BEACH REPORT: Gusty wind running out of puff
Despite COVID-19 restrictions easing, if you are at the beach, please maintain minimum social distancing guidelines and abide by the current group gathering guidelines as well.
The winds have certainly been quite gusty from Wednesday afternoon onwards this week.
And they are expected to continue that way through today before they start to ease by tomorrow and even more so by Sunday, which is great news for swimmers and beachgoers.
Today's winds will be very strong through this morning at 20 to 25 knots from the E/SE before they ease only slightly to 15 to 20 knots by this afternoon.
However, looking ahead to tomorrow, we should see the winds ease back to only 10 to 15 knots from the E/SE before they drop even further by Sunday when we will see variable winds at around 5 to 10 knots only (S/SE to E/NE to N/NW).
Skies will be a little cloudy, with the slight chance of a scattered shower, but hopefully not enough to deter beachgoers.
Unless you are able to find a sheltered and protected location today, swimming conditions will quite messy and choppy for most of today and especially on those more open and exposed beaches, where there will also be a strong sweep running from right to left as well.
But in good news for swimmers, as the winds start to decrease through tomorrow and into Sunday, we will see the ocean conditions improve rapidly, with mostly good swimming conditions tomorrow and excellent conditions for Sunday.
The better beaches for swimmers through today will certainly be Agnes Water and Hervey Bay, but by tomorrow other beaches such as Nielson Park and Moore Park Beach will also provide more options.
Then, by Sunday, all beaches will be great for swimmers, with Kellys Beach and Elliott Heads likely to even be slightly better then as well.
The best time for a swim will almost certainly be from early morning through until around midmorning over the coming days, although the late afternoons will also be another option for the sleepyheads.
If you are going for a swim, please check with the 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 -- if we can't see you, we can't save you!
• Today and weekdays: None
• Tomorrow and Sunday: 9am to 5pm at Kellys Beach and Agnes Water only
It has been a bit of an up and down week for local surfers, with plenty of clean, fun waves about last Sunday and Monday, before we then saw a real decrease through Tuesday and Wednesday, before another increase in those wave heights yesterday.
And all indications are that the wave heights could increase further today as well!
Looking ahead to the next few days, it does appear that today could be the best day in terms of wave heights, although it will be windy for most of the day, but tomorrow should also throw up plenty of fun-sized waves as well - and the winds will be much lighter - before they start to drop away into Sunday.
Spots such as Agnes Water, Nielson Park, Mon Repos and Moore Park Beach will likely be the better options, although Kellys Beach will also be worth a look as well.
- Craig Holden, Surf Life Saving Queensland