Stormy XL swell peaking late on Saturday

Guy Dixon picture
Guy Dixon (Guy Dixon)

West Australian Surf Forecast by Guy Dixon (issued Friday 20th May)

Best Days: Wednesday.


Finally some clean options across the South West with good looking sets in the 5-6ft range on Thursday morning, easing to the 3-5ft range today. Perth and Mandurah offered clean 2ft peaks on Thursday, easing to the 1-2ft range today.

Offshore breezes persisted on Thursday allowing for generally workable options, less so today with conditions becoming bumpy under an increasing north/northwesterly breeze. 

This weekend (Saturday 21st - Sunday 22nd):

A frontal progression pushing up through the WA swell window over the past few days has been steering a southwesterly fetch in a captured motion towards the South West, with increasing intensity and consolidation.

Coupled with very strong northwesterly tending west/southwesterly winds (Bureau of Meteorology is warning for destructive wind gusts up to 125km/h), the surf is likely to build to a solid 12-15ft across the South West on Saturday, with 3-4ft options along the metro beaches.

A proportion of this energy will be short range windswell as these fetches look to push right into the coast. It’s safe to say that quality will be negligible, not to mention the brown water with 50mm of rain falling and abnormally high tides.

This swell is due to peak late on Saturday, easing slowly throughout Sunday, with southwesterly energy from elongated trailing fetches slowing the easing trend. Sets should still be solid on Sunday morning, in the 10ft range, easing throughout the day.

Perth and Mandurah can expect sets to gradually ease from a choppy 3-4ft throughout the day.

Don’t get your hopes up for a clean wave though. Gusty westerly breezes look to persist over the South West, more so southwesterly tending westerly for Perth.

Next week (23rd onward):

Conditions will settle further into Monday in terms of swell, although breezes will continue to be an issue. The surf should ease from around 6-8ft across the South West on Monday, and around 2-3ft for Perth and Mandurah, hindered by a gusty and persistent northwesterly breeze ahead of the next front, less so for the metro stretch.

A second southwesterly captured fetch is due to push up from the deep south, somewhere south of Heard Island. The latest model runs show this system making a bee line for southwest WA with 30-40kt winds and good alignment.

Mid range energy whipped up by pre-frontal northwesterly fetches look to make landfall first, from mid-morning on Tuesday, followed by stronger southwesterly groundswell which should build to around 8-10ft across the South West and around 3ft for Perth.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but quality will be hard to come by on Tuesday as the South West looks to be under a strong southwesterly airflow (comparable to Saturday) with Perth seeing a period of strong northwesterlies before tending southwesterly.

Wednesday will be the next best chance for a wave with an easing swell and lighter winds. Perth and Mandurah should see light variable winds early, tending light/moderate west/southwesterly. The South West won’t be as fortunate under a light onshore breeze all day.


caml's picture
caml's picture
caml Sunday, 22 May 2016 at 5:13pm

Six metre swells in WA and its been a relentless run of fronts & swells . Is the lwt responsible again ?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 22 May 2016 at 5:34pm

Well, the LWT is obviously responsible but what's driving that? This is where the discussion gets fruity (and very interesting).

caml's picture
caml's picture
caml Sunday, 22 May 2016 at 5:51pm

Yeah ben im astonisted theres been no discussion about this lately has there ?

southey's picture
southey's picture
southey Sunday, 22 May 2016 at 7:42pm

SAM index has had a sustained run . Will be NSW and QLD's turn soon .

Guy Dixon's picture
Guy Dixon's picture
Guy Dixon Monday, 23 May 2016 at 5:27pm

Bit windy...

caml's picture
caml's picture
caml Monday, 23 May 2016 at 7:30pm

Well thats some oversized buoy readings in wa , and another one on the way . Why has this lwt information been with held ? Isn't swellnet supposed to inform us of this sort of stuff

Guy Dixon's picture
Guy Dixon's picture
Guy Dixon Monday, 23 May 2016 at 9:16pm

Yeah you're right caml, it's worth touching on this. LWT trough well and truely active over the region, with a strong node intensifying in the coming 48hrs or so, becoming less pronouced thereafter.

Some model grabs for you.

caml's picture
caml's picture
caml Monday, 23 May 2016 at 10:38pm

Now that is the lwt thanks guy , it must have been around for a week or two already hey ? Thats a good run for the indo & nw at moment ? Cheers guy