Make the most of this weekend, next week is not looking pretty

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Guy Dixon (Guy Dixon)

West Australian Surf Forecast by Guy Dixon (issued Friday 14th August)

Best Days: Saturday and Sunday


The surf eased back to an inconsistent 3-5ft at exposed locations across the South West on Thursday afternoon, while Metro Beaches saw peaky conditions in the 2ft range under a light onshore flow. Today we have sen a slow increase in swell to around 4-5ft across the South West under a northerly breeze which is leading to workable, but not ideal conditions. Perth and Mandurah didn’t see much of this size with peaky surf in the 1-2ft range with light onshore/cross shore winds once again

This weekend (Saturday 15th - Sunday 16th):

The surf will continue to build overnight this evening with a secondary pulse of southwesterly ground swell to a peak of around 4-6ft generated by the trailing fetch of a frontal progression which moved across the Indian Ocean mid-week. The peak of this swell will most likely be masked by the cover of darkness, however Saturday morning is looking at surf in the 4-5ft range. The swell will fade throughout Saturday, however there is an almost indistinguishable pulse of swell which will slow this easing trend, keeping surf in the 4ft range by the late afternoon. The Perth stretch is only likely to see surf in the 1-2ft range, maybe a touch bigger across the Mandurah stretch, but nothing significant.

We can look forward to generally favourable winds all day on Saturday with light/moderate southeasterly winds first thing across the South West (lighter and more easterly down around Cape Leeuwin), easing and tending easterly in the afternoon. As for Metro Beaches, winds will be light/moderate northeasterly in the morning, tending light/calm easterly in the afternoon.

Sunday is looking like a fairly dormant day swell wise with just the left overs southwesterly ground swell continuing to fade. The South West is looking to ease back to around 3ft by the end of the day. The lack of fresh swell will allow surf to ease back to the 1ft range for Perth and Mandurah.

The best part of Sunday is also looking at easterly winds across the South West, before tending northeasterly and eventually north/northwesterly in the afternoon. The Perth stretch will start off under a light northeasterly flow, strengthening and tending northwesterly in the afternoon.

Next week (Monday 17th - Friday 21st):

As a whole, the working week is now looking more dormant than models had once suggested. The cut-off low which we have been monitoring is looking to develop further offshore, with a westerly fetch much smaller and weaker than models indicated originally. As a result, the South West is only expecting a slight amount of wind swell in the mix on Monday. A more dominant southwesterly ground swell generated by a southwesterly trailing fetch following a front should bump the surf from 3ft to around 4ft on Monday morning. Perth and Mandurah will likely miss out on a lot of the action, remaining in the 1-2ft range.

It’s no great loss anyway because fresh westerly winds right along the coast are going to spoil the opportunity for a decent wave. In fact, winds are going to remain onshore (although slightly lighter) throughout Tuesday, before strengthening and tending northwesterly with the passage of a second low pressure system crossing the South West on Wednesday.

These persistent and fresh/strong onshore winds will whip up a short range wind swell for Perth and Mandurah on Tuesday and Wednesday, but it’s of very little significance as conditions will be woeful

Thursday will see the tail end of the second system as it moves east and will continue to endure a fresh/strong south/southwesterly breeze across the South West and southwesterly for Perth.

Friday will finally see some respite from the wind. Despite remaining southwesterly and pretty average right along the coast, it’ll be significantly lighter, especially along the Metro Beaches with a window of opportunity in the morning. Expect a fair amount of wobble and scarring from the days of incessant winds.

In terms of surf, Friday is due to see a healthy kick on the period charts generated by a front moving east of Heard Island, but not a whole lot of size to the swell itself. The South West should see surf bump up into the 4-6ft range, while Perth and Mandurah receive 1-2ft peaks.

Further ahead:

The longterm out looks slightly more promising with models indicating a few healthy sized front to cross the Indian Ocean.