Gee Ben, no offense mate, but I reckon you've undercooked the forecast for this Saturday/Sunday. 6-8ft is a little undercalled at south facing beaches on the Nth NSW coast IMO, particularly for later on Saturday afternoon, but even more so into Sunday morning. I would have thought it would be an easy 8ft+ at these locations (with potentially even bigger rogue sets), but in saying that, winds aren't going to allow anyone to actually surf at these locations anyway, so we won't actually know what surf was seen at these locations late on Saturday and into Sunday morning.
One things for certain....wave buoys will be off the richter scale.
Any sou-east swell for the Illawarra,or is going to be too south and cruise on north bypassing us?
wouldn't hold your breath redsands. We always get screwed over on south swells. given the low will be positioned roughly east of us the swell will be far larger on the hunter and further north. Also with the accompanying southerly gales you will likely have the choice of 4 foot sideshore cowries or cleaner but 2-3 foot reddies (with a grom INFESTATION around the high tide) on sunday. Saturday is unlikely to have much groundswell at all and will basically just be large southerly chop. My advice - turn up the electric blanket, sleep in and wait for the next east or north-east swell.
Don, you're calling 8ft+. I've got "Solid 6-8ft+ sets at south facing beaches". What's the difference? My forecast is hardly 'undercooking' it in comparison.
For what it's worth, at three and four days out (respectively) and with one more forecast to be issued before the swell hits, I'm playing it just a smidge conservative - and with the expected local winds (strong S'ly) it's hardly worth being pedantic about.
These lows are subject to considerable changes and 6-8ft+ is a good ball park figure for now. There's no point calling 10ft well in advance and then having to downgrade, or calling 5-6ft and then having to upgrade.
For example on Monday, another website forecast 3-4ft for Sydney on Friday but upgraded it yesterday to "6-8ft+ with bigger sets". That's a BIG change. In comparison, my Monday forecast for Sydney was "6ft+ at south facing beaches, possibly building further during the day", which I yesterday tweaked to be "4-6ft at south facing beaches, building to 6-8ft+ during the day". It's a much smaller change.
I'll only go right out on a limb if I'm super confident in the model data. And it's been pretty flukey of late (you even acknowledged this yourself a few days ago in another thread). As such, I feel comfortable with my numbers issued yesterday.
Fair enough Ben. Thanks for the reply. Just for clarity, my exact words were "I would have thought it would be an easy 8ft+ at these locations (with potentially even bigger rogue sets)", so IMO, that's bigger than 6-8ft+.
Also, I've noticed you guys do this a fair bit, but what exactly is a forecast when it says 6-8ft+ or 3-5ft for example. Is it 6ft, 8ft+, 3ft or 5ft. There's a big difference in forecast swell between 6ft and 8ft+ or 3ft and 5ft IMO.
Scoopmaster, GFS and Access models are now progging 30knots on the southwestern flank of the low aiming at NSW generally but not excluding the south coast, with a whopping 40 - 45 knots embedded in the core of the low. From my experience reading these maps, I would say that although it's going to be windy as heck from the South, The Illawarra will be getting plenty of this swell.
Don, it's all relative.
Firstly, we already have enough difficulty getting people to agree on specific wave heights as it is.
Secondly, during a surf session, set waves typically will come through in a range of sizes. The surf is not 'just 8ft', or 'just 4ft'. We've had this system in place for ten years on Swellnet (and for all of my personal surfing years prior to this): the notion of having a 'size range' to measure surf size is generally accepted amongst the surfing community as far as I am concerned.
Note: I will also point out that Swellnet reports and forecasts have generally small ranges.. ie only one foot up to 3ft, then two feet up to 12ft, then three feet up to 20ft. Other websites frequently publish forecasts such as "2-5ft", "3-6ft" or "6-10ft", which I feel is much to generous.
Thirdly, having small variations in the size allows the forecaster to better depict the trends in long term, near-linear swell events. Take for example the size ranges 3-4ft, 3-5ft and 4-5ft. If a forecaster predicted that the surf was 3-4ft one day, 3-5ft the next day and then 4-5ft the day after that, this would show a gradual increase in size over the three days but all within a similar size range.
Alternatively, a forecaster could just write "3-5ft" for each day and they'd be reasonably correct - but in my opinion it'd be a less useful forecast.
Does that answer your question?
Cheers scoopmaster,mate seriously I haven't been out at reddies or cowries since the 90's..I've had my time there and only use them as swell checks.I don't bother with them crowds.There's always something better elsewhere
For what it's worth - GFS has upgraded the primary fetch since yesterday's model runs. There's an impressive little captured fetch as a front slingshots around the low on Friday night/early Saturday (off the NSW South Coast). Depending on how the models trend by tomorrow morning there will probably be a minor upgrade in the size.
i'm not too different, myself and a mate were always the first guys out every swell at reddies between 2001 and about 2005 when crowds exploded and i could count on one hand the number of sessions i've had there since. There's really only a few reefs i even bother checking any more that have a realistic chance of decent waves with either none or a handful of guys out. Needless to say it's generally a couple of months between surfs for me now and about once a year i actually get a session i would describe as "enjoyable". The odds are quite high that at some stage in the next few years someone will find a lid,helmet,fins and wettie with a "free to good home" sign on them. edit - make that x2 assuming my mate leaves his as well
also looking at the BOM charts that have just updated i would agree on the slight upgrade to the fetch at 10pm saturday, though i would expect the swell to peak sunday night which won't do me any good as i'll be working monday (and tuesday wednesday thursday friday also) - just like every other week!
Thanks Ben. Let's just leave it with the fact we have differing opinions on both matters.
Scoopmaster we've all been at that stage.The ocean will always call you back.Reignite your passion by driving hiking and searching for that next place.There is still some spots the greater public don't know about.
Scoopie, I dare say the swell will be peaking Sat arvo, however Sunday will see more se in direction thus keeping plenty of size on tap in the southern sheltered spots.
Don are you saying you expect swellnet to give forecasts with just one wave size? So instead of calling it 3-5 ft, call it exactly 5 ft and no bigger or smaller??? When have you ever been for a surf when every set was exactly the same size?
GF, no I'm not expecting SN to give forecasts with just one wave size. My point is that there's a massive difference in surf between 3ft and 5ft, and IMO any punter can forecast a call of 3-5ft. If it's gonna be 4-5ft then call it. If it's gonna be 3-4ft then call it...don't sit on the fence and make a call each way and forecast 3-5ft.
I agree my previous comment on 6-8ft is probably a little harsh as once you get to these wave heights, one man's 6ft measurement is another man's 8ft measurement.
But at 3-5ft, that is almost double the size difference (from 3ft to 5ft). I just struggle with a forecast call of 3-5ft that's all.
Don, what do you think of this as a forecast?
"Large SW swell with plenty of double-triple overhead++ waves. Occasional larger sets up to 20â€™+ on the face."
"I just struggle with a forecast call of 3-5ft that's all." Maybe if you lived on a completely straight stretch of coastline where everywhere picks up exactly the same amount of swell then 3-5 ft might be too big a range. Name anywhere that's like that though??
OMG there is actually someone out at shark island. It's 3 foot and about a 70km/hr sideshore wind is turning it to mush. Please explain to me how i can get at all excited about checking the surf this weekend when you know that if anyone is desperate enough to be out there now - how many guys will be hovering around the few sheltered southern corners when the swell builds? They'll be like blowflies to a horse's a%$e!
Actually winds are now gusting 115km/hr (62kts) at Wattamolla, just south of Cronulla. Not a great day to be in the water!
Hey dw, you are sounding like a pke ( pedantic knob end) imo, just saying
The wind gauge blew away,its absolutely howling s/sw where I am at the moment.
Look out the hunter region there is some lumps on the way.
Sydney forecast updated (short notes at least). Initially big, but easing S'ly swell early Saturday with a larger rebuilding trend from the SE during the day.
The secondary fetch is quite impressive (developing in the Tasman tonight), working on a very active sea state and with a nice little hook into the coast. Should generate some 8-10ft+ sets at exposed spots on Saturday afternoon. Grading smaller south of about Wollongong though due to the fetch alignment.
And windy to buggery.
Y'know where'll be good from this swell? The Solomon Islands. New Caledonia. Even northern Vanuatu should pick up some energy. It's such a tight swell window but this system is lining up really well.
Crikey, that's one hell of an impressive Oscat return.
Anyone got any more info on this current front passing through with the low?
I tell ya right now in the Illawarra the winds are got to be blowing 40knots plus out of the west maybe more.At present it feels stronger than last weeks southerly.
And that's the problem Redsands, it's all west and not south.
This low will be a poor swell producer due to it moving too quickly to the east and not generating any major fetch within our south swell window through Sunday. Monday morning looks the best of it around Sydney, and it will be smaller on the South Coast.
Thanks for your reply Craig,right now it's dead calm.I'm right in the centre of it most likely.
Craig,what do you think of the projected synoptic map that's circulating for approximately this time next week?Long wave trough approaching?It looks to be a very broad area of sw gales coming our way!
There's a bit of a southerly burst there but again it looks like earlier next week will offer the best waves. Let's hope there's some quality around like this morning!
What swell size are we looking out for late next week (Thurs-Fri) around Bells?
Gbprophoto, that's a while away, especially with all the activity expected over the coming 4-5 days.
But in saying that a medium sized W/SW groundswell that should come in at 3-4ft or so in Torquay on Wednesday, will ease into Thursday from 3ft or so.
A new close-range SW swell (generated by a deepening low moving in from the Bight) is likely to build during the day Thursday and peak Friday morning probably keeping the swell ticking at 3-4ft or so.
This is just a rough guide this far out, but if you have the flexibility this Sunday/Monday are looking great!
I just thought you might like to know that i read a humorous forecast for 4-8ft Victor Harbour for tomorrow. (Obviously it was not on this site) A more accurate forecast may have been for 1-8ft Victor with 1 ft at Pines and possibly 8ft at Kings or Bullies! :)
Cheers for the heads up Mozzie, I see the Surf Coast forecast for tomorrow is "Potential for 2 to 5ft(+) on the Surf Coast"
Don in another thread questioned the use of 3-5ft, but those numbers above give you no help on where to surf and with what board..