2019 Christmas Wrap

Craig Brokensha
Swellnet Analysis

With all the extreme heat, fires, and smoke pre-occupying our thoughts it seems like Christmas has snuck up on us this year.

Come next Wednesday it'll be time to unwrap that fresh stick (if one's to be so lucky) and get it out into the salt.

So what's the outlook like around the country?

Let's start from the top, and Western Australia looks to be the pick of the country with a moderate to large swell and favourable winds.

A healthy frontal progression will develop around the Heard Island region this weekend and project a fetch of strong to gale-force W/SW winds towards Western Australia. This and a secondary smaller front will produce a moderate to large sized W/SW groundswell that'll build Christmas Day and likely reach 6-8ft later in the day across Margaret River (smaller 2-3ft Mandurah and 2ft in Perth late in the day). It'll be small and clean through the morning, though sea breezes will be howling once this swell kicks in.

The swell will ease a touch into Boxing Day but conditions should be clean again in the morning with offshore SE winds in the South West, E/NE around Perth and Mandurah.

Moving east to South Australia and Christmas morning should provide fun waves across the South Coast. The large S/SW groundswell seen in the days before will be on the way out, but conditions will clean up with a light morning E/NE breeze and easing sets from 2ft along Middleton, 2-3ft at Waits and Parsons.

Boxing Day will be tiny and with a strengthening onshore breeze across the South Coast. Meanwhile, it'll be tiny to flat on the Mid Coast, with beach cricket the best option.

Victoria isn't expected to offer much in the way of surf with the S/SW swell from earlier in the week being all but gone come Christmas morning. A weak south-east windswell is most likely with winds tending variable for a period, offering junky 2ft sets across the Surf Coast and Mornington Peninsula. Boxing Day looks tiny and onshore, a day better spent bagging the Kiwis at the G.

Tasmania also isn't expected to see much in the way of swell, with small leftovers from earlier in the week. Clifton may see a small 1-2ft wave on Christmas morning with an offshore breeze. Over on the East Coast, a touch more size is likely with easing 2ft to maybe 3ft sets across south swell magnets with strengthening N/NE winds. Boxing Day looks marginal with a small mix of swells to 1-2ft.

Looking north towards New South Wales, and there'll be a mix of easing S'ly swell from Tuesday to 2ft to possibly 3ft, but more locally, a weak surface trough moving up the coast will produce an additonal weak S/SE windswell for Christmas Day. Conditions look unfavourable for locations picking up any size with a fresh S'ly breeze, possibly swinging more east-northeast late in the day.

More variable breezes may be seen Boxing Day morning with the swell swinging more east in direction and coming in at 2ft to occasionally 3ft.

Northern NSW and South East Queensland are likely to see freshening SE winds and a building S/SE tending SE swell on Christmas Day, coming in around 3-4ft on Boxing Day as less than ideal S/SE winds persist. Try protected locations for a wave.

The Qld points will be tiny Christmas Day and most surfable on Boxing Day.

In summary:

WA - Good options Christmas and Boxing Day
SA - Best on Christmas morning on the South Coast
Vic - Generally poor
Tas - Fun across south swell magnets Christmas Day
Southern NSW - Best Boxing Day morning with a mix of weak swells and light winds
Northern NSW - Best Boxing Day in protected spots
SE QLD - Best Boxing Day in protected spots

For more detailed analysis, keep an eye on the Forecaster Notes for each region over the coming week.


crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 11:35am

A refracted S swell off a Polar low for Christmas for the MNC. Shits all out of wack.

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

Barrel Daithwaite's picture
Barrel Daithwaite's picture
Barrel Daithwaite commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 3:25pm

Have we had a downgrade since the forecasters notes from yesterday?

"At this stage, despite our surf model guidance suggesting only 2-3ft surf on Tuesday (and smaller surf from the south into Wednesday), I still think we’ll see a peak around 5-6ft range at south facing beaches, pushing 6-8ft at offshore bombies and other reliable south swell magnets, such as the Hunter. "

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 3:37pm

Wednesday will be well and truly on the backside of the solid, long period (though very flukey) S'ly swell.

The next paragraph of the notes said "The timing for the biggest waves is (at this stage) expected from late Monday through Tuesday, before easing Wednesday onwards."

The event is still subject to change at this early stage. It's a huge, beast of a system, tucked in well and truly behind the Tasmanian swell shadow so we're going to see a wide variety of size along the coast.

Barrel Daithwaite's picture
Barrel Daithwaite's picture
Barrel Daithwaite commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 3:39pm

Gotcha, fingers crossed!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 3:40pm

As a forecaster, I think my fingers have been permenantly disfigured in a cross formation. 

Barrel Daithwaite's picture
Barrel Daithwaite's picture
Barrel Daithwaite commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 3:46pm


Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 3:47pm


mrkook's picture
mrkook's picture
mrkook commented Friday, 20 Dec 2019 at 11:03am

Hahaha that weight of expectation must have your cortisol levels chronically through the roof!


DThomas's picture
DThomas's picture
DThomas commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 4:34pm

3-5 pumping off shore lefts and rights .
we all wish.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2019 at 4:48pm

Oooohh....that weak 2ft wind swell sounds inviting !