Weekend Surf Forecast, 14 - 16 March 2014

13 Mar 2014 4 Share

Forecast issued Thursday, 13 March 2014, by Ben Macartney

Being from Sydney, it’s hard not to get excited when a tropical cyclone develops – especially one like Tropical Cyclone Lusi that’s supported by a large, stable high pressure system to the south. If you’re from Victoria, South Australia or Western Australia, the combination of long interval groundswells and offshore winds are not exactly uncommon. For the Eastern Seaboard, however, big clean groundswells carrying peak intervals of 14 to 15 seconds or more - particularly from the east - tend to show up once in a blue moon. Well, that blue moon arrives across the East Coast this weekend in the form of a powerful easterly groundswell, coinciding with strong offshore winds across the southern half of the NSW coast tending northerly across southern Queensland and northern NSW.

Catagory 3 Tropical Cyclone Lusi holds excellent E swell potential for the entire Eastern Seaboard this weekend. Source: Metfiji.

Catagory 3 Tropical Cyclone Lusi holds excellent E swell potential for the entire Eastern Seaboard this weekend. Source: Metfiji.

NSW It’s shaping up as one of the more memorable weekend’s of surf across the entire East Coast in quite a while. Although it will take it’s time filling in across locations from Sydney south, a large pulse of ENE groundswell is on track to light up long dormant beaches and reefs as it peaks across the NSW coast on Sunday and early Monday at anywhere from four to eight feet depending on exposure. The swell’s source is Tropical Cyclone Lusi and for more details on this event check out the swell alert here.  The key to Sunday’s excellent – potentially epic conditions is light northwest to southwest wind regime prevailing in the wake of a cold front forecast to track south-westward across the far south of the state this weekend.


Think big, clean and lined up this Sunday. Image: Coastalwatch Plus member Ben Knott.

Think big, clean and lined up this Sunday. Image: Coastalwatch Plus member Ben Knott.

FridayENE swell up to 2 – 3ft exposed Sydney beaches, grading to 1 – 2ft elsewhere. WIND: Early light N tending NE 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
ENE groundswell 2 – 3ft exposed Sydney beaches, increasing to 3 – 4ft+ during the afternoon. WIND: Early NNE 10 to 15 knots, tending NE and strengthening to 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

SundayENE groundswell solid 5 – 8ft exposed Sydney beaches, grading a foot or so smaller across the Shire and the South Coast. WIND: Early NW tending WNW to WSW 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
As per the NSW coast, southern Queensland receives the brunt of a heavy E groundswell this weekend – compliments of Tropical Cyclone Lusi. Although this is projected to top out at a thumping six to eight feet across exposed coasts later Saturday and for most of Sunday, the spectre of northerly winds means you’ll have to make the most of the good conditions while they last. A broad surface trough crossing the Queensland interior is forecast to induce a northerly flow across the southern Queensland and northern NSW coast over the weekend. Saturday morning holds your best chances for clean conditions along the points and inside the bays under light SSW winds. However, winds are forecast to swing NE during the afternoon and remain moderate to strong NNW to NNE throughout Sunday – so it’s worth planning accordingly.

If you haven't had your fair share of these yet, then Saturday morning may provide a good opportunity to get some before winds swing NE later in the day. Image: Coastalwatch Plus member Cliffo18.

If you haven't had your fair share of these yet, then Saturday morning may provide a good opportunity to get some before winds swing NE later in the day. Image: Coastalwatch Plus member Cliffo18.

Friday
E groundswell 4 – 6ft exposed Gold Coast beaches. WIND: Early light SSW tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday
E groundswell 5 – 6ft early, building to 6 - 8ft exposed Gold Coast beaches. WIND: Early light SSW tending N to NE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
E groundswell 6 - 8ft+ exposed Gold Coast beaches, easing during the afternoon. WIND: Early NW tending NNE 15 to 20 knots.

Victoria
It’s all about the right place at the right time this weekend. There’s a stack of swell inbound from the southwest that will generally range either side of six feet across the exposed beaches while wrapping into the Surf Coast at anywhere from two to four feet. However, winds are set to swing to multiple points around the compass over the next few days; commencing with easterlies on Friday under the influence of a high pressure ridge. Winds swing north early on Saturday ahead of a westerly change arriving during the morning, leading in a continuation of moderate to strong north-westerlies on Sunday that should see much cleaner conditions across the Surf Coast all day.

The Surf Coast will see clean, lined up conditions this weekend. Image: Coastalwatch Plus member Joe Hedd.

The Surf Coast will see clean, lined up conditions this weekend. Image: Coastalwatch Plus member Joe Hedd.

Friday
New SW groundswell around 5 - 6ft+ exposed beaches early. Sets to 3 - 4ft across the Surf Coast. WIND: Light ESE 5 to 15 knots tending ENE, then SE later.

Saturday
SW swell 5 - 6ft exposed beaches, grading to 2 – 4ft across the Surf Coast, easing during the afternoon. WIND: N 10 to 20 knots shifting WNW during the afternoon tending W later.

Sunday
SW groundswell and short range WSW swell up to 5 - 6ft+ exposed beaches early, rising towards 5 – 8ft during the day. Around 2 – 3ft+ across the Surf Coast. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots tending NW later.

Western Australia:
It’s shaping up as another good weekend to head for the coast in anticipation of solid surf. A building trend in SSW groundswell sets in across the region throughout Friday, pushing wave heights up into the six to eight foot range across the Southwest Coast during the afternoon. Initially strong southerly winds will limit rideable options to the sheltered bays, but by Saturday winds should be southeast, making for good four to six foot conditions with larger surf across southern exposures. The swell eases another notch by Sunday but it will still be running at a clean three to four feet throughout the morning before winds shift SW during the afternoon.

Friday
Steep angled S swell picks up into nightfall. Southwest coast: 4-6ft rising 6-8ft sets at south facing breaks Perth: 1-2ft S winds 10kt tending SSW 10-15kt.

Saturday
Steep angled S swell picks up. Southwest coast: inconsistent 4-6ft tending 8ft sets at south facing breaks Perth: 1-2ft SE winds, tending SSW 10-15kt in arvo.

SundayS swell fades. Southwest coast: 3-4ft with 4-6ft sets at south facing breaks Perth: 1ft SSE winds light early, tending SW 10kt in arvo.

Tags: surf forecast , tropical cyclone lusi , kirra , snapper , maroubra , manly , margaret , river , dixon park (create Alert from these tags)

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