Weekend Surf Forecast 25 - 27 October 2019
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
Issued Thursday, 24 October 2019
The last weekend of October is upon us – and Christmas and the New Year are fast approaching. That means, at least in all probability, plenty of small, windblown waves. Not to mention crowds, bluebottles and commitments to friends and family that invariably coincide with the only good swell of the holidays. Do I sound a bit old and grumpy? I probably am. But the point is the waves, by and large, are still looking pretty good just about everywhere you look this weekend.
Across the NSW coast the good times just keep coming; initially in the form of a short-lived spike in NE windswell on Saturday, going back to back with a new pulse of south swell on Sunday. Admittedly, both of these wave-trains will favour central to southern parts of the NSW coast. In contrast, Southern Queensland will languish under small, windblown conditions – at least until a weak change arrives on Sunday.
Victoria sees another good weekend along the Great Ocean Road as strong westerly quarter winds greet a powerful run of WSW groundswell; making for clean, albeit inconsistent 3 to 4ft+ conditions both on Saturday and Sunday. In contrast, South Australia won’t fare so well under the gusty westerly wind-regime. As is usually the case it’s only further afield, across the West Coast where there’s something exceptional brewing. That takes the form of a very large, high period WSW groundswell moving in under offshore winds on Sunday; opening up some seriously large and powerful big-wave conditions across the Southwest all morning. Wherever you find yourself, have a good one!
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
It will suddenly feel a whole lot more like summer on Friday. A combination of slight SSE swell and slow-building NE windswell won’t offer much in the way of rideable waves – but it’s looking hot; reaching maximum’s around 35 degrees across Sydney – so lack of waves aside, the beach looks like a good call. However, by Saturday morning we’ll be back in business; compliments of an overnight rise in NE windswell under offshore winds. The windswell looks like hitting peaks in the 3ft+ range at the magnets early on Saturday - and it should maintain clean rideable waves as it slowly backs off into the afternoon.
Having said that, these short-range NE events tend to show peak size only at select locations – so it’s fair to expect notable smaller waves in the 2 to 3ft range across the majority of open beaches. Just as the NE swell starts to conk out on Sunday it’s set to be overtaken by a new pulse of directional South swell. This is also showing good potential for sets nudging in the 3 to 4ft range across southern exposures before easing a foot or so in the afternoon - so all in all it’s shaping up as another great weekend to be in the water.
NE windswell gradually builds under northerly winds. Up to 1 to 2ft exposed beaches, rising to a junky 2ft+ in the late afternoon. Mixing with background SSE swell at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light NW to NNW 5 to 15 knots, tending North to NE 15 to 25 knots during the afternoon, up to 20 to 30 knots later.
NE windswell peaks in the 2 to 3ft+ range across exposed open beaches, easing throughout the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: NW to NNW 10 to 15 knots early, tending Westerly ahead of a SW change 10 to 20 knots from the Hunter south during the afternoon.
Directional Southerly swell supersedes fading NE swell. Sets ranging from 3 to 4ft across south facing beaches, wrapping at 1 to 3ft along open beaches with size depending on exposure and easing in the afternoon. WIND: Early Westerly, WSW 5 to 15 knots, tending lighter South to SE during the day, then ESE in the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
It can be a tough forecast pill to swallow across the region round this time of year. Both southern Queensland and far northern NSW coasts only see limited exposure to the tail-end of a strengthening northerly flow extending down the coast on Friday and Saturday. By and large, that will only translate into pretty weak 1 to 2ft+ wind-waves across southern Queensland coasts, with scope for larger peaks in the 2 to 3ft range across northern NSW. Along with accompanying northerly winds, this localised event will show most form across northern NSW coasts; specifically inside northern corners offering up a bit of shelter from the breeze.
Residual SSE swell combines with very slight ENE windswell. Far northern NSW: Around 1 to occasional, almost 2ft across exposed beaches, grading to 1ft or less elsewhere. Southern QLD: About 1ft+ at the exposed beaches, picking up in th afternoon. WIND: Early NW to NNW 5 to 10 knots, tending Northerly 10 to 15 knots, then NNE 15 to 20 knots in the arvo.
Slight NNE windswell picks up rapidly under strengthening northerly winds. Around 1 to 2ft+ exposed beaches, rising to a junky 2 to 3ft into the late afternoon/ evening. WIND: NW to NNW 10 to 20 knots, turning Northerly 15 to 25 knots, up to 20 to 30 knots in the late afternoon/ evening.
Fading NE windswell mixes with slight SSE windswell. Far northern NSW: NE swell around 1 to 3ft across exposed open beaches, fading as SSE swell bumps up to a junky 1 to 2ft+ in the arvo. Wrapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: NE windswell around 1 to 2ft+ at the exposed breaks, otherwise tiny or near-flat elsewhere. WIND: Early WNW to NW, tending WSW to SW 10 to 15 knots in the morning, tending SSE to SE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon, ESE later.
The arrival of a large, complex low pressure system across Victorian longitudes carries a strengthening WNW airflow across a steep rising WSW groundswell across the state this weekend. And while the forecast would have some waxing up their guns in anticipation of another powerful weekend of waves across the Surf Coast, it probably isn’t going to stack up as anything worthy of the history books. Regardless the of the robust size and period linked to this event, it carries enough west in swell-direction to dilute surf height and consistency across the Torquay reefs – and it’s also likely to culminate in smaller-than-forecast surf across the exposed beaches. Having said all that, it’s clear there will be good waves on tap along the Great Ocean Road – both on Saturday and Sunday, with the latter shaping up as the pick for size as swell-direction angles a little more towards the SW.
Longer period WSW groundswell fills in under freshening westerly winds. Slow sets ranging from 3 to 4ft along exposed beaches, wrapping at a clean 2ft along the Surf Coast reefs, otherwise smaller elsewhere. WIND: WNW 15 to 25 knots, tending Westerly 20 to 30 knots in the evening.
Large WSW groundswell arrives under strong NW winds. Solid sets around 4 to 6ft+ along exposed beaches, peaking at 6 to 8ft+. Surf Coast: Wrapping at a clean 3 to 4ft+ along the reefs, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: NW 20 to 30 knots, freshening to 25 to 35 knots during the day, before shifting West to SW in the arvo.
WSW groundswell slowly eases under early WNW winds. Exposed beaches: Sets up around 5 to 6ft+ along exposed beaches, settling in the afternoon. Surf Coast: Around 3 to 4ft+ on the reefs, easing later. WIND: WNW 10 to 15 knots, turning Westerly, then WSW to SW later.
For all the onshore, windblown days that plague surfing prospects across the Southwest, there’s always an epic day of surf just around the corner; invariably featuring straight offshore winds and powerful groundswell arriving out of the southern Indian Ocean. And that is exactly what’s going on across the region over the coming days. Friday sees a moderate onshore SW airflow gradually waning, opening up some still bumpy, but surfable conditions as SW and SSW groundswells cross-over throughout the afternoon.
From there, conditions continue to gradually improve as both swells ease to more accessible levels under light southerly quarter winds on Saturday. However, the icing on the cake is reserved for Sunday, with an exception day of large, powerful surf shaping up for the region as light offshore East to ESE winds greet a long-period WSW groundswell inbound from 240 degrees. The storm responsible for this event commenced it’s lifecycle below South Africa and Madagascar last weekend before intensifying dramatically over the southern Indian Ocean on Tuesday and Wednesday, generating core SW to WSW winds of 50 to 60 knots and maintaining a broad area of 40 to 50 knot winds on Thursday.
Sustained wind-speeds of this calibre equate to long-period swells exhibiting forerunners in the 20 to 24 second band arriving later on Saturday, ahead of the bulk of energy making landfall at 18 to 20 seconds on Sunday. That’s enough deepwater energy to light up all sorts of deepwater reefs – but it may also overwhelm many spots that usually light up from this directional band. Either way, it’s definitely a day to set aside – be it for surfing or spectating.
Easing SW groundswell. Southwest: bumpy 6 to 10ft sets along exposed coasts, easing to 5 to 8ft in the afternoon. Perth: Up to 2 to 3ft. WIND: Early SW 10 to 15 knots, fading to about 10 knots in the afternoon.
SW groundswell slowly eases under early offshore winds. Southwest: Mostly clean 4 to 6ft+ sets along exposed coasts early, settling during the afternoon, otherwise smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Around 2ft+ exposed beaches, easing later. WIND: South to SSE around 5 to 10 knots, tending light and variable, then Southerly, SSW in the afternoon.
Long-period WSW groundswell arrives. Southwest: Clean 8 to 10ft+ sets across exposed coasts early, rising to 10 to 12ft later. Wrapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Around 2 to 4ft exposed beaches, rising in the afternoon. WIND: Easterly, ESE 5 to 10 knots, tending light and variable, then SSW to SW around 10 knots in the afternoon.
Strong to near-gale force WNW winds blowing across a large, becoming heavy SW groundswell are set to constrain your surfing options across the state on Friday – and although they will ease a bit by Saturday, they’re set to swing southwest; making for another mostly unappealing day of surf across all South Australian coasts. That leaves Sunday as a better option as lighter, westerly quarter winds greet a still sizeable SW groundswell.
Stronger WSW groundswell building under fresh westerly winds. South Coast: Clean 3 to 4ft+ at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at 1 to 2ft+ around Middleton to Goolwa, bumping up in the arvo. Mid Coast: Around 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: WNW 15 to 30 knots, tending Westerly 20 to 35 knots during the morning.
Large, long-period SW groundswell under strong onshore winds. South Coast: Ranging from 6 to 8ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at 3 to 5ft across Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: 2 to 3ft. WIND: WSW 20 to 35 knots, tending SW and easing to 15 to 25 knots later.
Easing SW groundswell under onshore winds. South Coast: Sets up to 5 to 6ft+ around Waits and Parsons, easing in the afternoon. Wrapping at 3 to 4ft+ from Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: 1 to 2ft. WIND: Early Westerly, tending WSW to SW 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.
There's more late summer goodness in the forecast this weekend.
There's a wave with your name on it this weekend.
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