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Good Friday weather for WA to deliver the biggest swell of the year for surfers

By Irena Ceranic, Thursday April 18, 2019 - 18:42 EST
ABC licensed image
Better surfing conditions are predicted along the coast towards the end of the weekend. - ABC licensed

A strong storm system will bring swells as high as 6 metres off the West Australian coast on Good Friday, creating dangerous coastal conditions in Perth and the south-west of the state.

as temperatures plummet across the state's south.

But the coast will be a particularly hazardous place to be, with onshore winds in excess of 35 knots forecast.

A gale warning has been issued for the coastline between Geraldton and Israelite Bay, to the east of Esperance, with a total wave height of 5 to 8 metres expected offshore, and 3 to 5 metres inshore.

'Biggest swell of the year'

The start of the week already saw a sizeable swell batter the coast, but that was just the warm up.

"On Friday it's probably going to be bigger than it was on Monday and Tuesday, which is really quite solid. It's probably going to be the biggest swell so far this year," Surfing WA state coaching director Neil Thompson said.

"You won't see surfers out [on Friday] unless they're in some of the protected bays or surfing some of the more novelty waves along the coast which will be out of the winds — since they're onshore it will be quite messy and not very nice.

"That pretty much means no chocolate barrels.

"But you will still find the odd hardcore guy that will want to get out and try to make the most of the bigger waves."

Surf Life Saving WA said there would be lifeguard and helicopter patrols in place over the long weekend, but urged people to be cautious.

"There will be patrolled beaches, people can find out exactly which ones are patrolled and the times on our . We'll have lifeguard services as well," Surf Life Saving WA operations supervisor Jake Webb said.

"It is up to the lifeguards on the day to determine whether the conditions are dangerous, and at that point they will close the beach."

Conditions to ease for Easter Sunday

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds and surf conditions which could cause beach erosion from late Friday morning, with the worst of the weather expected along the coast between Busselton and Albany.

"During this time of year we have a fair bit of erosion along the coast with the storm systems and larger swells coming through, and there are more rips along the coast which people need to be cautious of as well," Mr Webb said.

A large swell is also expected on Saturday morning, but will ease during the day, with calmer winds forecast for Sunday and Monday.

"Towards the end of the weekend into Monday, as the winds start to clean up the swells, we should see some really good waves pretty much the whole way along the coast, from the south up to the north-west," Mr Thompson said.

"When the conditions do improve it will be quite crowded, so just be patient, take your time and be friendly to each other out there."

Perth weather forecast
Friday: Showers, storm possible, 11–16
Saturday: Morning shower or two, 9–17
Sunday: Sunny, 6–22
Monday: Sunny, 11–23
Tuesday: Mostly Sunny, 12–24
Wednesday: Sunny, 12-25


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