In this week's beach report, Craig Holden says northerly winds will make conditions choppy for swimmers and surfers but there may be windows of opportunity.
Important note: Remember there are updated COVID-19 restrictions. If you are at the beach, please maintain the social/physical distancing minimum guidelines and abide by the current group gathering guidelines as well.
Weather: Well it has been another warm and windy week across the local region, and just to rub things in, the forecast is for even warmer temperatures and windier conditions across the weekend, which is not great news for beachgoers.
Temperatures will climb into the early 30s from Friday onwards, peaking on Sunday at around 34 degrees, so please ensure you slip, slop, slap and wrap across the coming days.
The winds swung back from the north on Thursday and this will be the general direction for at least the next three or four days with very windy conditions expected on Saturday in particular.
Winds on Friday will be from the N/NW at 10-15 knots in the morning and then increasing to 15-20 knots through the afternoon, before Saturday morning brings 15-20 knots of N/NW winds that will then increase to 20-25 knots (and possibly stronger still) through Saturday afternoon.
Sunday will bring a very slight decrease, but still winds will generally blow at 10-15 knots up to 15-20 knots from the N/NW once again.
Swimming: Swimming conditions are going to be quite messy and choppy from Friday onwards and particularly so on those beaches that face in more of a northerly direction, meaning that are fully exposed to the prevailing winds, and they will only get worse across the weekend.
If you are swimming, my suggestion would be to head to beaches that are going to provide some protection from the prevailing winds, so Kellys Beach and Elliott Heads will certainly be the better options, whilst the best time for a swim will be from early to mid-morning.
The morning high tide heights are increasing over the coming days as well, so please be mindful of this if swimming.
There will be strong tidal currents around the creek and river mouths during the run-out stage of the tide, as well as a strong side sweep pushing from left to right along those open and exposed beaches.
Also, just to rub it in, there will be an increased chance of bluebottles being present on local beaches due to the wind direction.
Please check with the lifeguard or lifesavers on duty, read any safety signage or messages, and most importantly please swim only at patrolled beaches, only between the red and yellow flags, and only during patrol times. Remember, if we can’t see you, we can’t save you!
Beach Patrols: Friday and weekdays – 9am to 5pm at Kellys Beach and Agnes Water only.
Saturday – 9am to 5pm at Kellys Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach and Agnes Water; 1pm to 5pm at Elliott Heads and Moore Park Beach.
Sunday – 9am to 5pm at Elliott Heads, Kellys Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach, Moore Park Beach and Agnes Water.
Surfing: Not much has been happening on our local beaches this week in terms of quality surf conditions, although there have been a few small windows of opportunity here and there to grab a small wave.
On Friday and the weekend, things are certainly not looking any better.
The dreaded northerly winds have returned and will only get stronger through Friday and into Saturday, so choppy and messy conditions will be prevalent across most of the preferred surf locations.
But, staying positive, keep an eye out at locations such as Kellys Beach, Elliott Heads and even Innes Park over the weekend as they may throw up a small, clean wave through the early mornings or even late afternoons across the weekend. Good luck.
For the SUP and ocean ski/kayak paddlers, the windy conditions are going to create very messy and choppy conditions offshore, so downwind paddling conditions will certainly be ideal for those more experienced paddlers – and obviously you will be wanting to be paddling in a north to south direction too!
For the lesser experienced paddlers, you will find some calmer conditions inshore around Kellys Beach and Elliott Heads in the mornings, but if not, stick to the sheltered creeks and rivers.
- Last week's report: Mixed swimming conditions at local beaches