Bali, Indonesia Surf Forecast 22 July - 4 August 2015

21 Jul 2015 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Forecast issued 3.00pm Tuesday, 21 July 2015

There’s little doubt the Indian Ocean storm-track is undergoing an extended period of relatively subdued activity and it’s set to continue through mid to late July – translating into an absence of major swell events for Indonesia since the monster SW groundswell that rocked the Archipelago during the final week of June. Still, throughout the winter months Indonesia remains a sure bet for consecutive days of good to excellent quality surf that, by-and-large tend to range anywhere from 2 to 4ft depending on where you’re surfing – and that’s pretty much what you can look forward to right through to the end of July.

If head-high perfection sounds like your cup of tea then late July is a great time to be jumping on a plane to Indo. Photo: Potts/ The Perfect Wave.

If head-high perfection sounds like your cup of tea then late July is a great time to be jumping on a plane to Indo. Photo: Potts/ The Perfect Wave.

Short Forecast
A strong pulse of SSW groundswell peaks in the 4ft range across exposed breaks on Wednesday before slowly easing throughout Thursday and Friday. This is followed by another, larger round of long period SSW groundswell filling in over the weekend, with moderate to strong ESE tradewinds persisting throughout the outlook period.

Daily Summary

Wednesday 22
New pulse of mid-period SSW groundswell. Sets ranging from 2 – 4ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Thursday 23
Old SSW swell. 2 – 3ft exposed breaks. Reinforced by new SSW groundswell to 2 – 4ft during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure and easing into the afternoon. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Friday 24
SSW groundswell. Sets around 3 – 4ft exposed breaks. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Saturday 25
Leftover SSW groundswell eases during the day. Around 2 – 4ft exposed breaks early, fading to 2 – 3ft during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Sunday 26
Small-scale SSW swell reinforced by new S groundswell during the day. Inconsistent sets to 2 – 3ft exposed breaks early, picking up to 3 – 4ft+ during the afternoon. Grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure and easing during the afternoon. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

Monday 27
Directional SSW groundswell fades. 2 – 4ft exposed breaks early, easing to 2 – 3ft. Grading smaller elsewhere depending on exposure. WIND: Early light and variable tending ESE 10 to 15 knots.

OVERVIEW
A continuation of moderate-strength storm activity prevailing throughout the southern Indian Ocean continues to see SSW swell running at modest levels throughout the outlook period. Tuesday saw fairly run-of-the-mill SSW swell producing 2 to 3ft sets across Bali’s exposed reefs and although we can look forward to an uptick in wave energy on Wednesday it’s only likely to be marginal. The arrival of a new, mid period SSW swell holds better potential for set-waves ranging either side of 3ft across exposed breaks throughout Wednesday – and this is backed up by a stronger SSW pulse filling in later Thursday.

The absence of any larger swell-events we’d normally be looking for through mid-July is associated with the persistent presence of large, blocking high pressure systems over the central-western Indian Ocean through most of July. A strong high developed over the region early to mid last week effectively confined frontal activity to polar latitudes. The brief intensification of a polar low south of the Kerguelen Islands mid last week is the source of Wednesday’s fleeting SSW pulse and this is backed up by a slightly stronger SSW groundswell peaking on Friday. This is linked to the upwelling of a broader area of low pressure over the south-eastern Indian Ocean over the last few days that supported a broad SSW fetch – albeit at relatively low speeds of around 30 knots. Never the less, the favourable position and alignment of this fetch provides a robust pulse of SSW swell peaking in the 4ft range across exposed breaks on Friday.

This episode gradually tapers off throughout Saturday and should bottom out around the 2 to 3ft mark early on Sunday. Based on current guidance this will mark a low point in wave energy preceding the arrival of a new, more acutely south pulse showing up at inconsistent 3 to 4ft plus levels during Sunday afternoon. This is linked to a vigorous frontal low forecast to intensify as it tracks northeast, towards south-western Australia on Tuesday and Wednesday; carrying a compact area of SSW gales towards the Margaret River region as it goes. Although only relatively small in dimensions this fetch capitalises on an already highly active sea-state prevailing in the wake of the previous low to produce a solid mid range pulse; probably peaking late Sunday before steadily easing again throughout Monday.

Following close on the heels of this episode is a new, longer-period SSW groundswell that’s loosely projected to touch down across the Archipelago on Tuesday 28 July. This follows the evolution of an intense polar low traversing deep below the Keguelen Island and across the far south-eastern Indian Ocean on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. Once again the relatively modest dimensions of the low and associated wind-fetch only look capable of delivering a modest-sized pulse; probably not exceeding 3 to 5ft as it fills in on Tuesday 28 before scaling down again into Wednesday 29 July.

Offshore Virtual Buoy Point 9° 0' 0"S x 115° 0' 0"E

Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali are picking up a new round of SSW swell inbound on Thursday and Friday, with more on tap early to mid next week.

Latest virtual buoy readings for Bali are picking up a new round of SSW swell inbound on Thursday and Friday, with more on tap early to mid next week.

LONG RANGE
Beyond that the swell-focus shifts over to our southwest swell window following the evolution of a deep extratropical low will develop over the far South Atlantic. This broad-scale storm-system exhibits dimensions more typical of winter and is widely forecast to establish a very broad area of WSW gales as it intensifies over the south-east Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday. Although the fetch begins to deteriorate as the low migrates below South Africa on Thursday it’s forecast to redevelop a new WSW fetch over the region into Friday – effectively setting up a couple of strong SW pulses for the region. The first  and strongest pulse is loosely projected to build in during Thursday 30 and ease into Friday 1 August. This is speculatively followed by another, smaller SW pulse on Sunday 3/ Monday 4 August, but this will become clearer in next week’s update.


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