Weekend Surf Forecast 26 - 28 April 2019
Issued Thursday, 25 April 2019
There’s a synoptic elephant in the forecast room this weekend: taking the form of an intense, 967 hPa low pressure system now located about 840 nautical miles SSW of Bass Strait. Over the last 48 hours the storm has been generating core wind-speeds of 40 to 50 knots as it traversed below the mainland over the last couple of days; enough to whip up a heavy round of SW groundswell for the southern states on Friday and Saturday.
For Victoria, that will translate into a heavy pulse of SW groundswell that looks like hitting the 8 to 10ft range or bigger across the more exposed Surf Coast breaks on Friday afternoon; albeit under strong SW winds. That will, however, lead in a couple of days of great conditions as the tail-end of the groundswell steadily abates over the course of the weekend.
Done with Victoria, the low will then turn its attention to the NSW coast and as it moves clear of Tasmania’s swell-shadow on Friday; leading in a strong, directional pulse of mid-period southerly swell lasting throughout the weekend – not to mention early next week. This will invariably show most size across Newcastle and locations south – but will also glance the mid to northern NSW coast at solid levels on Sunday and Monday, along with offering up a diluted version of the swell across southern Queensland.
That leaves Western Australia and, as one might expect, the Southwest will be offering up good to excellent surfing options along exposed coasts; featuring ENE to NE winds and mostly accessible levels of SW swell. So, wherever you find yourself, waves about, so make hay as they say.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Easter’s long, Indian Summer run of small to mid-range ENE swell and light west to nor-east winds finally draws to a close this weekend. In it’s place we have a cool, Southern Ocean blast of Southerly swell that’s set to transform conditions by Saturday morning; giving rise to an energetic pulse, conservatively reaching 3 to 5ft across southern exposures under SW to S/SE winds, before levelling off a foot or two smaller under early offshore winds on Sunday, with more to follow early next week.
Background Easterly swell up to 1 to 2ft along exposed open beaches. Scope for slight South swell building towards 1 to 2ft south facing beaches during the late afternoon/ evening. WIND: Early light WNW to West, turning WSW 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon, possibly SW and freshening later.
New South swell peaks around 3 to 5ft south facing beaches, grading to 2 to 4ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure, easing in the afternoon. WIND: Light WSW to SW turning South around 10 to 15 knots during the day, then light SSE to SE in the afternoon and variable later.
S groundswell holds around 2 to 4ft south facing beaches, grading to 2 to 3ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure, easing later. WIND: Early WNW 5 to 10 knots, tending SW to South, then SE up to 10 knots in the afternoon and variable in the evening.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
As the last of your chocolate-egg stash dwindles to a few measly crumbs, so too will our Easterly swell; initially still holding in the 2ft range with occasional bigger ones on Friday, before starting to slip below the 2ft threshold this weekend. That will leave us reliant on a new southerly swell to keep us surfing – but it doesn’t look like showing up until Sunday. Still, it looks solid enough to produce some chunky 3 to 4ft+ set waves at the more exposed northern NSW spots, with good potential for some smaller 2 to 3-footers at the more exposed beaches north of the border.
Fading Easterly tradewind swell continues at about 2ft+ along exposed breaks, while wrapping at 1 to 2ft inside the points and bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light West to SW inshore, tending variable/ calm, then North to NNE tending NNW 10 knots in the afternoon.
Residual Easterly tradewind swell up to 2ft along exposed coasts, grading smaller along the points and inside the bays with size depending on exposure. Scope for new South swell picking up to 2 to 3ft across northern NSW coasts during the afternoon. WIND: Early Westerly, WSW 5 to 10 knots, turning SSW, then South to SSE 15 to 25 knots mid/late morning.
Stronger South groundswell fills in. Ranging from 3 to 5ft northern NSW south facing breaks and more like 2 to 4ft along open beaches. Mixing with residual Easterly tradewind swell at an inconsistent 2 to 3ft along exposed QLD breaks, grading to 1 to 2ft along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early lighter SW/SSW inshore, turning SE to ESE around 10 knots, possibly ENE in the late afternoon.
Well, it looks like it will be on for young and old at Bells tomorrow (mostly the former, but the GOAT is also competing). The onset of a heavy SW groundswell coincides with the two final days of the Rip Curl Pro waiting period; in all likelihood setting up a grand, windblown 8 to10ft second last day, leading in a better quality 6ft plus finale on Sunday. Contest aside, that will leave plenty of other big, challenging surfing options across the Surf Coast this weekend, with early Saturday and most of Sunday looking like the pick under straighter offshore westerly winds.
Large SW groundswell builds under strong west to south-westerly winds. Up to a stormy 8 to 10ft along exposed beaches picking up in the afternoon. Wrapping to a clean 5 to 8ft along the Surf Coast reefs early, building to 6 to 8ft+ during the morning and peaking at a cross-onshore 8 to 10ft in the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early Westerly 15 to 30 knots, tending WSW 20 to 35 knots during the day and SW during the afternoon.
SW groundswell steadily eases. Still large and stormy 8 to 10ft+ conditions continue along the exposed beaches, easing later. Wrapping at 6 to 8ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, becoming inconsistent in the upper range and easing into the 5 to 7ft range during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: WNW 10 to 15 knots, tending Westerly 10 to 20 knots.
Potential for reinforcing SW groundswell. Speculatively 5 to 8ft along exposed beaches settling to 4 to 6ft in the afternoon. Wrapping a 4 to 5ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, easing a foot or so into the afternoon, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: WNW 10 to 15 knots, turning West to WSW 15 to 20 knots in the arvo.
It’s a case of the more southern exposure the better this weekend. A slow easing, mid-range SW swell coincides with early offshore ENE to afternoon cross-shore Northerly winds. While still just short of the weekend, Friday morning is looking like the pick as straighter offshore ENE breezes greet a still sizeable SW swell ranging either side of 4ft along the more exposed stretches. From there its downhill as the swell gradually pares back and winds start to make an earlier turn from NE North over the weekend.
Reinforced SSW groundswell under moderating offshore winds. South West: Clean 3 to 5ft along exposed breaks early. Perth/Mandurah: Around 1 to 1.5 ft. WIND: ENE, 15 to 25 knots, tending NE and rapidly easing in the afternoon.
Easing SSW groundswell. South West: Clean 2 to 4ft sets early, easing later. Perth/Mandurah: Clean although tiny within the 0.5 to 1ft range. WIND: ENE, NE early at 15 to 20 knots, tending NE to North, then easing below 10 knots later.
Potential for a minor WSW groundswell under cross-offshore winds. Southwest: Mostly clean 1 to 2ft+ sets along exposed breaks early, rising with inconsistent 4ft sets. Perth: Up to 1ft, rising 2ft sets. WIND: NE early at 15 to 20 knots, tending NE to North, then easing below 10 knots later.
There’s no shortage of swell inbound this weekend, but you’ll be wanting to keep your expectations in check when it comes to quality waves. Friday is pretty well entirely blown out by strong onshore SSW winds that will leave little to the imagination across the South Coast, while offering up pretty junky 1ft options along the Mid. That leads in what could be your best bet as winds briefly back off to light south to variable on Saturday morning; opening up some large, lumpy options before onshores begin to rebuild in the afternoon. That leads in more onshores on Sunday; starting out moderate WSW before veering SW during the day.
Large SSW groundswell fills in under fresh onshore winds. South Coast: Stormy 3 to 5ft at Waits and Parsons, bumping up in the arvo to a solid 8ft+. Grading to 2 to 4ft around Middleton, bumping up in the afternoon within the 4 to 6ft+ range. Mid Coast: Junky 1ft, rising to a semi stormy 2 to 3ft. WIND: SSW 15 to 25 knots, easing in the afternoon.
SSW groundswell slowly eases under improved wind conditions. South Coast: Sets ranging from 6 to 8ft+ at Waits and Parsons, easing to 4 to 6ft. Wrapping at 4 to 6ft around Middleton, easing to 3 to 4ft during the day. Mid Coast: About 1 to 2ft early, easing. WIND: Early light, variable at 5 to 10 knots tending 10 to 15 knots SW in the afternoon.
SW groundswell levels off under light west winds. South Coast: Still solid 4 to 6ft at Waits and Parsons. Around 3 to 4ft at Middleton. Mid Coast: 1 to 1.5ft. WIND: Early light WSW 5 to 15 knots, tending SW in the afternoon.
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