Weekend Surf Forecast 20 - 22 September, 2019

19 Sep 2019 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Issued Thursday, 19 September 2019

The cold and still wintery conditions that dominated throughout the first half of September are now starting to give way to a more typical Spring pattern around the continent – and that’s definitely not translating into a lack of surf. To the contrary, every state benefits from surf of varying size and quality. The NSW coast is shaping up as one of the better places to be, as a rapid building trend in short-range NE windswell setting in on Friday culminates in solid overhead and consistent surf on tap throughout Saturday, with plenty left in the tank on Sunday.

While the source of the NE swell residues a little too far south to benefit southern Queensland and northern NSW, the region will still benefit from a smaller, but longer lasting run of easterly swell; also showing peak size in the 3ft range across the region this weekend, with more to come early next week. Further south, Victoria’s Surf Coast will see consecutive days of clean, small to mid-sized SW swell – and South Australia stands to benefit from the same swell and similar winds. And last, but rarely least, the West Coast is typically shaping up as the jewel in the crown. The onset of a light offshore, easterly quarter wind-regime looks like setting up a full weekend of clean, powerful surf across the Southwest. Wherever you find yourself, happy hunting!

Your ship is inbound. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Betelbailey.

Your ship is inbound. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Betelbailey.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
As Thursday’s solid ESE swell slowly fades away over the next 24 hours, it’s progressively superseded by a building trend in NE windswell; setting in on Friday and coming to a head on Saturday. This points to a full day of consistent, albeit disorganised and bumpy surf, mostly running at 3 to 5ft across open beaches all day. The only missing element is offshore winds. Instead, we’ll be contending with an oblique, northerly flow; fresh enough to add a fair component of sea-state into the mix throughout the day. The surf will be smaller by Sunday morning – but it may well be the pick of the bunch. The tail end of the NE swell will stil be offering up still fun-sized, albeit quickly fading surf under early offshore WSW/SW winds, so it’s well worth setting some time to get amongst it while it lasts.

Friday
ENE swell transitions NE and gradually building. Around 2 to 3ft+ exposed beaches early, building to 3 to 4ft+ in the afternoon. WIND: Northerly, NNE 10 to 15 knots, turning NE and freshening to 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon, up to 20 to 30 knots later.

Saturday
Short range NE swell peaks in the morning and slowly eases. Mostly ranging from 3 to 5ft exposed open beaches with scope for larger 4 to 5ft+ sets at NE swell-magnets. Otherwise rapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Northerly, NNE 10 to 20 knots.

Sunday
Fading NE swell. Slower sets up to 3 to 4ft at the most exposed open beaches early, easing to 2 to 3ft+ during the day and settling in the afternoon. Wrapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: SW, SSW 10 to 15 knots, quickly easing and tending SE to ESE in the afternoon, then light East in the evening.

The arrival of a consistent NE swell holds great potential for the NSW coast all weekend. Photo: Gregoryator.

The arrival of a consistent NE swell holds great potential for the NSW coast all weekend. Photo: Gregoryator.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
While the bulk of NE swell-action is reserved for locations further south, southern Queensland and far northern NSW receive a consolation prize: taking the form of a modest upswing in short-period Easterly tradewind swell; commencing at low-levels on Friday before nudging up to peak-size over the weekend. Admittedly, this only looks like materialising in the 2 to 3ft+ range at the more exposed open beaches – but that still gotta be a whole lot better than a south swell of the same size.

Friday
Short period Easterly swell underpinned by long-period South groundswell. Far northern NSW: Slow 2 to 3ft sets across south facing breaks, mixing with consistent East swell ranging from 2 to 3ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: Easterly swell in the 2 to 3ft range across exposed breaks, more like 2ft elsewhere and bumping up in the arvo. WIND: Early light and variable West  to SW land-breezes up to 5 knots, tending variable, then SE to NE up to 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday
Short period Easterly swell mixing with residual South swell. Around 2 to 3ft+, exposed open beaches, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light NW/ North, tending NNE to NE around 10 knots, freshening to 10 to 15 knots.

Sunday
Potential for a minor build in Easterly swell. Around 2 to 3ft+ exposed breaks, up to 2 to 4ft later, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: NNW, Northerly, tending NNE 15 to 20 knots.

A modest upswing in easterly swell will keep the good times rolling across SE QLD this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by JMcj.

A modest upswing in easterly swell will keep the good times rolling across SE QLD this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by JMcj.

Victoria
The exposed beaches look like turning it on for the weekday surfers on Friday, as the tail end of Thursday’s long, slow SW groundswell subsides to more accessible levels across all coasts. From there, however, we expect a return to fairly normal programming as mid-large SW swell is flanked by westerly quarter winds. That looks like lending the focus to the Surf Coast for clean, accessible conditions both on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday
Leftover SW groundswell gradually subsides. Clean 3 to 4ft sets along the exposed beaches, wrapping at a clean 2 to 3ft+ on the Surf Coast reefs and smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Northerly, NNE 15 to 25 knots plus, easing marginally in the afternoon.

Saturday
Combined building trend in WSW and SW swells. Windy 2 to 4ft along exposed beaches, bumping up during the afternoon. Wrapping at a clean 2ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs, smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: West to SW 10 to 15 knots, turning Westerly and freshening to 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
SW groundswell gradually eases. Around 4 to 6ft+ along exposed beaches early, settling to 3 to 5ft in the afternoon. wrapping at clean 3 to 4ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs and dropping a foot or so into the arvo. WIND: WNW to NW 10 to 15 knots, becoming light in the afternoon.

The Surf Coast emerges as the place to be across the state all weekend. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

The Surf Coast emerges as the place to be across the state all weekend. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

Western Australia
Thursday’s big, onshore conditions will gradually come good over the next few days; culminating in great conditions across the Southwest all weekend. Friday commences with a still heaving SW groundswell under strong southerly winds; opening up reasonably good options inside the sheltered bays. From there, the southerly flow will give way to offshore ESE winds to light up conditions on Saturday morning. That sets the trend for Sunday as a still good-sized SSW swell coincides with lighter ENE breezes, making for an excellent morning across all exposed Southwest breaks, before the sea-breeze arrives in the afternoon.

Friday
Still heavy SW groundswell settles under southerly winds. Southwest: Improving 8 to 8ft+ across exposed coasts, easing during the day. Perth. Sets up to 2 to 3ft+. WIND: Southerly, 15 to 20 knots, easing to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
SSW groundswell subsides under light offshore winds. Southwest: Ranging from 6 to 10ft along exposed coasts, dropping to 5 to 8ft later. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Up to 2 to 3ft exposed beaches. WIND: ESE to SE 5 to 10 knots, tending SSE, Southerly and freshening in the afternoon.

Sunday
Moderating SSW swell slowly eases under light offshore winds. Southwest: Clean 4 to 5ft+ across exposed coasts, wrapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Around 1 to 2ft, easing later. WIND: Light Easterly, ENE around 10 knots, tending variable to light SSW sea-breezes in the afternoon.

The Southwest is on the pump all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Shanericho.

The Southwest is on the pump all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Shanericho.

South Australia
There are some fun looking waves to be had across the South Coast over the next few days as a new round of SW groundswell moves in. Unfortunately, it’s early arrival on Saturday morning looks like coinciding with onshore south-westerly winds, but they’re set to drop off and swing back to the west as the day goes on; opening up improving conditions into the afternoon. That should lead-in another good window of opportunity on Sunday as freshening north-westerlies greet a still fun-sized SW swell.

Friday
Long period SW groundswell slowly eases. South Coast: Around 4 to 6ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at 2 to 4ft around Middleton to Goolwa,. Mid Coast: Around 1 to 2ft. WIND: WNW, Westerly 10 to 15 knots, tending WSW 15 to 20 knots.

Saturday
Large SW groundswell picks up. South Coast: Ranging from 4 to 6ft at Waits and Parsons, rising to 6 to 8ft, wrapping at about 2 to 3ft+ at Middleton to Goolwa, up to 3 to 4ft+ later. Mid Coast: WSW swell up to 2 to 3ft+. WIND: SW, WSW 15 to 20 knots, tending lighter West, WNW in the afternoon.

Sunday
Easing SW groundswell under early light WNW to NW winds. South Coast: Around 4 to 6ft, at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at 3 to 4ft around Middleton, easing in the afternoon. Mid Coast: Up to 2ft. WIND: Light NW to WNW, 5 to 15 knots, freshening to 15 to 20 knots later.

There's plenty of fun to be had across south-facing coasts this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by GreyC.

There's plenty of fun to be had across south-facing coasts this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by GreyC.


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