J'Bay Open early forecast

Craig Brokensha
Swellnet Dispatch

On the 9th of July (local time) the event that marks the halfway point of the CT season begins. Five events have so far been completed, and after the Corona Open J'Bay - which begins next Tuesday - there'll be five events to go.

J'Bay is one of the most anticipated stops on tour, for surfers and fans alike, and the early outlook is so-so with the first half of the waiting period expected to see mid-period groundswells with favourable winds.

J'Bay performs best on swells out of the south-west to south-southwest, and similar to the Victorian Surf Coast, the more west in the swell, the less size will wrap into the point. 

Winds are offshore from the west-northwest to south-south west which coincides with the best swell-generating systems, which are strong cold fronts pushing up and across the south of South Africa.

The ideal set up is when the Long Wave Trough (LWT) is positioned just east of South Africa, projecting strong polar storms up and across the south-east corner of the country - see image below. That pattern makes for swells oriented more out of the south so they retain much of their size as the reach the bay.

This is expected to be the case at the start of the waiting period, but it will quickly move off to the east followed up an upper ridge which isn't ideal, steering the storms more into the Indian Ocean. We'll see a flurry of cold fronts projected past South Africa just before the waiting period, though weakening once the event kicks off.

As a result the opening week looks mediocre with small swells and favourable morning offshore winds ahead of afternoon sea breezes.

On the opening day (Tuesday), a new mid-period W/SW swell should offer 2-3 ft waves, while a building mid-period swell on Wednesday should offer a touch more size, say 3-4ft through the afternoon. It'll ease through Thursday from a similar size.

Following this, weaker and unfavourably aligned storms will only produce small mid-period S/SW swells into the end of the week and weekend, however the longer term outlook is more positive.

While it's a long way out, model indications are that we'll see a flurry of stronger cold fronts pushing into South Africa during the second half of the waiting period.

We'll keep a close eye on this and provide another updated article. Till then, stay tuned to the comments below.

Comments

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 5 Jul 2019 at 3:18pm

This one is going to be real interesting now John John is out.

Hopefully we get some solid J-bay and tubes and Kelly gets a good result to keep him in the running for the almost impossible dream of a 12th world tittle.

Chris Burnup's picture
Chris Burnup's picture
Chris Burnup commented Monday, 8 Jul 2019 at 9:49am

Hells Yeah!!! Go the Goat!!!!

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 5 Jul 2019 at 4:09pm

Don't discount a straight south or south east swell either. Supers become really really hollow.

Fantastic wave.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 5 Jul 2019 at 4:41pm

Yep, for sure!

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 5 Jul 2019 at 5:40pm

[im

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 5 Jul 2019 at 5:48pm

Craig I'm confused about this forecast.

First you said : "J'Bay is one of the most anticipated stops on tour, for surfers and fans alike, and the early outlook is positive with the first half of the waiting period expected to see good groundswells and decent winds."

Then you said: "As a result the opening week looks mediocre with small swells and favourable morning offshore winds ahead of afternoon sea breezes".

???
Is it positive or mediocre?

eel's picture
eel's picture
eel commented Friday, 5 Jul 2019 at 7:55pm

Yep, that confused me too.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 5 Jul 2019 at 9:52pm

Ah sorry, yeah the outlook was initially decent but slowly drifted away from this and is now mediocre until the possible second half of the period. There'll be small contestable waves but not pumping J-Bay. I've amended.

Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon commented Tuesday, 9 Jul 2019 at 5:43pm

Yep sadly this is true.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Saturday, 6 Jul 2019 at 7:08am

cheers bru.

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Saturday, 6 Jul 2019 at 9:52am

Well that'll suck then.

I am really hoping to see the girls and boys get pitted till tha cows come home. Er the lions I meant :)

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 8 Jul 2019 at 8:02am

Reckon they will pull the trigger tomorrow Craig?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 8 Jul 2019 at 8:08am

I reckon they will, real west but hopefully around 3ft or so.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 9 Jul 2019 at 12:58pm

The swell for the end of the week is looking better. We're looking at a building SW groundswell Friday, easing Saturday with generally favourable winds.

Size wise we're looking at building surf to 6ft into the afternoon, easing from 5-6ft on Saturday. A reinforcing pulse is on the cards for Sunday afternoon, building back to 3-4ft.

Following this there is plenty more swell showing on the charts for next week with generally favourable winds.

FreddyWaters's picture
FreddyWaters's picture
FreddyWaters commented Tuesday, 9 Jul 2019 at 2:57pm

phew.... wasn't looking forward to a spin show in junky 3ft shit