Weekend Surf Forecast 19 - 21 July 2019

18 Jul 2019 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Issued Thursday, 18 July 2019

Winter conditions prevail around much of the continent this weekend, with both Western and southern coasts receiving a flurry of activity. It’s only along the East Coast that conditions are starting to calm down, with the end of this week’s long-lasting run of southerly swell finally in sight. Thankfully, there’s one final pulse of directional energy on track to fill in across the region over the next 48 hours; showing most size across most of the NSW coast during Friday before slowly fading away over the course of the weekend. Like it’s predecessors, this pulse also exhibits a strong south-westerly deepwater bias. That means only the most south facing areas will be pulling in the bulk of the swell, while the majority of eastern exposures see smaller surf wrapping at varying levels depending on their predisposition to the directional swell-train.

That will continue to leave southern Queensland coasts wanting when it comes to size and consistency – but there will still be some small waves to be had at the select beaches pulling in some of the swell – particularly as the bulk of mid-period energy arrives on Friday and Saturday.

Meanwhile, both Victorian and South Australian coasts benefit from a sustained period in energetic WSW groundswell under mostly favourable WNW to NW winds. For the former, all signs point to the Great Ocean Road as the place to be this weekend, while the latter sees most South Coast breaks producing consistent, mostly good quality surf for days to come. Moving to the Southwest of WA, the story isn’t so rosy. Another strong surge in the storm-track sees a return to large, stormy surf under strong onshore westerly quarter winds; effectively writing off the prospect of surfing across the Margaret River region, while lighting up the Northwest for days to come.

Poise under pressure. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Peter Tids.

Poise under pressure. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Peter Tids.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
There’s just one more pulse of directional SSW swell left in the Tasman-tank before this week’s extended run of surf starts to dry up. That leaves Friday morning as the pick for size and power, before it starts to fade during the afternoon; leaving us with much slower 2 to 3ft leftovers along true south facing spots – and that pretty much means small to tiny elsewhere. There’s now little doubt this will lead in a virtually flat day across the region on Sunday, marking the first of several such days persisting through early to mid next week.

Friday
Southerly swell peaks early, ranging from 2 to 4ft across south facing beaches, grading to 1 to 2ft+ along open beaches with size depending on exposure and easing in the afternoon. WIND: Westerly, WNW 5 to 15 knots, turning SW to SSW 15 to 20 knots during the day, then South to SSE and easing in the afternoon.

Saturday
Increasing northerly winds and dropping Southerly swell. Sets tending inconsistent to around 2 to occasional 3ft across south facing breaks early then fading, more like 1 to 2ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: WNW 5 to 10 knots, tending N to NNE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Small residual SSE swell mixes with slight NE windswell. Surf slows to an inconsistent 1 to 2ft across exposed open and south facing beaches, verging on flat elsewhere. WIND: NW to NNW 10 to 15 knots, easing NW 10 knots later.


One final pulse of south swell offers up fun, clean conditions on Friday through early Saturday, before it starts flattening out on Sunday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Pat McMahon.

One final pulse of south swell offers up fun, clean conditions on Friday through early Saturday, before it starts flattening out on Sunday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Pat McMahon.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
This week’s long enduring run of south-swell continues, with yet another pulse inbound across the region on Friday and Saturday. That means anywhere south of Byron will continue to fare a little better with respect to size and power – particularly as the bulk of this pulse fills in on Friday, before slowly dropping off again over the course of the weekend. Given the extended flat spell looming across the entire Eastern Seaboard early to mid next week, it’s probably worth milking this last pulse for all its worth.

Friday
Southerly swell rebuilds in the afternoon. Far northern NSW: south Up to 3 to 5ft facing breaks, otherwise wrapping at more like 2 to 4ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD Wrapping at an inconsistent 2 to 3ft into exposed beaches and 1 to 2ft along open beaches and tiny to near-flat along the points and into bays. WIND: WSW, Westerly 5 to 10 knots, tending to light afternoon sea-breezes. Shifting South around 10 to 15 knots from Byron south in the afternoon.

Saturday
Southerly swell fades. Far northern NSW: Ranging from 2 to 4ft across south facing breaks early, inconsistent in the upper range and easing in the afternoon. Southern QLD: around 1 to 2ft along exposed open breaks, grading to tiny levels inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light WSW to SW, tending to light ESE to NE sea-breezes in the afternoon.

Sunday
Leftover Southerly swell gradually dwindles. Northern NSW: Slow sets ranging from 2 to 3ft along south facing breaks, grading smaller 1 to 2ft elsewhere. Southern QLD: wrapping at a 1 to 2ft at best along exposed beaches and near-flat along the points and into bays. WIND: Early light WSW to WNW 5 to 10 knots, tending light NW during the day, then northerly up to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Far northern NSW will continue pulling in the lion's share of south swell over the next few days. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Aquatic Horizons.

Far northern NSW will continue pulling in the lion's share of south swell over the next few days. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Aquatic Horizons.

Victoria
The Surf Coast – and even the more sheltered, south facing stretches – are shaping up to deliver some of the best surf you’re likely to find around the country this weekend. A procession of lows and fronts marching west to east below the mainland lead in a sustained period of energetic WSW groundswell across the state; large enough to translate into several days of mid-sized surf across the Great Ocean Road; for the most part groomed by straight offshore WNW to NW winds. The only exception to the rule is on Saturday, as a strong northerly flow develops in response to a vigorous cold front closing in on Bass Straight from the west. This will invariably favour southern exposures for most of the day, before winds revert to the WNW on Sunday.

Friday
Scope for a renewed building trend in WSW groundswell. Exposed beaches: Ranging from 4 to 6ft+, picking up into the 5 to 7ft range in the afternoon. Surf Coast: wrapping at a clean 3 to 4ft+ along the reefs and building a foot or so in the arvo, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure and easing in the afternoon. WIND: WNW 5 to 15 knots, tending NW to NNW later.

Saturday
WSW groundswell slowly eases under fresh northerly winds. Sets around 5 to 8ft along the exposed beaches early, wrapping at solid 3 to 5ft on the Surf Coast reefs, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Northerly 10 to 20 knots early, freshening to 15 to 25 knots in the morning and up to 20 to 30 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
New WSW groundswell fills in under continued northerlies. Around 5 to 6ft+ along exposed beaches early, building to 6 to 8ft+. Wrapping at 3 to 4ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs early, up to 4 to 6ft later. WIND: WNW to NW 15 to 25 knots, easing in the afternoon.

South facing Victorian coasts will light up for one day only as winds turn northerly at strength on Saturday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Josh Langee.

South facing Victorian coasts will light up for one day only as winds turn northerly at strength on Saturday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Josh Langee.

Western Australia
Yet again we see surfing conditions written off by strong onshore winds and a steep building trend in WSW swell this weekend; the legacy of an overly active storm-track in effect throughout the southern Indian Ocean, extending northeast across the Margaret River region. This leaves little to recommend in the way of surfing options, beyond the obvious – which involves heading for greener pastures, somewhere much further north. Otherwise, you’ll have to take your chances checking the more sheltered corners as winds briefly carry a stronger southwest bias on Saturday morning.

Friday
Potential for large and stormy SW groundswell under near-gale force onshore winds. Southwest: Unruly 6 to 8ft+ along exposed coasts, building towards 8 to 10ft+ in the afternoon. Perth: Junky sets around 2 to 3ft. WIND: WNW 20 to 30 knots, shifting WSW and freshening in the afternoon.

Saturday
Stormy windblown WSW groundswell peaks. South West: Up to an unruly 10 to 12ft+ across exposed breaks. Perth/Mandurah: Windblown sets in the 3 to 4ft range. WIND: SW to WSW up to 20 to 30 knots, tending Westerly later.

Sunday
SW groundswell rebuilds under fresh onshore winds. Southwest: Sets around 10 to 12ft+ along exposed breaks, potentially rising into the 10 to 15ft range in the afternoon, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere. Perth: Around 2 to 4ft, picking up in the arvo. WIND: Westerly, WSW 20 to 30 knots.

Plenty of swell, but onshore winds cancel out the prospect of any of this sort of action across the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Crazyyak.

Plenty of swell, but onshore winds cancel out the prospect of any of this sort of action across the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Crazyyak.

South Australia
Conditions aren’t looking too shabby across the state this weekend. An active winter storm-track delivers consistently large WSW and SW groundswell; big enough to keep you busy across the South Coast beaches, without having to look to much further afield. A predominant NW to NNW wind-regime offers up reasonable conditions across the more sheltered south-facing areas for several days to come.

Friday
SW groundswell rebuilds. South Coast: Undersized early, at 4 to 6ft+, rising to 5 to 8ft Waits and Parsons. Grading to a 3 to 4ft+ around Middleton and building in the afternoon. Mid Coast: Up to 2 to 3ft. WIND: NW to NNW 10 to 15 knots, tending Northerly and freshening later.

Saturday
Strong SW groundswell under nor’west winds. South Coast: Solid 6 to 8ft at Waits and Parsons, grading to 3 to 5ft+ around Middleton. Mid Coast: 2 to 4ft. WIND: Northerly, NNW 15 to 25 knots, freshening to 20 to 30 knots in the day and shifting NW later.

Sunday
Scope for heavier WSW groundswell under stormy WNW winds. South Coast: Junky 8 to 10ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at 4 to 6ft+ at Middleton. Mid Coast: 3 to 5ft. WIND: WNW 10 to 15 knots, tending NW and freshening in the afternoon.

Solid swell under NW winds opens up several days of good conditions across southern coasts. Photo: Uploaded to CW by GreyC.

Solid swell under NW winds opens up several days of good conditions across southern coasts. Photo: Uploaded to CW by GreyC.


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