Craig Holden reports that gusty winds will return to local beaches after good swimming conditions for the past week, particularly on Australia Day.
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 a pretty good week of weather just gone, with very warm temperatures combined with mostly good swimming conditions giving way to big crowds on the beaches – particularly on Australia Day.
However, those gusty E/SE winds have returned from yesterday and look set to stay with us across at least the next three days (but they won’t be super strong), along with the chance of scattered showers through today and tomorrow as well.
The good news however, is that temperatures should become a little milder with these onshore winds.
The wind forecast is pretty much identical from today and through to Sunday with 15 to 20 knots of E/SE winds, which will be slightly lighter in the early mornings and then slightly gustier through the afternoons.
Swimming: Swimming conditions have been mostly good through the first three days of this week, but the ocean soon became quite choppy and messy yesterday when those gusty E/SE winds arrived.
These conditions will be the norm over the coming days as well, with the presence of plenty of fun-sized waves across local beaches as well.
The morning high tide heights are quite large at present, so this means there will be strong tidal currents around the creek and river mouths during the dropping tide, whilst there will also be considerable water movement and currents on the beaches as well due to the waves and tide – so swimmers are advised to swim with caution over the coming days.
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, whilst the best time for a swim will be from early to mid-morning.
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 and weekdays – 9am to 5pm at Kelly’s Beach and Agnes Water only
Saturday and Sunday – 8am to 6pm at Elliott Heads, Kelly’s Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach, Moore Park Beach and Agnes Water.
Surfing: There have been plenty of fun-sized waves across our local beaches this past week, with some long-range and moderate period ground swell finding its way onto our local beaches to keep the surfers happy.
Clean conditions were the norm early in the week, but now that the E/SE winds have strengthened, the wave quality will deteriorate slightly and become more wind-affected, but there should still be plenty of fun-sized waves about to enjoy and more so through the mornings.
Beaches such as Agnes Water, Mon Repos, Nielson Park and Moore Park Beach will be the better options. Good Luck.
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, or for some surfing, but for the less-experienced paddlers, it is again looking like being another few days of heading to the protected creeks and waterways.
Events: Good luck to all local surf lifesavers that are competing this weekend at Agnes Water in any or all of the three Surf Lifesaving Carnivals being conducted – WBC Branch Premiership Series (Round 2), WBC Branch North v South Teams Challenge and the WBC Branch U11-U17 Individual Carnival.
- Last week's report: Choppy beach conditions for end of holidays