Weekend Surf Forecast 13 - 15 September, 2019

12 Sep 2019 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Issued Thursday, 12 September 2019

It’s been a busy start to the month of September – and it’s clear there’s a whole lot more in the way of swell to come out of the Southern Ocean tank into the middle of the month. Following another non-stop week of powerful surf across the East Coast, we’ll finally see conditions settling down as the tail end of the current SE swell gives way to a couple of new, relatively small south swells – invariably favouring the NSW coast for size and power both on Saturday and Sunday. That will probably leave southern Queensland coasts wanting this weekend as residual SE swell and some slight wrap in south swell trickle in at 1 to 2ft levels.

Further south (and west), it’s a different story altogether. The southern Indian Ocean is currently pregnant with storm activity; centred around a large, complex area of low pressure that’s already done the hard-yards with respect to wave-growth. The resulting, long-period groundswell will spread eastward to impact vast tracts of exposed Australian coasts; starting with Western Australia on Saturday, before propagating further east to impact to South Australia and Victoria on Sunday and Monday.

Southern Ocean juice abounds across WA and the southern states this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Surfingmr.

Southern Ocean juice abounds across WA and the southern states this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Surfingmr.

Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
As the most recent round of SE swell fades away on Friday we have new south-swell moving in on cue; initially only comprised of pretty modest, short period energy. The good news is this marks the first of two pulses arriving over the course of the weekend. A second, similarly small upswing in south swell is due to start building at short-periods throughout Saturday afternoon, ahead of a better organised, mid-period pulse showing peak size early on Sunday, with early offshore breezes seeing good conditions all morning.

Friday
Leftover ESE swell and residual South groundswell superseded by rising Southerly windswell. Around 1 to 2ft+ exposed breaks early, picking up towards 2 to 3ft mid-late morning. WIND: Southerly 15 to 25 knots, easing throughout the morning and tending light SE to NE in the afternoon.

Saturday
Potential for new Southerly swell picking up. Slower 2ft+ at south facing breaks early, rising to 2 to 3ft+ during the afternoon, possibly 3 to 4ft late. Wrapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: SW to SSW 10 to 15 knots, tending Southerly during the day, then SE to ESE and easing later.

Sunday
Easing South swell around 2 to 3ft+ south facing beaches early, fading during the afternoon. Wrapping at lower levels along open beaches with size depending on exposure. WIND: WNW to NW 10 to 15 knots, tending North to NE in the afternoon.

The tail end of another excellent few days of SE swell is superseded by a couple of new, albeit modest pulses of south swell over the next few days. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Pearce_m.

The tail end of another excellent few days of SE swell is superseded by a couple of new, albeit modest pulses of south swell over the next few days. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Pearce_m.

Queensland and Far Northern NSW
The tail end of this week’s excellent run of SE swell finally conks out into the weekend. That will see the dominant source of surf transitioning to smaller, shorter period southerly swell all weekend; invariably favouring far northern NSW exposed stretches both on Saturday and Sunday. If you have to choose, I’d be aiming for a northern NSW south swell-magnet Sunday as a slightly more robust pulse of mid-period south swell moves in throughout the day.

Friday
Leftover SE swell combines with underlying Southerly groundswell. Far northern NSW: Around 2 to 3ft exposed open and south facing beaches early, quickly fading. More like 1 to 2ft+ elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Southern QLD: Around 2ft along exposed beaches, smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early light Westerly, WNW, tending WSW before shifting Southerly, SSE 15 to 25 knots during the morning, then turning lighter SE 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Saturday
Residual SE and South swells mixing with a minor rise in South windswell. Northern NSW: Around 2ft, bumping up to 2ft+ south facing beaches, grading smaller elsewhere.  Southern QLD: Up to 1 to 2ft along exposed open beaches, otherwise small to tiny elsewhere. WIND: WNW 5 to 15 knots, tending Northerly during the morning, then NE 10 to 15 knots, before shifting SSE to SE in the afternoon.

Sunday
Potential for larger Southerly swell. Far northern NSW: Around 2 to 3ft south facing breaks rising to 2 to 4ft during the day. Wrapping at lower levels along open beaches with size depending on exposure.  Southern QLD: Speculatively 1 to 2ft along exposed beaches, bumping up in the arvo. Otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Light WSW to SW 5 to 10 knots, tending East, then NE and freshening to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

A fading SE swell will leave southern Queensland coasts a little bereft of notable surf all weekend - far northern NSW will fare a little better. Photo: Uploaded to CW by RGI.

A fading SE swell will leave southern Queensland coasts a little bereft of notable surf all weekend - far northern NSW will fare a little better. Photo: Uploaded to CW by RGI.

Victoria
Fortune favours the Surf Coast this weekend. As a new high pressure system drifts across the southeast interior we’ll see a consistent pattern of light to moderate WNW winds throughout the morning hours, grooming successive pulses of SW groundswell. Admittedly, the inbound swell isn’t anything to write home about in terms of size – but it will be enough to keep you in the water all weekend. On top of that, we can look forward to a significant boost in wave energy as a stronger SW groundswell moves in early next week.

Friday
Easing SW groundswell, potentially reinforced by new mid-period energy in the afternoon. Exposed beaches: Bumpy 4 to 6ft+.  Surf Coast: wrapping at a clean 3 to 4ft+ along the reefs, grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure and easing in the afternoon. WIND: WNW 10 to 15 knots, tending Westerly during the day, then WSW and freshening in the late afternoon/ evening.

Saturday
Easing SW swell. Improving 4 to 5ft+ along exposed beaches, easing marginally during the afternoon. Wrapping at a clean 3 to 4ft along the Surf Coast reefs, smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Light WNW 5 to 10 knots, turning NW, then Northerly 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.

Sunday
Potential for larger WSW groundswell building into the afternoon. Around 4 to 6ft along exposed beaches early, increasing to an inconsistent 5 to 8ft in the afternoon. wrapping at clean 3 to 4ft along the Surf Coast reefs, building to 4 to 6ft late. WIND: WNW to NW, 10 to 15 knots, turning lighter WSW, then to light sea-breezes in the afternoon.

The Great Ocean Road is looking like the one to be plying in search of good surf this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Fletcheroo.

The Great Ocean Road is looking like the one to be plying in search of good surf this weekend. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Fletcheroo.

Western Australia
Conditions remain under the thumb of deep frontal low tracking through Western Australian longitudes on Friday; maintaining strong onshore winds and large, unruly storm-swell throughout the day. That will lead in another onshore day on Saturday; this time featuring moderate south-westerlies, better suited to the sheltered spots. And speaking of sheltered spots, they’ll pretty much be offering up the only viable surfing options on Saturday as a macking WSW groundswell tops out at anywhere from 10 to 15ft or more throughout the day. That leaves Sunday morning as a distinct possibility for still very large and semi-clean conditions as the groundswell subsides under light SSE winds.

Friday
Large WSW groundswell builds under northerly winds. South West: Cross-shore 6 to 10ft+ exposed breaks, rising to 8 to 12ft. Wrapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure, easing into the afternoon. Perth/Mandurah: Up to 2 to 3ft+. WIND: Lighter Northerly inshore near-dawn, otherwise NNW to NW 15 to 25 knots.

Saturday
Potential for heavy WSW groundswell under moderate onshore winds. Southwest: Potentially ranging from 10 to 15ft along exposed coasts, smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Up to 3 to 4ft exposed beaches. WIND: Westerly, tending WSW 10 to 15 knots, fading, before turning SW and freshening in the afternoon.

Sunday
Easing SW swell groundswell under Southerly quarter winds. Southwest: Semi-clean 10 to 12ft+ across exposed coasts, wrapping at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. Perth: Around 2 to 4ft, easing later. WIND: Light SE to SSE around 10 knots, tending Southerly 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon.

A seriously big, onshore day this Saturday will open up still very challenging conditions as winds turn light SSE across the Southwest on Sunday morning. Photo: Dan Wyer.

A seriously big, onshore day this Saturday will open up still very challenging conditions as winds turn light SSE across the Southwest on Sunday morning. Photo: Dan Wyer.

South Australia
A building trend in long-period SW groundswell promises not shortage of juice across the state this weekend. Proceedings commence with a moderate rise in mid-period SW groundswell over the next couple of days; opening up fun conditions across the South Coast as northerly quarter winds set in on Saturday. From Sunday onwards it’s set to go next-level as a long-period SW groundswell starts building in throughout the day; in all likelihood generating some impressive, long-lined sets across exposed coasts into the afternoon, leading in a seriously large and powerful day of waves on Monday.

Friday
SSW swell slowly fades under light onshore winds. South Coast: Speculatively ranging from 4 to 5ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at about 2 to 3ft+ around Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: Around 1ft+. WIND: Light and variable WNW to NW, tending West, then SW, SSW sea-breezes in the afternoon.

Saturday
Renewed SW groundswell picks up in the afternoon with offshore winds. South Coast: Ranging from 3 to 5ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at about 2 to 3ft at Middleton to Goolwa, up to 2 to 4ft later. Mid Coast: WSW swell up to 1ft. WIND: Light North to NE, tending NW 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday
Potential for large, long-period SW groundswell building in under light WNW to NW winds throughout the day. South Coast: Up to 5 to 8ft at Waits and Parsons, wrapping at 2 to 4ft around Middleton, picking up in the afternoon. Mid Coast: Up to 2 to 3ft. WIND: Light WNW, tending SW, SSW 15 to 20 knots later.

Early Spring will look more like winter as a heavy round of SW groundswell starts moving in across the state on Sunday/ Monday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Bad_Dog.

Early Spring will look more like winter as a heavy round of SW groundswell starts moving in across the state on Sunday/ Monday. Photo: Uploaded to CW by Bad_Dog.


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