Weekend Surf Forecast 1 - 3 November, 2019
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
Two broad-scale synoptic systems are dominating the outlook around the entire surfable Australian coastline this weekend; the first being a deep low centred south of WA; and the second a large, quasi stationary high pressure system occupying the Tasman Sea. As per my recent blog, the knock on effect for the NSW coast is another – this time larger and longer lasting round of NE windswell running at an oblique angle along the NSW coast. The key differentiator from last Saturday’s pristine conditions is fresh, cross-onshore north to NNE winds; making for bumpy and disjointed, but still consistent surf in the vicinity of 3 to 5ft both on Saturday and Sunday. And like last weekend, southern Queensland and northern NSW coasts see comparatively smaller, but still fun waves in the 2 to 3ft range arriving out of the ENE all weekend.
Further south, Victoria and South Australia will start feeling the reverberations from the Southern Ocean low this weekend; manifesting as a solid increase in WSW groundswell. While that hints at good conditions across the Surf Coast, the strong westerly bias in swell-direction looms as an inhibiting factor – both to wave height and frequency. Finally, the Southwest of the continent lies in the direct firing line of the low pressure system depicted below; receiving days of strong onshore winds and unruly SW groundswell in the 8 to 12ft range on Friday and Saturday, before conditions start to calm down on Sunday.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
You could say it’s like last weekend, but on steroids. Friday marks the onset of a steady building trend in short-range NE windswell across the region; leading in a full weekend of energetic surf; hitting peaks in the 3 to 5ft range across the more exposed beaches between Newcastle and the Far South Coast, with scope for wider variances in wave-heights spreading either side of this range depending on a particular locations exposure to the 35-40 degree directional band).
Along with more size than last weekend’s NE pulse, the other key difference will be strong NNE winds; strong enough to keep a lid on wave quality all weekend. There should, however, be fair conditions on offer across northern corners as early lighter northerly winds precede a shift to the NNE/ NE at 15 to 25 knots on Saturday. That looks like paving the way for even better conditions on Sunday, with latest model runs hinting at lighter inshore winds and hence better chances of early north-westerlies, particularly across the South Coast. And although NE winds are set to freshen during the day – they’re no longer looking as strong as earlier model runs suggested -and it’s starting to look like winds will tend lighter NW into the evening. Stay tuned for more on conditions in Friday’s update.
NE windswell further builds. Initially ranging from 2 to 3ft across the most exposed open beaches and rising towards a windy 3 to 4ft in the afternoon/ evening. WIND: NNE 10 to 20 knots early, tending NE and freshening to 15 to 25 knots during the day, up to 20 to 30 knots in the afternoon.
NE windswell holds in the 3 to 4ft+ range across the most exposed open beaches, wrapping at more like 2 to 3ft+ elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: NNW, Northerly 10 to 15 knots early, tending NNE and increasing to 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon and up to 20 to 30 knots later.
Renewed NE windswell slowly eases. Consistent sets ranging from 3 to 5ft across exposed open beaches, settling to 3 to 4ft in the afternoon. WIND: Early Northerly around 10 knots, tending NNE to NE 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Not unlike last weekend, southern Queensland and far northern NSW coasts will miss out on the lion’s share of a NE swell developing over the next few days, owing to limited exposure to the tail-end of a robust, 20 to 30kt NNE fetch extending down the NSW coast. That’s the bad news. The good news is the region will receive a more modest upswing in ENE swell; generated across the northern flank of a quasi-stationary high pressure system occupying the Tasman Sea. That looks like translating into several days of 2 to 3ft surf from Saturday through to Monday, but quality won’t exactly be high on the scale. A persistent ENE to NE airflow supported by the same high pressure ridge will add plenty of lump and bump into the mix all weekend – and there’s northerlies forecast for Monday to boot.
ENE windswell picks up to a junky 1 to 2ft+ early, rising towards 2 to 3ft across exposed breaks in the afternoon. WIND: Variable, to light ENE to NE around 5 knots inshore, tending ENE to NE around 10 knots in the morning, up to 10 to 15 knots the arvo, stronger south of the border.
Consistent ENE windswell ranges from 2 to 3ft exposed beaches, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: NE around 5 to 10 knots, increasing to 10 to 15 knots in the morning and up to 15 to 20 knots across northern NSW in the afternoon.
ENE windswell ranges from 2 to 3ft across exposed open beaches, gradually easing 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 light and variable to light NE 5 to 10 knots, tending NNE 10 to 15 knots in the morning and freshening to 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon.
The combined effects of a static Tasman high and a broad frontal low to the west open up some interesting options over the next few days. Initially we’ll see strong, northerly quarter winds lending the focus to the more exposed Victorian coasts on Friday as a relatively small SW swell maintains size in the 2 to 3ft range along the exposed beaches. That precedes a strong boost in wave-energy on Saturday as a larger WSW groundswell emanating from said low pressure system starts filling in – this time under early northerly winds, shifting NW to SW as the day progresses. That sets the trend for Sunday as a renewed push in WSW groundswell moves in – albeit from a stronger westerly directional band. Still, this all points to a fun morning of waves across the Surf Coast as early NW to West winds prevail, before turning SW in the afternoon.
Easing SW swell speculatively reinforced by new SW groundswell in the afternoon. Exposed beaches: Sets ranging from 2 to 3ft. Surf Coast: Sets ranging from 1 to 2ft along the Surf Coast reefs early, smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure easing in the arvo. WIND: Northerly, NNE 10 to 20 knots, freshening to 15 to 25 knots during the day and tending NNW during the afternoon.
Stronger SW groundswell with West to SW winds. Solid sets around 3 to 5ft along exposed beaches, rising into the 4 to 6ft+ range in the afternoon. Surf Coast: Wrapping at a clean 2 to 3ft+ along the reefs, rising to 3 to 4ft in the afternoon. WIND: NW, NNW 10 to 15 knots, across the Surf Coast, tending Northerly, NNE across Mornington and Phillip Island coasts. Turning WNW ahead of a SW to Southerly change during the afternoon.
Potential for larger WSW swell superseding leftover SW groundswell. Exposed beaches: Sets around 5 to 6ft+ along exposed beaches. Surf Coast: Around 3 to 4ft on the reefs, easing later. WIND: Early light and variable to light North, NNE, turning Westerly to SW 15 to 25 knots later.
Unlike last weekend, there’s very little in the way of respite from strong onshore and thoroughly windblown conditions that are now in effect across the Southwest. The slow eastward migration of a deep mid-latitude low below the mainland over the next few days maintains strong onshore WSW winds across the coast on Friday and Saturday morning; blowing at 20 to 30 knots or more before finally starting to lose puff on Saturday afternoon. That will lead in a full day of lighter onshore winds and easing SW swell on Sunday; opening up some half-decent surfable options inside the sheltered bays.
WSW storm-swell slowly eases under southerly winds. South West: Chaotic 10 to 12ft+ across exposed breaks, easing marginally during the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: Around 3 to 4ft. WIND: WSW up to 20 to 30 knots with stronger gusts, tending SW and easing marginally in the afternoon.
SW groundswell slowly eases under fresh onshore winds. Southwest: Junky 8 to 12ft sets along exposed coasts early, settling to 6 to 10ft during the afternoon, otherwise smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Around 2 to 3ft exposed beaches, easing later. WIND: SW 15 to 25 knots, easing to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.
Easing SSW swell under moderating onshore winds. Southwest: Bumpy 5 to 6ft+ sets across exposed coasts, settling to 4 to 5ft+ in the afternoon. Wrapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Around 1ft exposed beaches, rising in the afternoon. WIND: SW 10 to 15 knots, fading in the afternoon.
The passage of a deep low below the state sees no shortage of groundswell inbound across South Australian coasts this weekend. The inhibiting factor, however, is a strong Westerly bias in deepwater swell direction of 250 degrees. That will keep a lid on wave refraction across South Coast beaches over the coming days – and perhaps that’s not a bad thing. The end result should be a consistent run of 2 to 3ft+ conditions across the Middleton to Goolwa stretch, grading to substantially larger levels as one heads further south and west. At the same time we have a f morning NW to WNW winds offering up some reasonably quality before winds turn onshore in the afternoons.
Scope for new SW groundswell picking up throughout the day. South Coast: 3 to 4ft+ around Waits and Parsons. Wrapping at 1 to 2ft or so from Middleton to Goolwa, bigger later. Mid Coast: Sets up to 1ft+. WIND: Early North 10 to 20 knots turning to NNW to NW during the morning, then SW to SSW in the afternoon.
Solid mix of WSW and SW groundswell. South Coast: Ranging from 3 to 5ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at about 2 to 3ft across Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: 1 to 2ft. WIND: Early NW to WNW, tending West to SW 10 to 15 knots later.
Easing SW groundswell under westerly winds. South Coast: Sets up to 4 to 6ft around Waits and Parsons, easing in the afternoon. Wrapping at 2 to 3ft+ from Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: 1 to 2ft. WIND: Early WNW, tending WSW to SW 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
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