Weekend Surf Forecast 17 - 19 May 2019
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
It’s rare to see light autumn winds and good swell running across just about every stretch of surfable Australian coastline – but that’s pretty much what’s going on this weekend. The calming influence of high pressure extends to just about every major surfing region, so wherever you find yourself, I’d say you can looks forward to plenty of surfing.
The NSW coast is in the midst of an extended run of small to mid-sized, long-period Southerly groundswell that will keep pulsing at a fun size as one pulse overlaps with the next. This activity coincides with an idyllic autumn wind-regime; featuring early light land-breezes tending light and variable/light NE in the afternoons, making for full days of good conditions state-wide. While similar conditions are in effect across northern NSW and southern Queensland coasts, the key difference is an additional Easterly swell-train that will gradually wane over the next few days; still holding enough push to keep everyone in the water across both sides of the border.
The southern states benefit from a similar pattern of favourable North to NNE winds and mid to large SW swell; opening up a much broader than usual range of surfing options across both South Australian and Victorian coasts all weekend. That leave the West Coast – and like the rest of the country, its on the pump on Friday and Saturday, preceding the onset of strengthening onshore winds on Sunday.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast.
A series of small, long-range southerly groundswells keep the good times rolling as they coincide with light autumn winds and clear skies across the NSW coast. These long-period pulses arise from an active storm-track now in place across polar latitudes; well south of the mainland. The vast distance of the swell’s origin from the coast will mean long lulls at times – not to mention big variances in wave-heights as the long-period energy focuses in on southern exposures – but there will be plenty of waves throughout the weekend and early to mid-next week to boot.
South groundswell levels off at around 2 to 4ft across south facing beaches, inconsistent in the upper range. Grading to 1 to 3ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Light WNW 5 to 10 knots, tending light and variable, then to East to ENE seabreezes around 10 knots in afternoon.
Potential for reinforcing SSE groundswell. Sets up to 2 to 3ft+ at south-facing breaks. Grading smaller along open beaches with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light Westerly, tending light and variable, turning light SE to NE up to 5 knots in the afternoon.
Fading SSE groundswell. Slow sets to 2 to 3ft south facing beaches, inconsistent in the upper range and grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early WSW to SW around 5 to 10 knots, tending light S to SE, then E to NE up to 10 knots later.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
The presence of two swell-trains keeps your surfing options wide open across the region as mostly light morning winds remain in place this weekend. A slow decline in shorter-period easterly swell sees incrementally smaller, but still very fun surf on offer across southern Queensland coasts. At the same time, northern NSW will pull in the lion’s share of a series of small, overlapping southerly groundswells; probably showing most size in the 2 to 4ft range at the magnets, while crossing over with easterly swell at lower levels along the majority of open stretches.
Stronger South groundswell moves in. Inconsistent sets up to 3 to 4ft across northern NSW south fading beaches. Combining with smaller Easterly swell up to a slow 2 to 3ft along exposed coasts, grading to more like 1 to 2ft along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early light WSW to SSW tending SE to ESE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.
Leftover South and Easterly swells. Up to 2 to 3ft+ across northern NSW south facing beaches, rebuilding into the late arvo. Grading to 2ft+ or so across exposed QLD coasts and smaller along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early light SSW 5 to 10 knots, tending SSE to ESE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.
Slight Easterly tradewind swell hangs in around 2ft+ exposed coasts. Mixing with background S swell at 2 to 3ft across northern NSW southern exposures, otherwise grading to 1 to 2ft along the points and inside the bays with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light SSW, tending SSE to SE 10 to 15 knots in the arvo.
Autumn comes into its own across the state over the coming days as offshore land-breezes coincide with fluctuating levels of SW groundswell. While there aren’t any major swell-events looming, there’s no shortage of small, mid and large days on tap – depending on where and when you look. The end result should be a much broader range of good surfable options across the state as the light wind-regime keeps surface quality pretty high for days to come.
New SW groundswell fills in. Sets around 2 to 4ft early, rebuilding to 3 to 4ft+ along the exposed beaches in the afternoon. Wrapping at 2 to 3ft along the Surf Coast, inconsistent in the upper range. WIND: Early light NW to NNW, tending Northerly, then NNE around to ENE 5 to 10 knots.
Stronger SW groundswell builds during the day. Up to a clean 4 to 6ft along the exposed beaches, wrapping at a clean 3 to 4ft+ on the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: Early light NW to North, tending light and variable, NE to East, in the arvo.
Easing SW swell under north to NE winds. Clean sets around 3 to 5ft along exposed beaches, easing to 3 to 4ft+ later. Wrapping at 2 to 4ft along the Surf Coast reefs, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Northerly, NNE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon
It will be well worth squeezing in as much surfing as you can manage before winds swing onshore on Sunday. Friday is looking like the pick as early SE winds start to reorient to the ESE during the day; cleaning up a still thumping SSW groundswell in the well overhead range across exposed coasts. That should lead in an excellent window of opportunity early on Saturday morning as light offshore winds greet the tail end of this pulse. The approach of a strong frontal system will start to see North to NW winds quickly writing off conditions on Sunday, so best to make hay before then.
SSW groundswell slowly eases under cross-shore winds. South West: Semi-clean 6 to 8ft sets early, settling towards 5 to 7ft in the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: Around 2ft early, bumping up later. WIND: Early SE to SSE 15 to 20 knots, tending ESE/SE and easing during the afternoon.
Easing SSW swell continues under offshore winds. South West: Clean 4 to 5ft+ sets across exposed breaks, settling during the arvo; otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth/Mandurah: Clean in the 1 to 2ft+ range, fading later. WIND: Early light ENE or SE, tending variable, then light W to SW during the afternoon.
Smaller SW swell bottoms out. Southwest: Up to a slow 2 to 3ft along exposed breaks, otherwise smaller elsewhere and setting in the afternoon. Perth: Flat to 0.5ft. WIND: Early light ENE to NE 10 to 15 knots, tending Northerly, NNW 15 to 20 knots during the day and freshening to 20 to 30 knots into the afternoon.
You couldn’t ask for much more in the way of favourable conditions across the state as several days of northerly quarter winds greet a constant run of SW swell. The arrival of strong SW groundswell on Saturday should open up great options across the South Coast – and you’d probably do well to spend some time on the road in search of more exposed breaks.
New SSW groundswell fills in under northerly winds. South Coast: Undersized early, picking up to a clean 2 to 4ft at Waits and Parsons and to 2 to 3ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: up to 1ft+, easing later. WIND: Northerly, NNE 10 to 20 knots, tending NE 5 to 15 knots in the afternoon.
Potential for reinforcing SSW groundswell under Northerly winds. South Coast: Clean 3 to 5ft at Waits and Parsons,. Wrapping at 2 to 4ft around Middleton. Mid Coast: Ranging from 1 to 2ft. WIND: NNE to NE 15 to 20 knots, easing to 10 to 15 knots.
Mix of WSW windswell and easing SSW groundswell under nor’westerly winds. South Coast: Junky 3 to 4ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at 2 to 3ft+ at Middleton,. Mid Coast: Ranging 1 to 2ft. WIND: Early NNE 10 to 20 knots, tending lighter North, NNW in the afternoon.
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