thermalben

Extended run of favourable conditions

Western Australian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Thursday 13th May)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Easing size Fri/Sat, clean with E'ly winds
  • Inconsistent mix of new groundswells Sun, continuing offshore winds
  • Fun waves at exposed coasts for much of next week thanks to light winds
  • Decent pulse of swell later Wed/Thurs, then Sat

Recap

Developing southerly winds wiped out surf prospects on Wednesday, however today has seen an about-face with a large groundswell pushing 10ft in the Margs region, brushed clean with moderate to fresh E/SE winds. Wave heights have reached 3-4ft in Mandurah and 2-3ft across Perth’s metro beaches, with similar clean conditions (but limited surf options thanks to a distinct lack of banks).

Margs this afternoon

Speccy backwash at Medge

This week and weekend (May 13 - 16)

Today’s large swell will slowly ease through Thursday though early morning should still be large, somewhere between 6ft and maybe 6-8ft at exposed Margs breaks, abating to 4-6ft through the day. We’ll see smaller surf racing across metro coasts, around 2ft in Perth and 3ft in Mandurah through the morning (smaller later).

A high pressure system to the south of the state and a deepening trough well east of WA will maintain moderate to fresh E’ly winds across the region. So, conditions are looking to remain excellent.

The weekend will maintain clean conditions for all of Saturday, and early Sunday though the weakening remnants of the Indian Ocean trough - which will move slowly west over the coming days - will swing the wind to the north at some point on Sunday. No major strength is expected however it does need to be factored in. 

As for surf, Saturday will see a continual easing trend from Friday (say, 4-5ft Margs, 1ft Perth, 2ft Mandurah) but Sunday as a series of new long period groundswell that’ll boost wave heights through the day. 

As mentioned on Tuesday, these swells have originated from two sources - a deep polar low below South Africa earlier this week, and a second low deepening near Heard Island today. The latter was expected to be responsible for the most size, but the latest model runs have pulled back its strength so I’m marginally pulling back my expectations for Sunday, with wave heights expected to reach an inconsistent 5-6ft across the Margs region. 

There won’t be much on offer across the metro beaches, maybe some stray 2ft+ sets across the Mandurah region and a slow 1-2ft in Perth.

Next week (May 17 onwards)

The latest model guidance has throttled back the storm track for next week, suggesting a slow week of moderate groundswells across the region but fortunately very little in the way of local synoptic wind. This means we’ll see clean conditions most days.

For the most part, wave heights should hover in the 4ft range at exposed beaches, though Wednesday is likely to build towards 5-6ft into the afternoon (easing Thursday), from a reasonable frontal sequence pushing east of Heard Island over the weekend - but it’s not looking as good as it was a few days ago. Surf size will remain small across metro coasts for a while.

The next groundswell event is pegged for the following Saturday but I’ll have more on that in the next forecast update (Saturday). 

Comments

greyhound's picture
greyhound's picture
greyhound Thursday, 13 May 2021 at 6:58pm

So not good for rotto.?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 13 May 2021 at 7:09pm

Conditions look good for the first two days at least, but there won't be a lot of size. Not familiar with how Strickos works under different size/period/direction combos but ball park for Sunday would have to be an inconsistent 3-5ft I suppose. Smaller Monday. Nothing of any size on the horizon either.

kip's picture
kip's picture
kip Thursday, 13 May 2021 at 7:56pm

For someone unfamiliar with Strickos, I reckon you are bang on! Saw a couple of pros or semi pros warming up the other day and a few big airs hucked on the right.

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug Thursday, 13 May 2021 at 8:26pm

Minor typo in recap Ben, "brushed clean with moderate to fresh W/SW winds" thanks anyway for the report

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 13 May 2021 at 8:31pm

Argh! Good pickup. Fixed.

nicko74's picture
nicko74's picture
nicko74 Friday, 14 May 2021 at 7:35am

Probs why many pros are still hanging around margies atm. Make the most of it boys! Strickos does struggle if it’s under 2 meters . Thanks for keeping us updated in the west Ben.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Friday, 14 May 2021 at 8:51am

Is that par for the island regarding swell, or does for example, Rotto Box, work a bit better? Do they have the option of other spots?

sandcrab's picture
sandcrab's picture
sandcrab Friday, 14 May 2021 at 9:29am

Environmental constraints locks pros into stricko only venue and thus surfing dribbly onshore when the run of southeast winds blows out the majority of the contest window. Meanwhile 2km away groomed offshore waves go unridden.

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka Friday, 14 May 2021 at 12:17pm

Looks like they might get some contestable waves Sun/Mon maybe Tue morn but looks like they'll mainly get skunked which is awesome, the circus won't be back in a hurry...hooray to that!

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 14 May 2021 at 12:48pm

Jake Patterson mentioned Stark Bay was an option.

nicko74's picture
nicko74's picture
nicko74 Friday, 14 May 2021 at 12:54pm

Rotto box is a far cry from the perfection and make ability of his big brother down south .

slmoore's picture
slmoore's picture
slmoore Friday, 14 May 2021 at 5:03pm

Quick question - why does the "Surf Forecast Swell Train Analysis" always read a meter or 2 higher than actual heights from the Cape Nat Swell Buoy, I understand it is a forecast but it is consistently forecasting a significantly higher swell ? Cheers Cam

Timmy5656's picture
Timmy5656's picture
Timmy5656 Friday, 14 May 2021 at 5:48pm

They add the swell and seas together .

slmoore's picture
slmoore's picture
slmoore Friday, 14 May 2021 at 5:05pm

the forecaster notes are mostly spot on though :)

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek Saturday, 15 May 2021 at 8:04am

CT surfers first look at Strickland Bay:

bashl's picture
bashl's picture
bashl Saturday, 15 May 2021 at 8:47am

Give me thd boardriders battle instead

greyhound's picture
greyhound's picture
greyhound Saturday, 15 May 2021 at 9:27am

I Can’t believe they’re having it there.. it’s gonna be painful..

Moored's picture
Moored's picture
Moored Saturday, 15 May 2021 at 10:37am

That footage is a pretty average day for Strickos, if it was taken over the past few days it would’ve been in 20-30kn cross/offshore winds too. Does get waaaayyyyy better but it’s no Bells or Snapper. Still better than the majority of the comps they’ve had at Brazil though.

Daveharro's picture
Daveharro's picture
Daveharro Saturday, 15 May 2021 at 11:37am

Yep I’d say Sunday n Wed this week would b the only ok/decent days, bit better that the conditions above if wind goes N and swell looks like bigger period there will b more lefts and the tides look good. It is 18km out to sea so does pick up lots of swell but only the right is any good at head high. I’d say the 2nd week of the waiting period, it is May madness so could get a lot better. Even if onshore big it’s a sick wave.