Weekend Surf Forecast 10 - 12 May 2019
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
Well, no matter where you look there’s no shortage of oceanic activity to keep you busy this weekend. Both Western Australia and Victoria’s Surf Coast look like the pick, with both regions seeing periods of good to epic conditions as large and powerful SW groundswells coincide with offshore winds. That said, there are also very gloomy conditions in store for both South Australia and Victoria on Friday as strong, southerly quarter winds render conditions well below par, before things start to improve over the weekend.
As for the East Coast, surfing prospects are firmly centred upon a deepening Tasman low forecast to drop just off the southern NSW coast on Friday, before intensifying offshore on Saturday. A subsequent, transmogrification in conditions will follow as an exponential rise in short-range Southerly swell jacks up along the southern half of the NSW coast throughout Saturday; going from something like tiny in the morning to a bit scary by the afternoon. Northern NSW coasts will also pull in a good portion of this energy on Sunday – and it should be enough to penetrate the more exposed Queensland beaches as a slower 2 to 4ft. Wherever you find yourself, have a good one.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
A major transformation in conditions is now looking a certainty on Saturday. The synoptic protagonist is a low pressure system forming off the southern NSW coast on Friday, before rapidly intensifying as it tracks eastward across the southern Tasman Sea on Saturday. The deepening storm will give rise to a strengthening southerly fetch situated within close range of the NSW coast; in turn spawning a steep building trend in South swell throughout the day. For now, that looks like translating into tiny or near-flat at first light, to a heaving 4 to 6ft plus in the afternoon. Keep in mind, this event is looking acutely directional; carrying a strong SSW bias that will invariably result in wide variances in surf heights depending on where you look. The tail end of this increase looks like offering up still sizeable and clean surf across southern exposures on Sunday. Finally, it’s also worth noting that some fine tuning to the projected size and timing of this event are on the cards over the next 24 hours, so stay tuned to Friday’s detailed update.
Background East, mixing with slight NE and South swells up to 1ft+ exposed breaks, otherwise verging on flat elsewhere. WIND: Early NW to NNW 10 to 15 knots, tending WNW and freshening to 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon.
Firming potential for steep rising, directional South (SSW) swell under gusty SW winds. Rising from 1 to 2ft at south-facing breaks early, building to 2 to 3ft+ mid morning, up to 3 to 5ft during the day with scope for a 5 to 8ft peak during the afternoon. Expect much smaller surf along open beaches with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early WSW 15 to 25 knots, tending SW and easing during the afternoon, then shifting back to the west in the evening.
Southerly swell rapidly abates, largest early then fading quickly. Around 4 to 5ft+ along south facing beaches early, organising and decreasing 3 to 4ft during the afternoon, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early WSW to SW 10 to 15 knots, tending variable to light, varying ESE to SE later.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
A minor uptick in Easterly swell on Friday looks like offering up the best of an ordinary bunch in the near-term; offering up some 2ft+ fun along the more exposed open beaches under light offshore winds. However, this pulse is set to dwindle again by Saturday; effectively leaving us hanging out until a new South swell moves in on Sunday. This will invariably focus the vast bulk of size and power on northern NSW coasts, while only glancing southern Queensland – so it might be worth planning accordingly.
Small Easterly swell and background SSE swell. Up to 2ft+ along exposed coasts, otherwise 1 to 2ft elsewhere and grading smaller along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early West to NW, tending NNW, Northerly ahead of a late West to WSW change 15 to 20 knots.
Generally small with a minor rise in South swell later in the day. Starting slow with sideshore surf 1 to 2ft across northern NSW south facing beaches, speculatively picking up 2 to 3ft late arvo/ evening. Mixing with background Easterly swell at 1 to 2ft across exposed QLD coasts, otherwise tiny to near-flat along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early WSW to SW 15 to 25 knots, turning South to SSE in the afternoon.
Strong S swell fills in early, holding good size into the afternoon. Speculatively rise of 5 to 6ft+ across northern NSW south facing breaks, grading 2 to 5ft open beaches with size depending on exposure. Wrapping at more like to 2 to 4ft along exposed QLD coasts and grading smaller along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early WSW to SSW 15 to 25 knots, turning South to SSE through the afternoon.
Best to think of Friday as a good day get all your ducks in a row before the surf starts to crank up this weekend. The arrival of a first SW groundswell on Saturday should open up good, clean 3 to 4ft sets across the Surf Coast under favourable WNW morning winds. That effectively offers up a good warm-up for what’s in store on Sunday as a much larger pulse of long SW groundswell moves in; making for a full day of good to epic conditions under favourable winds.
Stronger SW groundswell builds in. Speculatively rising from a windblown 3 to 5ft along exposed beaches early, pushing up to 4 to 6ft during the day and to 5 to 7ft+ in the afternoon, possibly bigger later. Sets around 2 to 3ft along the Surf Coast, tending 3 to 4ft+ on better exposed reefs. WIND: Southerly 20 to 30 knots, tending SSW in the afternoon.
Easing, mid period WSW swell combines with underlying, long-range SW groundswell. Up to a bumpy 4 to 6ft along the exposed beaches. Wrapping at a clean 3 to 4ft+ on the Surf Coast reefs. Otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: WNW 10 to 20 knots, tending WSW through the arvo, then West later.
Larger, long-period SW groundswell fills in. Sets building to inconsistent 6 to 8ft+ levels along exposed beaches, wrapping at a clean 5 to 8ft along the Surf Coast reefs, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early WNW 10 to 15 knots, tending light and variable in the afternoon.
It’s hard to top the West Coast in autumn and this weekend is a case in point: days of strong SW groundswell in the 4 to 8ft range, groomed by light offshore winds on Friday and Saturday mornings. That should provide a big enough window to slake your surfing thirst, before winds turn northerly on Sunday morning and then west during the day.
SSW groundswell fades, ahead of some late reinforcement in leading SW groundswell under offshore winds. Southwest: Slow sets up around 4 to 5ft+ early, easing throughout the day before gradually rebuilding to a slow 4 to 6ft exposed breaks in the late afternoon. Perth: Slow 1 to 2ft sets, bigger later. WIND: Early ENE 5 to 15 knots early, turning NE to North during the afternoon.
Long range SW groundswell continues under offshore winds. South West: Clean 4 to 6ft+ sets across exposed breaks, rising to 5 to 8ft during the arvo; otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth/Mandurah: Clean in the 2ft+ range. WIND: Early light Easterly, tending Northerly, then light NW during the afternoon.
SW groundswell steadily eases. Southwest: Up to a clean 5 to 7ft along exposed breaks, otherwise smaller elsewhere and setting in the afternoon.. Perth: Clean 1 to 2ft+ early, fading later. WIND: Early light NNE to NNW, tending WNW 10 to 15 knots ahead of a SW change during the afternoon.
You can just about forget about surfing on Friday – and Saturday won’t be a whole lot better – but by Sunday there will be reasonably good, not to mention very large and powerful surfing conditions to be had across the South Coast, while offering up more accessible, light onshore conditions along the Mid Coast.
Potential for reinforcing SSW groundswell superseding mid-period SW swell under strong onshores. South Coast: Potential for windblown 3 to 5ft+ early, building to 5 to 8ft sets at Waits and Parsons. Wrapping at choppy 3 to 5ft around Middleton with size depending on exposure. Mid Coast: 2 to 3ft. WIND: SSW 20 to 25 knots, easing to 15 to 20 knots in the arvo.
Easing SW groundswell under westerly winds. South Coast: Bumpy 4 to 6ft at Waits and Parsons, settling a foot or so in the arvo. Wrapping at 3 to 5ft around Middleton, easing to 2 to 4ft later. Mid Coast: Ranging from 1 to 3ft early, fading later. WIND: WSW 10 to 15 knots.
Larger reinforcing SSW groundswell under easing westerly winds. South Coast: Powerful 6 to 8ft+ sets at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at 4 to 6ft+ at Middleton,. Mid Coast: Ranging 2 to 4ft. WIND: Early WNW 5 to 10 knots, tending light NW in the afternoon.
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