Weekend Surf Forecast 18 - 20 October, 2019

17 Oct 2019 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Issued Thursday, 17 October 2019

You’d hardly think it was the middle of spring, given what’s in store for many regions this weekend. The southern states in particular are about to receive a powerful blast of SW groundswell; large enough in height and long enough in wave period to make it rain bombs across Victoria’s Surf Coast. With the addition of fresh westerly quarter winds and cool temperatures you might think you’ve jumped back in time to mid-winter – and this rule generally applies to South Australia as well; albeit under onshore winds. Across the West Coast conditions are following a similar trend as the same storm system delivers a powerful pulse of SSW groundswell that will gradually ease under offshore easterly winds.

Across the NSW coast, conditions aren’t looking quite so energetic, but there will be no shortage of waves. Friday marks the arrival of a new southerly pulse that will peak at solid 2 to 4ft levels during the day – only to vanish again by Saturday morning. Thankfully, this is backed up by a second, modest upswing in south swell on Sunday, with more to come early next week. All this doesn’t bode particularly well for southern Queensland coasts; for the most part translating into several days of 1 to 2ft conditions, so a trip south of the border might be a good call.

Conditions are more reminiscent of winter than spring across many regions this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Troy.

Conditions are more reminiscent of winter than spring across many regions this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Troy.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Spring is the new autumn this year. October’s non-stop run of surf keeps on keeping on over the weekend as the focus swings back to our indefatigable south-swell window. Proceedings commence with a fresh round of south swell moving in on Friday; peaking at an energetic 2 to 4ft across Sydney’s southern exposures mid-morning and into the early afternoon, with scope for a foot or two on top of this across Newcastle and Hunter coasts.

This pulse is, however, a fleeting one. The associated low tracks swiftly away to the East on Friday, leading a rapid overnight decline to about 1 to 2ft across the region by Saturday morning, culminating in tiny to near-flat conditions in the afternoon. Thankfully, we’ll be back on by Sunday morning as yet another uptick in southerly swell fills in. This commences with mostly short-interval energy, probably not exceeding 2 to 3ft across southern exposures and smaller elsewhere. The good news is it will lead in a more robust push in mid-period south-groundswell on Monday and Tuesday.

Friday
New South swell arrives under offshore winds. Around 2 to 3ft across exposed south facing breaks early, peaking up to 2 to 4ft mid-morning through the early arvo, then easing again in the evening. Wrapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Westerly, WSW 10 to 20 knots, easing to light and variable before turning East to NE, then NNE 15 to 20 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Leftover SSE swell steadily fades throughout the day. Around 2ft across south facing beaches early, fading in the afternoon. Grading to 1 to 2ft at best elsewhere and dwindling throughout the day. WIND: WNW to NW 10 to 15 knots early, tending Westerly, then SW and freshening in the late afternoon/ evening

Sunday
New Southerly windswell bumps up. Ranging from 2 to 3ft across south facing beaches, easing in the afternoon. Wrapping at about 2ft along open beaches with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early light WSW, tending SSW to South in the morning, then SE, ESE around 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

A couple of pulses of south swell keep the run of good surf coming this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Pearcem.

A couple of pulses of south swell keep the run of good surf coming this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Pearcem.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
Thursday’s upswing in localised nor’east windswell rapidly fades again throughout Friday, leading in a return to fairly modest levels of south swell and an additional bit of SSE windswell across the region this weekend. That of course, lends the focus to far northern NSW coasts for size and power – and there will be a good bit of both on tap as a new, mid-period South swell shows peak size on Saturday, with early light winds opening up the best conditions you’re likely to see all weekend. The tail-end of this pulse will still be evident at lower levels on Sunday – and it will receive a renewed boost as a ragged SSE windswell picks up throughout the day; albeit under fresh onshore winds from the same direction.

Friday
Fading SE and NE swells combine with new SSE windswell. Far northern NSW: Around 2ft+ across the more exposed beaches, grading to 1 to 2ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: Ranging from 1 to 2ft+ at the exposed breaks and 1 to 2ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Early SW, to SSW 10 to 15 knots near-dawn, tending South to SSE in the early morning, then SE to ESE 10 to 15 knots during the day and ENE in the afternoon.

Saturday
New South swell fills in. Far northern NSW: Up to 2 to 4ft across south facing breaks early, more like 1 to 3ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure and easing in the afternoon. Southern QLD: Sets mostly around 2ft exposed breaks, more like 1 to 2ft along open beaches and smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Light WNW to NW 5 to 10 knots, turning North to NNE 10 to 15 knots or more in the afternoon.

Sunday
Faded South swell, mixing with rising SSE windswell in the arvo. Far northern NSW: Around 2ft+ across south facing breaks, wrapping at 1 to 2ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: Around 1 to 2ft at the exposed breaks, grading to tiny or near-flat elsewhere. WIND: Early SW to SSW 10 to 15 knots, tending South to SSE 15 to 25 knots during the day, SE in the arvo.

South swell re-emerges as the dominant source of surf across the region all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Justin Dyke.

South swell re-emerges as the dominant source of surf across the region all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Justin Dyke.

Victoria
Victorian surfs are on the cusp of a major SW swell-event this weekend; arriving compliments of an intense, slow moving Southern Ocean low currently located deep below Western Australia. Freshening NW to westerly winds developing across the state on Friday are a precursor to a powerful building trend in groundswell across the state on Saturday; starting out more WSW in direction, before aligning more southwest by Sunday morning. The impressive size and period, coupled with a predominant westerly quarter airflow all point to the Surf Coast as the place to be, but Saturday morning’s favourably aligned WNW winds look like offering up the best of it, before things get a little unruly as winds veer to the west and southwest on Sunday. As per the projected surf-heights below, this is shaping up as a seriously large and powerful event, so expect challenging conditions best suited to experienced surfers on both days.

Friday
Rising WSW swell under NNW winds. Around 3 to 4ft+ along the exposed beaches, rising to 4 to 6ft+ during the day and up to 5 to 8ft+ in the afternoon/ evening. Wrapping at a slow 1 to 2ft+ on the Surf Coast reefs, rising to 2 to 3ft during the day and up to 3 to 4ft later. WIND: NW 15 to 25 knots, freshening to 20 to 30 knots and tending WNW in the arvo, then Westerly and easing in the late arvo/ evening.

Saturday
Large WSW groundswell peaks. Stormy sets in the 8 to 10ft range along exposed beaches. Surf Coast: Wrapping at a clean 6 to 8ft+ along the reefs, ranging from 4 to 8ft elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: WNW 15 to 20 knots, tending Westerly, WSW 15 to 30 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
Easing SW groundswell under early WNW winds. Exposed beaches: Large sets up around 8 to 10ft along exposed beaches, settling to 6 to 8ft+ in the afternoon. Surf Coast: Around 6 to 8ft+ on the reefs, easing later. WIND: WNW, Westerly 10 to 15 knots, turning WSW to SW 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

The Surf Coast is about to light up like mid-winter this weekend. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

The Surf Coast is about to light up like mid-winter this weekend. Photo: Judy Scanlon.

Western Australia
Conditions go from good to excellent across the Southwest over the next few days. The arrival of a powerful round of SSW groundswell coincides with a favourable easterly wind-shift, developing as a new high pressure ridge rapidly builds in across the region on Friday and Saturday. Initially that means a full day of large surf under cross-offshore SE winds on Friday. However, by Saturday morning it will be well and truly game on as a still sizeable SSW groundswell is groomed by straight easterlies, opening up a full day of good conditions. Sunday morning also looks like offering up a great window as the tail-end of swell lends the focus to exposed breaks under light ENE winds.

Friday
Potential for renewed SSW groundswell under offshore winds. South West: Sets up to 6 to 8ft exposed breaks, bigger later. Grading to more like 4 to 6ft+ elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth/Mandurah: Around 2 to 3ft. WIND: SE 10 to 15 knots, tending lighter SSE during the day before freshening again in the afternoon.

Saturday
SSW groundswell slowly eases under early offshore winds. Southwest: Scope for solid 6 to 8ft+ sets along exposed coasts early, settling towards 5 to 6ft during the afternoon, otherwise smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Around 2ft+ exposed beaches, easing later. WIND: East to ENE 10 to 15 knots, tending light during the day, then Southerly, SSE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
Easing SSW swell, reinforced by new small South and WSW swells. Southwest: Clean 3 to 4ft+ sets across exposed coasts early, easing to 2 to 3ft+ later. Wrapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Around 1ft. WIND: Easterly, ENE 5 to 15 knots, tending light North to NE ahead of a SSW change 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

Big, clean lines are stacking up for the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

Big, clean lines are stacking up for the Southwest this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
A return to very winter-esque conditions follows the arrival of a thumping, long-period SW groundswell across the state this weekend. Unfortunately, this one is accompanied by predominantly onshore south-westerly winds, supported by a burgeoning high pressure system moving in from the west. That leaves Friday morning as one of the better windows as early North to NW winds open up clean options across the South Coast, before a SW change arrives in the afternoon. That leads in a fully day of fresh onshore winds on Saturday, making for large, but hardly appealing conditions throughout the day. That leaves Sunday as a better bet for still bumpy, but improving conditions as SW winds ease to about 10 to 15 knots and continue fade throughout the day.

Friday
Easing SW swell reinforced by rising WSW swell. South Coast: Around 3 to 4ft+, at Waits and Parsons, building to 4 to 6ft in the afternoon. Wrapping at 2ft+ from Middleton to Goolwa rising to 2 to 4ft later. Mid Coast: Virtually flat. WIND: Early North to NW 15 to 25 knots, tending Westerly to SW in the afternoon.

Saturday
Scope for large, long-period SW groundswell under west winds. South Coast: Ranging from 6 to 8ft+ at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at 3 to 6ft across Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: 2 to 3ft. WIND: WSW to SW 15 to 20 knots.

Sunday
Scope for reinforcing SW groundswell, easing under onshore winds. South Coast: Sets up to 6 to 8ft+ around Waits and Parsons, easing in the afternoon. Wrapping at 3 to 5ft from Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: 2 to 3ft. WIND: SW to SSW 5 to 15 knots, tending light South to SSE in the afternoon.

Onshore SW winds will take the shine off an otherwise thumping SW groundswell across SA this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW byGlasso.

Onshore SW winds will take the shine off an otherwise thumping SW groundswell across SA this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW byGlasso.


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