Margaret River Pro: Long range forecast

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

After the Championship Tour’s FIFO visit to Bali, the workers will shortly return to the mines of WA - specifically Southwest WA, where the long-running Margaret River Pro copped a late start date owing to last year’s shark scare.

Locals scoffed as the new waiting period may sidestep shark season but it’s now running deeper into winter - the windy season. Will the move backfire?

To date, WA’s southwest has had a good autumn with long runs of offshore wind and the odd mid-range swell, a pattern that, at least from this vantage point, looks set to continue into the waiting period.

The first day of the waiting period - Wednesday the 29th May - will offer relatively short period waves in the head high range under freshening NE winds. An unremarkable day with pleasant conditions that the organisers may choose to kick off in.

The next day, Thursday, will again see settled conditions with even smaller swell early in the morning, however, and this is all a matter of timing, a new long-period west-southwest groundswell will quickly build to 6ft by late afternoon. Strengthening northerly winds may spoil the picture.

The source of this swell will be a low coiling up around the Kerguelen Islands, three days prior on Sunday 26th May - sending swell towards Indonesia and Western Australia. It’ll strike the southwest on the afternoon of Thursday the 30th from the west-southwest, peaking Friday with follow up swells expected Saturday and Sunday from back to back frontal systems spawning off the original low and projecting closer towards Western Australia under the influence of a strong and pronounced node of the Long Wave Trough - see image below.

Unfortunately, Friday's swell will arrive with a bit of wind from the north again and looks to be a write off even with 6-8ft of groundswell. By Saturday, however, a high slips in over Western Australia funnelling offshore winds into the region; first east, then NE edging northerly.

Saturday looks biggest at this stage as the second swell fills in, providing 10ft surf on the coast with an easterly offshore, freshening from the north-east into the afternoon. A great day at the marquee breaks, not to mention the Margs carpark marquee filled with weekend crowds.

Sunday will see more of the same, albeit with a tapering swell and a wind edging towards the NE. If the day pans out as predicted there’s a good chance of the Box - 8ft waves from the WSW, light NE wind.

The next three days see slowly easing swell with persistent winds from the NE to north, after which we’ll see another break in swell and weather. At that point they’ll be halfway into the waiting period, a week that continues an unremarkable autumn.

The second half of the waiting period is too far out but there’s indications of continued swell activity from the west, but we’ll update the forecast along the way.

Swellnet's Margaret River Forecast

Comments

peabo's picture
peabo's picture
peabo commented Friday, 24 May 2019 at 10:16am

Does a few weeks later really make the much difference to shark presence? Had no idea.

Gazman82's picture
Gazman82's picture
Gazman82 commented Friday, 24 May 2019 at 11:15am

Not really.. they're always there.. year round. If it's not whale migration, it's salmon season.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Friday, 24 May 2019 at 12:10pm

They should tow a dead whale 10km off the coast for the week of the contest. Distract em and fill em up so medina does not look so tasty.

Frogg

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova commented Friday, 24 May 2019 at 12:23pm

Tow Medina out on the whale.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Friday, 24 May 2019 at 1:33pm

Perfect!

cregan's picture
cregan's picture
cregan commented Saturday, 25 May 2019 at 2:45pm

Haha, I lolzd

Beagle's picture
Beagle's picture
Beagle commented Saturday, 25 May 2019 at 5:25pm

Nah, strap Phil T’s old man to it!

evosurfer's picture
evosurfer's picture
evosurfer commented Friday, 24 May 2019 at 4:22pm

That's so funny about the sharks does that mean if you bring Jeffrys Bay
2 weeks earlier they wont have a shark problem.
Does anyone actually believe this hogwash its blatantly as bad as
the judging.

IF im not surfing im racing

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Friday, 24 May 2019 at 8:58pm

I’d say 85% of the tour would be stoked to be heading west! Who wouldn’t? You know you’ll get swell and I’m sure they do it in style out of the water

Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green commented Friday, 24 May 2019 at 9:21pm

The shark alarms in Cowaramup Bay have been set off by tagged sharks almost everyday for the last two weeks. My friend in The Bay reckons it was going off all day long today. The drumlines have been totally ripped out of their location several times.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Saturday, 25 May 2019 at 7:47am

I spent six months over there in 97. I can't remember anyone talking about sharks back then. I certainly didn't see any. Is the shark problem a relatively recent issue?

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Saturday, 25 May 2019 at 5:35pm

90's were great. Incredible waves and none of the dread. Late 90's, you began to hear rumours of drive-bys. 2000 with the attack in North Cott the whole coast seemed to change.

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Saturday, 25 May 2019 at 8:02pm

I was there at north cott that day. Two doctors on the scene could not save him.

kookfactor's picture
kookfactor's picture
kookfactor commented Sunday, 26 May 2019 at 12:18am

Saw Jules this morning at the park in Gnarabup, looked chilled doing the family thing with wife and kid. Wished him luck hope he does well here.Been pumping since Easter but next week looks a lil sketchy with winds swinging NW...might be cutting it fine for consistent but the odd day should deliver blue gold.

Numbatt's picture
Numbatt's picture
Numbatt commented Sunday, 26 May 2019 at 8:47am

Haven’t surfed much this year, however the Misso has been in heaven. Hoping for a consistent run of big swell.

lukeyloo's picture
lukeyloo's picture
lukeyloo commented Sunday, 26 May 2019 at 1:46pm

In 1990 I spent 4 months in Margs after 3 months in the S.A desert .
I remember feeling quite safe in W.a after S.a .
Totally different story now.

louie

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Monday, 27 May 2019 at 4:49pm

Honestly i've never felt quite safe........that's the nature of surfing though. i did grow up surfing a beach with a "shark island" (not Cronulla) behind it.
A wave in my teenage years called shark alley.(beach had a fatal.) RIP
and numerous other waves encounters.

Some times i think about it ,sometimes i don't . Sharks haven't come around in the last twenty years they have been here for / since day dot........

i watched a documentary on the cull they did in wa a few years ago now.
they didn't catch one great white. plenty of others and a few tigers, no whites though.

i wish the surfers , safe surfing for the contest.
any whales washed up on the beach?

i feel they are more abundant now days though.

lukeyloo's picture
lukeyloo's picture
lukeyloo commented Monday, 27 May 2019 at 5:10pm

i grew up surfing in S.a and the Noah's were always in the back of your mind,
especially on the west coast.
i suppose it was a metal thing when i went to W.a ,there had been a lot of attacks in
S.a back then and hadn't heard of many in w.a ,
sure the Noah's were there as well .

louie

Feralkook's picture
Feralkook's picture
Feralkook commented Sunday, 26 May 2019 at 2:03pm

Put it back because of sharks, wow I would love to read the "Risk assessment" supporting that decision. First and only great white I ever saw was pushing an easy six meters, had a dorsal the size of a cubby house, parked itself in the wake of the ship I was on during a quarterdeck bbq and followed us for two days. I got the impression this animal was not so much there for a feed but was drafting in our wake. The most sharks I have seen was about twenty odd k off Bondi in 80 we dumped the breakfast leftovers into the shit chute on the stern which bought the fish round and next thing we know there were fins slamming round everywhere. Not huge sizes but big numbers indeed.

dannyz's picture
dannyz's picture
dannyz commented Tuesday, 28 May 2019 at 9:52am

thats insane!

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Sunday, 26 May 2019 at 4:03pm

Are Gabby and Italo going to surf now it's safer?

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

kookfactor's picture
kookfactor's picture
kookfactor commented Sunday, 26 May 2019 at 5:51pm

Gabe was out shredding mainbreak this morning, looked cool and smilin, lit up 4-5ft offshore peaks. So yes, JJF and Julian out but didn't see Italo there.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Monday, 27 May 2019 at 6:52am

Yep. Next weekend is shaping up to be looking like a couple of epic and very large offshore days. Yew!

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Monday, 27 May 2019 at 4:33pm

hoping for box and main break. Those ct surfers can't figure out north point.
Seabass jjf excluded.

kookfactor's picture
kookfactor's picture
kookfactor commented Monday, 27 May 2019 at 7:12pm

Box Saturday says KP from cbass this morning

channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom commented Monday, 27 May 2019 at 4:47pm

I like the Margs comp, especially if it's solid.

Like Bells earlier this year, it really proves who is prepared for big, powerful surf and who is committed to attacking the wave rather than surviving the wave.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 27 May 2019 at 5:02pm

The first day of the waiting period is looking better with a new S/SW groundswell due to fill in tomorrow arvo, and ease from 4-6ft Wednesday with favourable winds all day. They'll run.

The end of the week is suss, but Saturday is looking excellent with all day offshore winds and a large and easing W'ly groundswell from the 10ft range. Northerly winds will kill Sunday and it's funky into early next week, but Saturday should be great viewing.

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Monday, 27 May 2019 at 9:37pm

Dabox 6-8ft Saturday ?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 28 May 2019 at 6:50am

Yeah, more than likely. How does it do on a straighter westerly swell compared to south-west? A deeper longer barrel?

dannyz's picture
dannyz's picture
dannyz commented Tuesday, 28 May 2019 at 9:54am

no talk of North Point with the West direction??

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 28 May 2019 at 9:59am

Update coming, but needs winds from the east to south not north, Monday a runner..

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 28 May 2019 at 10:09am

Box tomorrow Craig?