BEACH REPORT: Weekend outlook for swimmers and surfers
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 this past week has certainly delivered some outstanding weather for beachgoers - it has been warm (very warm) with only very light winds, which has certainly allowed our local beaches to look their pristine best! But this all changed yesterday unfortunately, with a strong SE wind change moving into the region through the day and kicking into overdrive overnight.
In a nutshell the next few days are going to be windy - very windy - with the chance of showers through today and tomorrow as well.
Today brings us a strong wind warning with E/SE winds forecast at 25 to 30 knots, so don't bother with the beach umbrella or gazebo at the beach!
Tomorrow is looking very similar too, with E/SE winds at 20 to 25 knots and perhaps gusting stronger as well through the afternoon, while Sunday will bring a slight respite as the winds ease back to around 20 knots but gust to 25 knots.
SWIMMING: Swimming conditions across our local beaches were unbelievably good up until yesterday, but I cannot say the same for the next few days - unless you can find a sheltered and protected location (Hervey Bay would probably be the only one!).
The ocean will be very choppy and messy today and across the weekend, particularly on the open and exposed beaches, with a strong side current or sweep running along most beaches from right to left as well, so swimmers will need to be cautious.
Morning high tide heights are also on the increase over the next 6 or 7 days as well, so there will be strong tidal currents and more so around those creek and river mouths.
The best time for a swim over the coming days will be in the very early mornings while the tide is still high and hopefully the winds will be slightly less intense, or else around late afternoon at a protected location.
The best beach for swimmers over the coming days will be Hervey Bay, but outside of that, Agnes Water (southern corner) will be OK although the predicted increase in wave heights will mean there will no doubt be surfers everywhere as well.
Locally, perhaps Nielson Park and Moore Park Beach could provide slightly better conditions for swimmers.
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!
WEEKDAYS - 8.00am to 6.00pm @ Kelly's Beach, Nielson Park & Agnes Water; 9.00am to 5.00pm @ Elliott Heads, Oaks Beach & Moore Park Beach PLUS a Roving Lifeguard operating in the Bundaberg region.
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 are also operating EACH morning around the Bargara and Mon Repos areas - with times of operation being from 6am to 8am or 9am, depending on the day of the week.
SURFING: The ocean has been pretty flat and calm for the most-part this week, but this strong SE wind change should quickly start to change things and hopefully whip up plenty of messy, but fun-sized waves from today onwards.
For best results try the very early mornings or again from mid to late afternoon on the local beaches, with Nielson Park, Mon Repos and Moore Park likely to be the better options.
Agnes Water should also be slightly better over the coming days if you are keen for a drive (and battling the holiday crowds). Good Luck!
For the more experienced SUP and Ocean Ski/Kayak paddlers, there will be plenty of opportunity for some rapid, ocean downwind paddling today and on the weekend - provided you are paddling from south to north! So once again, the protected waterways, creeks and rivers will be the better options for those less-experienced paddlers!
Surf Lifesaving Queensland