Weekend Surf Forecast January 31- 2 February 2020
COASTALWATCH | WEEKEND SURF FORECAST
The month of February arrives with little surfing fanfare this year, but there are still plenty of waves to be had just about everywhere you look. The East Coast in particular isn’t shaping up as a bad place to be. Across Sydney, Newcastle and locations south an upswing in NE windswell sees good beach-break conditions on tap all weekend. Further north, southern Queensland and northern NSW coasts receive a modest uptick in easterly tradewind swell that should hit the 3ft mark throughout Sunday, before gradually tapering off again early to mid-next week.
Further south, both Victoria and South Australia see pretty lacklustre surfing options; owing to a combination of predominant onshore winds and low-levels of WSW and SW swell. It’s only over west that conditions will light up, at least during the morning hours. The Southwest sees a pattern of early offshore ESE winds greeting a slow declining SW swell, opening up solid, clean options across exposed coasts both on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
Our north-east swell-tap is about to be turned back on. Admittedly, it’s not looking as sizeable as it was earlier in the week – but there will still be plenty of waves; peaking in the vicinity of 3 to 4ft those select exposed spots focussing the NE swell, while grading a foot or so smaller along the majority of open stretches. Saturday sees northerly winds limiting the cleanest options to semi-sheltered northern corners, preceding the arrival of a southerly change across the region early on Sunday; turning the focus about face to the more north facing spots and sheltered southern corners all day.
Renewed NE windswell picks up. Weak sets around 2ft+ across the more exposed beaches, building towards 2 to 3ft+ in the afternoon/ evening. Mixing with background South swell at lower levels elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Northerly, NNE 10 to 15 knots, tending NE 20 to 25 knots in the afternoon, up to 30 knots in the evening.
Energetic NE windswell holds around the3 to 4ft mark across the more exposed open beaches, initially easing, before rebuilding in the late afternoon/ evening. More like 2 to 3ft+ along less exposed areas with size depending on exposure. WIND: Northerly 10 to 15 knots early, tending NNE and freshening during the day, then NE 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon.
Continued NE swell, easing as short-period SSE windswell picks up into the afternoon. Ranging from 3 to 4ft across the more exposed beaches early, gradually easing as short-range SSE windswell picks up to a junky 2ft across southern exposures in the late afternoon. WIND: Light WNW early, shifting Southerly, SSE 15 to 20 knots in the morning, tending SE and easing later.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
A gradual uptick in easterly tradewind swell sees surf prospects improving by small increments over the next few days. Friday morning is likely to see a low-point in wave-energy, preceding a modest building trend setting in from there. That’s anticipated to culminate in pretty consistent 2 to 3ft surf across the region into Saturday afternoon and throughout Sunday, with early light winds opening up reasonably clean conditions, before north to north-easterly winds gradually erode surface quality through the afternoons.
Slight, short period ENE tradewind gradually picks up. Ranging from 1 to 2ft across exposed open beaches, up to 2ft later. mixing with background South swell at similar levels across northern NSW coasts. Otherwise grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Variable SW to SSW 5 knots early, tending Easterly 10 to 15 during the morning, then ENE to NE and freshening to 10 to 20 knots south of the border in the arvo.
Scope for rejuvenated ENE windswell around 2ft+ across exposed breaks, otherwise grading smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Possibly light and variable inshore early, otherwise NE 5 to 10 knots, freshening to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.
Consistent East tradewind swell. Slightly stronger 2 to 3ft sets across exposed breaks, grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early NNW, tending Northerly 5 to 15 knots, then NNE and freshening to 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon, up to 15 to 25 knots south of the border.
The best of the surf has come and gone across Victorian coasts this week – and it’s pretty clear there won’t be a whole lot leftover for the weekend. Friday sees diminishing SW swell offering up small, clean waves across the most exposed Victorian coasts – and it will increasingly become a case of the more exposed the better as the swell continues to fade into the afternoon. That leaves Saturday as a virtual lay-day across the state, as an early SW change coincides with slight WSW swell to produce junky 1 to 2ft surf across exposed beaches. Sunday then sees a renewed building trend in short period WSW swell and onshore winds producing another day of sub-par surfing options throughout the day.
Slight WSW swell with favourable northerly winds. Exposed Beaches: Slower sets around 2 to 3ft, fading in the afternoon. Surf Coast: Sets wrapping at 1 to 2ft on the reefs, otherwise smaller elsewhere with size depending on exposure. WIND: Northerly, NNE 10 to 15 knots, tending NW ahead of a Southerly shift in the late afternoon/ evening.
Slight WSW swell and deteriorating conditions. Exposed beaches: Mostly 1 to 2ft sets. Surf Coast: Clean, slow 1ft sets on the reefs, tiny to near flat elsewhere. WIND: Early NNW to NNE 10 to 15 knots, turning west ahead of a SW to SSW change 15 to 20 knots during the morning.
Scope for rising WSW windswell and west to SW winds. Exposed beaches: Junky 2 to 3ft early, building towards 3 to 4ft+ in the afternoon/ evening. Surf Coast: Negligible 1ft+ early, picking up to a slow 2ft+ on exposed reefs in the afternoon/ evening. WIND: Westerly 5 to 15 knots tending WSW to SW 15 to 20 knots in the arvo.
With the exception of Friday, the early morning hours will be dishing up some pretty appealing surfing conditions this weekend. A new round of SW swell arriving on Friday will slowly abate over the course of Saturday and Sunday, opening up clean conditions across exposed open areas on both mornings – and it’s worth milking it for all its worth before the swell drops out to very low levels early next week.
Scope for new SW groundswell and early cross-shore winds. South West: 3 to 5ft sets across exposed breaks, easing throughout the afternoon. Perth: settled smaller 0.5 to 1ft. WIND: Southerly 5 to 15 knots, tending SSW to SW in the morning.
SW groundswell gradually eases. South West: Ranging from 3 to 4ft+ across exposed coasts, grading smaller inside bays and points and dropping a notch in the arvo. Perth: 1ft+ exposed beaches. WIND: Early SE tending ESE 5 to 15 knots early, tending Southerly and freshening to 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
Leftover SSW swell slowly fades under early offshore ESE to SE winds. South West: Ranging from 2 to 3ft+ across exposed breaks, inconsistent in the upper range and fading later. Perth: 0.5 to 1ft on open areas. WIND: ESE 10 to 20 knots, tending SSE and freshening in the arvo.
There isn’t a whole lot to hang your surfing hat on in the forecast this weekend. Predominant onshore SW winds and mostly small-scale SW swell offer up the bare minimum of surfing options, so it could be worth planning for alternative activities.
Residual SW swell dwindles throughout the day. South Coast: Slow 2ft sets at Waits and Parsons. Wrapping at 1ft+ or so along Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: Virtually flat. WIND: NNW 10 to 15 knots, tending NW, then turning West to SW in the afternoon.
Slight SW swell bottoms out. South Coast: Slow 1 to 2ft around Waits and Parsons, grading 0.5 to 1ft from Middleton to Goolwa. Mid Coast: Virtually flat. WIND: Early lighter WNW 5 to 10 knots inshore, shifting SSW 15 to 20 knots in the early morning.
New SW swell gradually picks up. South Coast: Slow 2 to 3ft at Waits and Parsons, building to 3 to 4ft. Around 1 to 2ft from Middleton to Goolwa, rising to 2 to 3ft in the afternoon. Mid Coast: Around 0.5ft. WIND: Early Westerly inshore, otherwise SW 10 to 20 knots, tending SSW and freshening in the afternoon.
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