Well, it has been a rather warm and muggy week, with the constant flow of moderate northerly winds, and more sunny skies.
But things are about to change, if it hasn't already by the time you wake up and read this column!
A very strong, but short-lived SE wind change will move into the region today and hang around until Sunday – but today and tomorrow will bring the strongest gusts.
This morning’s winds will be from the S/SW at 10 to 15 knots before they swing from the S/SE during the day and increase to 20 to 30 knots through this afternoon.
Tomorrow will also be very windy, with S/SE to E/SE winds at around 15 to 20 knots in the morning and then increase to 25 to 30 knots through the afternoon.
Sunday will then bring some relief, but the winds will still be moderate in strength, with S/SE winds at 10 to 15 knots on Sunday morning that will then turn form the E/SE by the afternoon and increase to 15 to 20 knots.
Mostly sunny skies are expected across the weekend, but the forecast for today is for overcast skies and the chance of showers – hopefully we get some!
Swimming conditions have been okay this week, especially on those beaches which provide shelter from the northerly winds, but for most others it has been a little choppy.
Now, for today and across the weekend, the swimming conditions are going to change quickly with the looming strong SE wind change, and it is going to get quite messy and even rough on the more exposed and open beaches!
This morning will provide the best swimming conditions across all local beaches, but Hervey Bay (due its protection from the SE winds) will also remain quite calm right across the weekend.
From this afternoon onwards, and across the weekend, most beaches are going to be very messy and rough, with a strong side current pushing from right to left as well.
There will also be a lot of tidal current and associated water movement from the waves as well, so swimmers are going to need to be very careful!
Hit the beaches in the mornings for better conditions, and please avoid the river and creek mouths during the run-out stage of the tide.
Please check with the surf 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 – 9 am – 5 pm at Kelly’s Beach and Agnes Water only.
Saturday – 9 am – 5 pm Kelly’s Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach and Agnes Water; 1 pm – 5 pm at Elliott Heads and Moore Park Beach.
Sunday – 9 am – 5 pm at Elliott Heads, Kelly’s Beach, Nielson Park Beach, Oaks Beach, Moore Park Beach and Agnes Water.
The surfing action has been very ordinary and almost non-existent during this past week, with choppy, sloppy and small waves being the norm thanks to the northerly winds.
But, looking ahead to the weekend, the gusty SE winds change coming through today should certainly start to whip-up some messy, but fun-sized, waves across our local beaches.
Best locations will be Agnes Water, Mon Repos, Nielson Park Beach, and Moore Park Beach, or wherever you can escape the wind!
Early mornings will likely be best on local beaches, but Agnes Water Point will be better later in the morning once the tide drops. Good luck!
For the SUP and ocean ski paddlers, there will be plenty of downwind action to be found from this afternoon through until Sunday, with some slick south to north runs likely to be had!
But if you want a gentle and relaxed paddle, get to the beach very early this morning, or else stick to the protected and sheltered inland waterways.
The 2023 North Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships commences today in Mackay and will continue until Sunday – good luck to all local surf lifesavers that are making the trek north to compete!