Finding the right beach to suit you 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.
Well it has certainly be a very warm start to the school holiday period with the first week being highlighted by northerly winds and warm temperatures - a typical weather pattern for this time of year!
Looking ahead to this weekend and the weather looks quite mixed but generally it will be quite warm again before we see a gusty and cooler S/SE wind change for next week.
Over the next 3 days, the winds are going to be quite varied in both direction and intensity, so this will make it tricky for swimmers to find the right beach.
This morning's winds will be quite light at only 5 to 10 knots from the N/NE before they get a real kick along by mid to late this afternoon and hit 15 to 20 knots from the N/NW.
They will remain from the NW at 15 to 20 knots early tomorrow morning but then gradually drop back to 10 to 15 knots from the S/SW during mid to late morning and then back even further to 5 to 10 knots from the N/NE by the afternoon.
Sunday will then bring us Southerly winds at around 15 knots through the morning but then turn E/SE to E/NE through the afternoon at 10 to 15 knots.
Swimming conditions will quite calm and gentle through this morning while the winds are light, but we can expect choppy and messy conditions to kick in by this afternoon and continue into early tomorrow morning - and beaches that face in a more northerly direction will certainly be choppier than others!
So, if you are swimming today and in particular through this afternoon and again early tomorrow morning, the best beaches will certainly be Kelly's Beach and Elliott Heads because of their protection from the northerly winds.
However, by tomorrow midday, swimming conditions will vastly improve as the winds start to ease, so by then you will find that almost all beaches will be OK for swimmers.
Sunday's forecast southerly winds early should not be too much of an issue, but if so, beaches such as Hervey Bay, Agnes Water, Moore Park Beach and Nielson Park will be better options by then.
Don't forget though, 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!
Today and Weekdays - 9.00am to 5.00pm at Elliott Heads, Kelly's Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach, Moore Park Beach and Agnes Water, PLUS a Rove Lifeguard operating in the Bundaberg Region.
Saturday and Sunday - 9.00am to 5.00pm at Elliott Heads, Kelly's Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach, Moore Park Beach and Agnes Water, PLUS a Rove Lifeguard operating in the Bundaberg Region.
Local board-riders have again been enjoying a great run of fun-sized waves across all of our local beaches from last weekend and through until mid-week this past week before we finally saw a sharp drop in wave heights and quality by about Wednesday/Thursday thanks to those dreaded northerly winds.
Looking ahead to the next few days and the surf forecast does not look promising with the gusty northerly winds through this afternoon and tomorrow morning looking quite yuck. However, these conditions could also surprise with a few cleaner waves at Kelly's Beach or Elliott Heads during these times for those that like to move around.
Once those winds turn offshore through about mid-morning tomorrow some of the other beaches could also be worth a shot for a clean wave was well, so maybe think about Nielson Park, Mon Repos, Moore Park and Agnes Water through mid to late morning tomorrow.
Once again, the forecast conditions should provide plenty of fun downwind paddling conditions (going north to south) for those experienced ocean/surf ski and SUP paddlers through this afternoon and again early tomorrow morning.
After that though, we should see the ocean calm down significantly, which may enable those lesser experienced paddlers on these craft to get out into the ocean and away from the sheltered bays and creeks.
Craig Holden, Regional Operations Manager Surf Life Saving Queensland