Craig Holden reports the wind will hang around for the next few days, leaving choppy conditions on local beaches to end the school holidays.
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, this past week has been the last full week of the Christmas school holidays and it started off with spectacular (but hot) weather for the first two days but it soon turned windy from Wednesday onwards and in turn, the ocean became quite choppy and messy as well.
Looking ahead to the next few days and it appears that the wind will hang around, although hopefully only at moderate strength, with the afternoons in particular, looking a little more windy.
Today’s winds will be from the E/SE at around 10 to 15 knots, before they just start to swing possibly from the E/NE through the late afternoon.
Tomorrow will then bring slightly stronger winds, with 10 to 15 knots of E/SE through the morning that will increase to 15 to 20 knots through the afternoon.
Sunday will then be almost identical in terms of wind, with just the slight chance of a shower or two by then as well.
Swimming: Swimming conditions were awesome through the early part of this week, but they soon became quite choppy and messy over the past few days as those stronger SE winds developed.
Looking ahead, we can expect pretty good swimming conditions through today with the lighter winds, but across the weekend the winds will again increase and the ocean will again be quite choppy and messy – particularly on those more open and exposed beaches, and more so through the afternoons when it gets windier.
This is also when the side sweep or current will be strongest as well, so please be careful if swimming.
The best time for a swim will be in the very early mornings while the tide is a little higher and the winds lighter.
The best beaches for swimmers over the coming days will certainly be those that offer some protection from the prevailing E/SE winds, so certainly Hervey Bay and Agnes Water (adjacent to the headland) will be best, but locally, try locations such as Moore Park and Nielson Park Beaches.
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: Today – 8am to 6pm at Kellys Beach and Agnes Water; 9am to 5pm at Elliott Heads, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach and Moore Park Beach plus a roving lifeguard operating in the Bundaberg Region.
Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday (Australia Day) – 8am to 6pm at Elliott Heads, Kellys Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach, Moore Park Beach and Agnes Water.
Weekdays (Next week – except Tuesday) – 9am to 5pm at Kellys Beach and Agnes Water only
Early morning RWC surveillance patrols are also operating each morning around the Bargara and Mon Repos areas – but they will end on Sunday, 23 January.
Surfing: The wave heights have improved across our local beaches over the past two days as the winds increased, but as you would expect, they have also been quite messy and choppy, with not the best wave quality being provided.
Conditions should remain quite similar over the coming days as well, with slightly less messy conditions through today as the winds ease slightly, before they start to increase again over the weekend.
Try the early mornings or again from early to mid-afternoon onwards, with the better options likely to be Agnes Water, Mon Repos, Nielson Park and Moore Park Beaches.
For the SUP and ocean ski/kayak paddlers, it is once again looking likely to be quite choppy and messy in the ocean this weekend, so this should be good for a south to north downwind paddle, but for the less-experienced paddlers, it is again looking like being another few days of heading to the protected creeks and waterways.
- Last week's report: Mornings the best time to hit the beach