Weekend Surf Forecast 6 - 8 April, 2018

5 Apr 2018 1 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST

Issued Thursday, 5 April 2018

Mid autumn ticks a lot of boxes in the good surf department. Early light offshore winds; check. Plenty of swell; check. Sunny skies; check. Crowds…. Check. Just about everywhere is turning it in one form or another this weekend. Up north, southern Queensland and far northern NSW coasts are still heavily immersed in easterly tradewind swell; fuelled by two weak tropical cyclones positioned over disparate parts of the region’s swell window. This should see energetic surf running at consistent 3 to 4ft levels over the next few days, while maintaining better quality 2 to 3ft options inside the more sheltered points and bays.

As for the remainder of the NSW coast, expect days of clear autumn skies and early light offshore winds greeting a fairly mediocre, but none-the-less fun combination of ENE and S swells; variously ranging from 1 to 3ft across the region all weekend. Further south, both Victoria and South Australia also benefit from excellent autumn conditions; characterised by early light land-breezes and nor-easters lasting throughout the weekend. When combined with a slow easing trend in SW swell, that means consecutive days of excellent conditions across both states. This time around it’s only the West Coast that misses out on the fun as a developing onshore airflow adds little appeal to a run of small-ish SW swell all weekend.


Clean autumn conditions prevail around the coastal fringes this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Mr Vacation.

Clean autumn conditions prevail around the coastal fringes this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Mr Vacation.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
If you’ve been liking the small, clean waves across the region over the last few days, then you’ll probably enjoy what’s in store this weekend. A consistent pattern of small-scale ENE swell mixes with traces of long-range S swell to keep surf ranging either side of 2ft across the region for several days to come. The only downside is a fleeting southerly change arriving early on Friday, adding a bit of lump and bump to conditions. Thankfully this will be a weak and very short-lived change. Conditions will quickly revert to the autumn norm over the weekend; characterised by early light offshore land-breezes tending to light sea-breezes during the afternoons.

Friday
Long range E swell mixes with slight S swell. Inconsistent sets ranging from 2 to 3ft exposed open breaks, grading to about 2ft south facing breaks. WIND: Early S change 10 to 15 knots, rapidly fading and tending SE to E/NE 5 to 10 knots during the arvo.

Saturday
Combination of ENE swell and small, directional S groundswell. Inconsistent sets to 2 to 3ft exposed open and south facing beaches, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light W tending light and variable during the day, then SE to NE 5 to 10 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
ENE swell ranging from 2 to 3ft exposed open breaks. Mixing with underlying S groundswell around 2ft elsewhere. WIND: Early light WNW tending NNE to 10 knots later.

A combination of small ENE and S swells will keep clean surf running at a fun size all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Ayedo.

A combination of small ENE and S swells will keep clean surf running at a fun size all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Ayedo.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
A consistent run of easterly tradewind swell should keep you all well soaked in salt-water this weekend. The current run of shorter-range energy linked to TC Iris hangs in at solid 3 to 4ft levels across the region on Friday before overlapping with some longer-range energy arriving out of the Southwest Pacific; compliments of ex-TC Josie. This long-enduring run of swell coincides with a moderating ESE wind-regime that will see good windows of early light winds giving way to lumpy onshore conditions for several days to come.

Friday
E swell ranging from 3 to 4ft+ along exposed breaks. Wrapping at 2 to 4ft along the points and inside the bays. WIND: Early light SW to SSW inshore, tending SE to ESE 10 to 20 knots.

Saturday
Reinforcing E groundswell. Solid sets ranging from 3 to 4ft+ exposed breaks. Wrapping at 2 to 4ft inside the points and bays. WIND: Lighter SW to SSW inshore, tending SE to ESE around 15 knots.

Sunday
E tradewind swell slowly eases. Sets ranging from 3 to 4ft exposed breaks, wrapping at 2 to 3ft+ along the points and inside bays. WIND: Early light WSW to SSW, tending ESE 5 to 15 knots.

Easterly tradewind swell is still on the pump across southern Queensland and northern NSW coasts all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Rabbit.

Easterly tradewind swell is still on the pump across southern Queensland and northern NSW coasts all weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Rabbit.

Victoria
A consistent run of SW swell continues to light up all Victorian coasts this weekend. The combination of a steady easing trend in mid-period SW swell with light offshore to calm autumn winds should make for idyllic morning surf across all regions. The Surf Coast should continue to produce excellent 2 to 4ft waves on Friday before easing another notch by Saturday – and the easing trend should also start to open up great options along the exposed beaches through the higher tides. It’s only on Friday afternoon that a light to moderate southerly airflow will detract from wave quality – otherwise it all looks like champagne surfing.

Friday
Mid period SW groundswell. Sets around 3 to 5ft along exposed beaches. Wrapping at 2 to 4ft along the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: Early light WNW 5 to 10 knots tending SSW to SSE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Easing SW swell around 3 to 4ft+ along the exposed beaches. Sets wrapping at a clean 2 to 3ft+ along the Surf Coast reefs. WIND: Early light WNW to variable tending ENE to NE 5 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Mid-period SW swell ranging from 2 to 4ft along exposed beaches early, settling to 2 to 3ft during the afternoon. Inconsistent 1 to 3ft along the major Surf Coast reefs early, easing to 2ft or so later. WIND: Early N to NW 10 to 15 knots during the morning tending NNE during the afternoon.

A slow easing trend in SW swell coincides with light autumn winds to light up all Victorian coasts over the next few days. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Johnte.

A slow easing trend in SW swell coincides with light autumn winds to light up all Victorian coasts over the next few days. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Johnte.

Western Australia
An emerging high pressure ridge looms as the bane of every surfer’s existence this weekend. While Friday morning will be offering up typically clean, albeit small SW swell in the 2 to 3ft range, Saturday morning looms as a lacklustre affair; featuring still small-scale SW swell ruffled by a moderate westerly airflow. The onshore breeze is forecast to freshen during the day; for the most part ruling out the prospect of a clean wave. This sets the trend for Sunday as the westerly flow continues to blow out a small-scale SW swell; making for a thoroughly forgettable weekend of waves across the Southwest and Perth’s metro beaches.

Friday
Faded SW swell with rotation of winds through the afternoon. South West: 2 to 3ft. Perth/Mandurah: 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: E 10 to 15 knots early, easing temporarily before shifting WSW 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Saturday
Small reinforcing mid period SW swell fills in with onshore wind. South West: 2 to 3ft+. Perth, Mandurah: 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: WSW 10 to 15 knots.

Sunday
Midperiod SW swell, overlapped with low range WSW windswell. South West: mixed 2 to 3ft, rising 3 to 4ft sets later. Perth/Mandurah: crossed up 1 to 2ft. WIND: Early SW to 10 knots, tending calm in metro waters. Shifting W 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Persistent onshore winds and small-scale SW swell may leave you dreaming of better days across the West Coast this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

Persistent onshore winds and small-scale SW swell may leave you dreaming of better days across the West Coast this weekend. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
A progressive decline in SW swell sees clean, diminishing surf across the state this weekend. If you can manage to get wet on Friday you’re still likely to be surfing good quality two to three foot sets across the South Coast. Even on Saturday morning you might find the odd set above two foot, but from there it’s downhill as SW continues to fade; probably levelling off at a still clean 1 to 2ft by Sunday morning.

Friday
SW swell eases further as winds show light in the morning. South Coast: Clean, 2 to 3ft, largest at magnets early, decreasing by arvo. Mid Coast: Clean, 0.5 to 1ft at best, easing. WIND: Calm variable at 5 to 10 knots, tending Southerly.

Saturday
Small clean leftover SW swell, faded under offshore NE wind early. South Coast: settled clean, inconsistent 2ft+ sets, largest at magnets. Mid Coast: clean, near flat to 0.5ft. WIND: NE 10 to 15 knots, easing to light and variable in the afternoon.

Sunday
Small and clean. Settled residual SW sets under calm winds. South Coast: minor sets, topping 1 to 2ft at magnets. Mid Coast: settled, near flat. WIND: Calm tending to NW in the afternoon.

The most exposed South Australian coasts will be the pick as SW swell fades to low-levels under offshore winds this weekend. Photo: Johnte.

The most exposed South Australian coasts will be the pick as SW swell fades to low-levels under offshore winds this weekend. Photo: Johnte.


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