GeneralWind change brings choppy conditions to beaches

Wind change brings choppy conditions to beaches

choppy messy conditions
Craig Holden says looking ahead to the weekend and the beaches are expected to be quite choppy with messy conditions. Photo: Elliott Heads Beach surf

Well, once again we have seen quite a mixed week of weather this past week, with thunderstorms, very warm temperatures, very humid conditions and mostly light to moderate winds.

Looking ahead to the coming days and we are once again set for quite mixed conditions, with today and tomorrow bringing more warm and humid conditions, before we see a slightly cooler and gusty wind change on Sunday (along with a possible thunderstorm).

Both today and tomorrow will bring gusty and warm N/NW winds with the forecast being for 15 to 20 knots pretty much right throughout the day, although we should expect slightly lighter winds through the very early mornings.

Sunday will then bring us light W/NW to W/SW winds in the early morning, before a S/SE to E/SE wind change kicks in at about 10 to 15 knots by mid-morning, and then strengthening to 20 to 25 knots by mid to late afternoon.

Swimming: Swimming conditions have been quite reasonable through the most part this week, although the choppy conditions (and the smelly algae) did return through yesterday!

Looking ahead to the weekend and we can expect quite choppy and messy conditions for both today and tomorrow – but more so on those beaches that face in a more northerly direction – before we get a small window of calmer seas early on Sunday morning, but this will be short lived as a strong SE wind change will bring more choppy and messy conditions by late morning onwards (although the beaches that face in a more E/SE direction will be the worst effected).

Therefore, for today and tomorrow, your best swimming options will be found at Kelly’s Beach and Elliott Heads, with the better times being either very early in the morning, or again from mid to late afternoon.

Then for Sunday, beaches such as Hervey Bay, Agnes Water, Moore Park Beach and Nielson Park Beach will be the better swimming options.

Please check with the lifesavers or lifeguard 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 – 9am to 5pm at Kelly’s 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, Kelly’s Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach, Moore Park Beach and Agnes Water

Surfing: Waves have been very far and few between this past week, but we can expect a slight increase in wave heights through today and tomorrow – albeit they will be messy and choppy – before a bigger increase in wave heights arrives through Sunday afternoon and into early next week.

For today and tomorrow, you may find enough swell to get wet for at locations such as Kelly’s Beach (northern end) or around the mouth of the Elliott River, but by Sunday afternoon and into early next week, the better surfing options will be Agnes Water, Mon Repos, Moore Park Beach and Nielson Park Beach. Good Luck!

For the SUP and ocean-ski paddlers, there will be plenty of downwind paddling options (north to south) through today and tomorrow, but you may find an even better and quicker downwind option if you wait until Sunday afternoon and head south to north! Aside from that, you will need to hit the protected waterways if you are looking for a calm, relaxing paddle!

Events: Good luck to all local surf lifesavers that are competing today and this weekend in the 2021 North Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships in Mackay.

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.