15 knots.

Sunday
SSE swell 5 – 6ft+ northern NSW exposed coasts. Wrapping into south-east QLD at 2 – 4ft+ depending on exposure. WIND: Early SSW 10 to 15 knots tending light and variable during the day.

There should be some fine moments across Victoria's exposed beaches this weekend. Image: Coastalwatch Plus member Tomcat225.

There should be some fine moments across Victoria's exposed beaches this weekend. Image: Coastalwatch Plus member Tomcat225.

Victoria

An easing SW swell levels off around the three to four foot mark across Victoria’s exposed coasts on Saturday before fading to one to two foot plus by Sunday. If you’re a stickler for substantial swell, then Saturday afternoon probably presents your best opportunity for some clean good sized surf ahead of a drop into the one to two foot range by Sunday. Expect tiny, onshore conditions across the Surf Coast on Saturday, grading to near flat by Sunday.

Western Australia:
There’s no shortage of mid range SW swell on tap across the West Coast this weekend, but favourable winds won’t be coming to the party.  A pre-frontal trough and cold front clipping the south-west of the state on Friday extends a light to moderate WSW flow across the region. Light to moderate south to south-westerly winds should persist across the South-west coast throughout Saturday before turning straighter west and gradually strengthening throughout Sunday.

Friday
SW swell easing, possible windswell late
Southwest Coast: inconsistent 3-4ft
Perth: 1ft
SW winds 10kt

Saturday
New SW swell with windswell mix
Southwest Coast: 3-5ft, inconsistent 6ft late
Perth: 1-2ft+
SSW winds 10-15kt

Sunday
Increased SW swell, mixed form
Southwest Coast: 6ft+
Perth: 2ft
WSW wind 15-20kt.

Tags: swell forecast , NSW , ben macartney , east coast low , ECL (create Alert from these tags)

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