Beachgoers can expect to see gusty conditions around our beaches this weekend. Photo: Paul Beutel.
Beachgoers can expect to see gusty conditions around our beaches this weekend. Photo: Paul Beutel.

BEACH REPORT: What to expect this weekend

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 the Christmas School Holidays are now officially underway and true to form, it looks as though the weather will turn a little non-friendly for beachgoers over the coming days with the forecast predicting strong onshore winds, together with cloudy skies and the chance of showers across the weekend.

Today's winds will be from the E/SE this morning at 10 to 15 knots before they increase to 15 to 20 knots by late morning and possibly increase to over 20 knots by late afternoon. Tomorrow will then bring 15 to 20 knots of E/SE winds that will also increase to 20 to 25 knots through the afternoon, while Sunday will be very similar (15 to 20 knots and increasing to 20 to 25 knots), just with the winds turning slightly more from a S/SE direction.

SWIMMING: The forecast is for gusty SE winds over the coming days and that will mean only one thing - choppy and messy conditions will be the norm across most beaches this weekend, unless you find a protected location and/or hit the beach early in the morning before the winds get too strong.

Unless you are at Hervey Bay, you can expect very tricky swimming conditions over the coming days, with some moderate swell and a strong side current running along most beaches from right to left, with conditions getting worse through the afternoons as the winds increase. Also, the early morning high tides are quite large at present (and getting bigger each day leading up to Tuesday) so please avoid the creek and river mouths during the run out stage of the tide when there will be strong tidal currents in these locations. For the best swimming conditions, consider beaches such as Agnes Water (adjacent to the headland), Moore Park Beach and Nielson Park Beach, but please swim with caution!

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:

WEEKDAYS - 9.00am to 5.00pm @ Elliott Heads, Kelly's Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach, Moore Park Beach & Agnes Water, PLUS a Roving Lifeguard operating in the Bundaberg Region (Please Note - some beaches MAY have longer hours)

SATURDAY & SUNDAY - 8.00am to 6.00pm @ Elliott Heads, Kelly's Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach, Moore Park Beach & Agnes Water, PLUS a Roving Lifeguard operating in the Bundaberg Region.

Early Morning RWC Surveillance Patrols will also commence operating from tomorrow morning around the Bargara and Mon Repos areas and continue for the next 6 weeks - times of operation will be from 6am to 8am or 9am depending on the day of the week.

SURFING: Local boardriders have not had much to enjoy over the past few weeks (and even longer) but it does appear that wave heights should increase across the weekend - the only issue is that we can also expect them to be quite messy and choppy as well due to those strong onshore winds.

Beaches such as Agnes Water, Nielson Park, Mon Repos and Moore Park will likely provide the better surfing conditions over the coming days, with the mornings being the best time to hit the water (after those big high tides start to drop) or else around mid to late afternoon could also be worth a look too. Fingers crossed that wave heights get big enough to forget about how windy and messy it could be!

For the SUP and Ocean Ski/Kayak paddlers, it is once again looking like being another good weekend for the more experienced paddlers to enjoy more good downwind paddling conditions - this time heading from south to north - while the beginners and less experienced paddlers encouraged to stick to the protected and sheltered waterways and creeks/rivers yet again.

EVENTS: Round 1 of the Summer of Surf Series will be held at Burleigh Heads (Gold Coast) this afternoon and tomorrow - good luck to local competitors that are making the trip south to compete!