Conditions improved for surfers this week and look good until Sunday but it's been choppy in the water for swimmers.
Happy New Year everyone! I trust that we have all woken up this morning feeling great, feeling bright and feeling fit.
It has been a bit of a mixed week of weather since the Christmas long weekend, with a very wet day on Wednesday and those gusty E/SE winds really kicking in through Wednesday and Thursday, which have whipped up some quite messy seas.
Looking ahead to the New Year’s long weekend and it does appear that while the windy conditions will persist through today and again tomorrow, they will gradually start to ease by Sunday and into Monday (just in time for most people to go back to work unfortunately).
Showers are again possible through today and maybe just the odd one through tomorrow before the blue skies start to overtake the overcast skies later in the weekend.
Today’s winds will again be from the E/SE at 15 to 20 knots, with gusts up to 25 knots likely through the afternoon.
Tomorrow will be very similar with 15 to 20 knots of E/SE winds forecast, before Sunday brings 10 to 15 knots of E/SE winds.
Today and tomorrow are expected to be quite similar too unfortunately, particularly on those more open and exposed beaches, with a side current pushing from right to left and some rip currents also forming during the outgoing tide.
The good news for swimmers is that these conditions will gradually ease across the weekend, with Sunday likely to provide slightly better conditions and then by Monday the ocean should really start to calm down.
With all of this in mind, the best time for a swim over the coming days will be in the very early mornings before the wind gets too strong, or around mid to late morning while the tide is high.
The best beaches for swimmers over the coming days will be Hervey Bay, Agnes Water (southern corner), Nielson Park and Moore Park Beach.
Please check with the lifeguard or lifesavers on duty, read any safety signage or messages.
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: Weekdays (non-public holidays) – 8am to 6pm at Kellys Beach, Nielson Park and Agnes Water; 9am to 5pm at Elliott Heads, Oaks Beach and Moore Park Beach plus a roving lifeguard operating in the Bundaberg Region
Early morning RWC surveillance patrols are also operating each morning around the Bargara and Mon Repos areas, with times of operation being from 6am to 8am or 9am, depending on the day of the week.
Wave heights improved this week
SURFING: The surf conditions and wave heights really started to improve quickly over the past 24 hours, with plenty of moderate-sized waves being found across all local beaches, but they have been quite wind affected.
These fun-sized waves should persist at least through today and into tomorrow, before they start to ease quickly by Sunday and into early next week.
For the best conditions hit the local beaches in the early mornings and through until around mid to late morning, with the best local options being Mon Repos, Nielson Park and Moore Park Beach.
And of course, wave heights will be slightly bigger up at Agnes Water if you are up for battling the holiday crowds. Good luck!
For the SUP and ocean ski/kayak paddlers, the choppy and messy ocean conditions are certainly not going to provide calm and gentle conditions for you, unless you wait until Monday.
So until then, the protected waterways, creeks and rivers will be the better options for those less-experienced paddlers.
However, for those that like to chase the downwind ocean conditions and swell, you will have plenty of fun through today and tomorrow if you are up for a south to north run.
EOn behalf of the local volunteer surf lifesavers and SLSQ paid lifeguards, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very safe and happy new year.