Weekend Surf Forecast 28 - 30 December 2018
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
There was plenty of Christmas treats for surfers across Australia this year but now it’s time for the holiday hangover to set in. Conditions start to turn down Friday and although some swells are still brewing this weekend, the quality is not as good as we have had.
Over the Tasman Sea, a large high pressure system is building easterly tradeswell towards southern Queensland and northern NSW coasts; building up steady, straight and somewhat lumpy 2 to 3ft+ surf on open areas. Meanwhile, the high rotates a warm, north to northeasterly wind and windswell down the NSW coast. This short period northerly swell will be ranging either side of 2ft across open breaks but will grades smaller and cleaner as it moves southward towards the South Coast.
Across the Bight, Victoria and South Australia both see an easing trend of old Christmas swell Friday and Saturday before a new SW swell pulse arrives Sunday. As well, Western Australia is left with Christmas leftovers Friday morning before getting a new mix of overlapping SW swells heading into Saturday. Unfortunately, mediocre conditions, at some stage, will be an issue across all three states. A weak front treks from west to east and onshore wind trails in behind it. Check your local conditions to see how this plays out day to day.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
A high pressure ridge firms up in the Tasman and brings in warm temps, and breezy NNE winds down the NSW coast. The persistent northerly winds create a short-range windswell from the same direction for fairly mediocre conditions this weekend under alongshore texture. Areas to the south hold cleaner yet small with only a little ESE swell lingering Friday and then sets drop away Saturday as conditions get taken over by the dominant northerly flow.
Mainly short period NE windswell with trace SE sets underlying. Around 2 to 3ft across open beaches, otherwise grading smaller 1 to 2ft with size and quality depending on exposure. WIND: Early N to NNE to 10 knots, tending NE to ENE and rising 20 to 25 knots in the afternoon.
Short period NE windswell wrap, shows junky 2 to 3ft+ at the exposed open beaches, tending cleaner 1 to 2ft towards the south with size and quality depending on northerly exposure. WIND: Variable to light early NNW to 10 knots, tending NE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.
Continued northerly windwell wrap, ranging from 2 to 3ft at the exposed open beaches, otherwise ranging smaller 1ft range with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early variable to light N to NW 5 to 10 knots, tending NE and increasing to 10 to 20 knots during the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Friday sees the last day of SE swell as surf transitions back to a straight and steady E tradeswell for the weekend. The residual Boxing day SE sets drop back to a slower 2ft Friday, just as a robust E fetch picks up off a high pressure ridge to our east. Lumpy and straight waves will add additional wave size this weekend; giving a push of overlapping 3ft range surf on open areas Saturday through Sunday, however, some texture and holiday crowds should be expected.
SE swell fades down, tending down around 1 to 3ft exposed breaks, grading weaker along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early light SE 5 to 10 knots, tending E to ENE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.
E tradeswell slightly bumps up, tending to push in steadily into 2 to 3ft+ along top exposed open beaches, and grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: E to 10 knots early, tending ENE 10 to 15 knots during the day.
E tradeswell holds at similar strength, tending 2 to 3ft+ along top exposed open beaches, grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Light ENE early to 10 knots, tending ESE 10 to 15 knots during the day.
We see a slow and gradual decrease of older SW swell with a downward trend of wave heights heading into Friday and Saturday. However, new SW groundswell currently forming in a storm under WA will be passing towards the Bight tomorrow and this will disperse more deepwater waves, building in additional wave heights Sunday afternoon.
SW swell easing down, sets around 3 to 4ft along the exposed beaches, while wrapping at a slower 2 to 3ft along the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: Early light and variable offshore before turning SW then SE 10 to 15 knots during the day.
Old SW swell fades. Hanging down around 2 to 3ft+ along the exposed beaches while wrapping at a slow 2ft along the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: Early light WSW to 10 knots, tending SW to S 5 to 15 knots through the day.
Rising new SW groundswell fills in. Bumping up 4 to 5ft and occasional larger plus sets along the exposed beaches later, wrapping inconsistent 3 to 4ft on Surf Coast reefs. WIND: Variable S to SE 10 to 15 knots.
Onshore winds coincide with a low point in swell activity Friday morning but then we see a shift with an increase in mid period SW groundswell later in the day. Better options open up Saturday under improving winds and this holds the trend into Sunday morning as well.
Building SW groundswell. Southwest: Scope for messy 3 to 4ft surf early, rising 5 to 7ft later. Perth/Mandurah: Up to 0.5 to 1ft along exposed beaches, rising 1ft+ sets later. WIND: SW at 10 to 20 knots turning South during the afternoon.
Mixed WSW, SW groundswell shows under potential light morning winds. South West: Mostly clean 4 to 6ft early, easing in the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: Clean in the 1 to 2ft range along exposed magnets. WIND: Early light and variable early, tending westerly and freshening later.
Old SW groundswell eases prior to a minor overlapping pulse. Southwest: Ranging from a messy 3 to 5ft across exposed breaks. Perth/Mandurah: Clean 1 to 2ft range. WIND: Calm, 5 to 10 knots, tending SSW to 20 knots in the afternoon.
Friday holds small and clean options with light winds before we see a shift as a low pressure system Saturday brings a weak cold front and a SSE change. We wont see a great deal of swell from this system until Sunday as a new mid period WSW and SW pulse fills in more wave size.
Small left overs in SW swell under light winds. South Coast: Clean sets ranging from 1 to 2ft+ Waits and Parsons, grading to 1ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: 0.5ft. WIND: WSW, SW 10 to 15 knots becoming variable before sea-breezes return at around 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
Continued small swell as winds shift southerly. About 1 to 2ft+ at Waits and Parsons, rising late. Grading to 1ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: 0.5ft. WIND: SSE 10 to 15 knots freshening to 20 to 25 knots in the afternoon.
New mid period SSW groundswell fills in. South Coast: Around 3 to 4ft+ at Waits and Parsons, grading to 2 to 3ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: 1 to 2ft. WIND: South, SSE 10 to 15 knots freshening to 20 knots in the afternoon.
Get on the front foot this weekend.
A strongly negative SAM suits some states better than others.
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