thermalben

Poor weekend ahead; small building E'ly swells mid-week; long period E'ly swell next Fri

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 17th February)

Best Days: Wed: building trade swell with winds best suited to outer Qld points. Fri/Sat/Sun: small to moderate long period E'ly swell, best aimed towards SE Qld; likely with moderate SE thru' E/SE winds

Recap: Small swells and mainly fresh NE winds (save an early period of SW winds Thursday morning) has offered little in the way of quality surf to either Northern NSW or South East Queensland over the past few days. 

This weekend (Feb 18th - 19th)

Let’s cut to the chase - northerly winds (along with a lack of swell) will severely limit quality surf options across all coasts this weekend

In fact, these local northerlies will be our major swell source for the weekend, at least in Northern NSW, specifically the Mid North Coast. We’ve only got small levels of trade swell ahead for SE Qld and there’s no new south swell on the cards.

I could go on at length about the possible surfable options but really, the only timeframe to consider surfing will be early Saturday morning (small leftover swells in all areas, possible brief NW breeze) and then maybe Sunday afternoon across the lower half of the Northern NSW coast as an approaching trough from the south weakens the pressure gradient and creates a period of lighter winds. 

Saturday’s strengthening northerly may whip up some small local windswell for the Northern NSW region, but it’ll ease in sync with the abating wind speed through Sunday. Exposed southern ends may pick up some rideable options throughout Sunday as the wind backs off - our model has well under 10kts across the Mid North Coast from lunchtime onwards so it’ll be worth keeping an eye on the obs and the surfcams for signs of life.

But if you have any other worthwhile options away from the coast this weekend, they’ll be worth exercising instead.

Next week (Feb 20th onwards)

Well, the models had been hinting at two major regions of swell production for early next week for quite some time now, but in classic fashion they’ve both been downgraded in the latest model runs. 

A trough across Southern NSW this weekend will evolve into a broad low pressure system in the Lower Tasman Sea on Monday, however it looks like it’ll have a couple of centres, neither of which may end up having much strength within our swell window for enough to time to generate any meaningful energy. Had the low been positioned closer to the mainland, it'd be a different story, but this system looks like it'll be far away and travelling unfavourably SE through the swell window.

Therefore, our southerly swell sources for Northern NSW during the middle of next week are somewhat on the small side: Wednesday is probably the pick at the moment, maybe some inconsistent 2-3ft sets at south facing beaches south of Byron Bay. Don’t get your hopes up. 

There’s a chance for an upgrade if the models change the configuration of the low but right now I’m keeping my expectations in check.

Across the South Pacific, a series of merging easterly fetches south of Fiji have been slightly downgraded and also shunted a little further east, which will result in a slightly smaller swell with a later building trend and peak. Model guidance has a low building trend from Tuesday through to a peak on Thursday; 2-3ft sets are likely at most open beaches at the height of the swell, maybe a little smaller across the Mid North Coast. Again, this ain't a swell to travel large distances for.

A ridge will also build across the Queensland coast early next week. It’s now expected to be a little weaker but should persist in the swell window for a little longer. This will increase local windswells about the coast through Tuesday and Wednesday though no major size or quality is expected. Southern Queensland's outer points may pick up some small runners but it won’t be worth any major effort. 

Otherwise, the broad interaction between a large tropical depression and an oversized South Pacific high pressure system east of New Zealand I was discussing in Monday's and Wednesday's notes now looks like it’ll form a little further south.. which is now right on the periphery of the New Zealand swell shadow. Bugger!

It still looks like SE Qld coasts will pick up a reasonable percentage of energy, though the very large travel distance will certainly erode some of the size as the swell reaches the Australian mainland. However, confidence decreases considerably from this source as you track south of about Byron Bay as increasing southerly latitude (in Australia) pushes further inside the swell shadow. For example, I’m not expecting much, if any energy to reach anywhere south of Seal Rocks, so you’ll have to hedge your bets on size prospects between here and the NSW/Qld border.

At this stage we’re still looking at an arrival overnight Thursday, building through Friday, holding into Saturday and maybe even Sunday though the peak will probably occur sometime later Friday and/or early Saturday morning. At this stage I’m expecting very inconsistent sets in the 4ft range across SE Qld beaches, with incrementally smaller surf south from Byron. 

It’s too early to have any confidence in the local winds, however long range modelling is suggesting a developing ridge through the Coral Sea (typical for this time of the year) which would drive fresh SE thru' E/SE winds across most regions, and may also contribute some short range swell - which would be very welcome as it’ll fill in the otherwise lengthy gaps between sets. 

Anyway, it’s all still quite some time away so let’s wait and see how Monday’s model runs are looking.

Have a good weekend, see you Monday!

Comments

rj-davey's picture
rj-davey's picture
rj-davey commented Friday, 17 Feb 2017 at 6:28pm

Another reason not to like new zealand

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Friday, 17 Feb 2017 at 7:53pm

My two least favourite words...northerly and downgrade...grrr...

dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000 commented Sunday, 19 Feb 2017 at 3:37pm

for a second there I thought you were going to say 'new' and 'zealand'. lol

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Sunday, 19 Feb 2017 at 8:25pm

Haha
No I actually love NZ...lived there for 3 yrs...all the boys over there are frothing for the swell!

Booka78's picture
Booka78's picture
Booka78 commented Friday, 17 Feb 2017 at 11:33pm

well it can only get better from here........one swell & back to the crap

Victoriasurfing1's picture
Victoriasurfing1's picture
Victoriasurfing1 commented Sunday, 19 Feb 2017 at 4:10pm

Fuck it must suck to live in the goldy and Sunshine Coast you get hardly any good waves in winter and and Spring. Then when it's supposed to fire in summer its till absolute shithouse apart from 1 swell where's there 1000 people in the water at the same spot. Move down to Sydney or do something, but don't come to Vicco it's shit all year round especially in summer it's basically flat like today 1-2ft onshore !

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Sunday, 19 Feb 2017 at 4:36pm

What a wanker.

waxyfeet's picture
waxyfeet's picture
waxyfeet commented Monday, 20 Feb 2017 at 1:06pm

Aaah, look who’s reared his ugly head again.

Are you bored and have come for some recreational trolling? Tired of hammering your sister, so you thought you’d come over here and stir a bit? Are you giving the poor girl a rest while she’s on her time of the month?

Victoriasurfing1's picture
Victoriasurfing1's picture
Victoriasurfing1 commented Monday, 20 Feb 2017 at 6:35pm

Haha waxyfeet great gag mate really loving the attack back finally some aggression from you. Just go back to your sloppy 1ft onshore waves which you are getting during the time when it's supposed to be pumping must be really fun mate. I no your getting aggressive becuase you haven't had waves in a while but just chill out move down to Sydney.

roubydouby's picture
roubydouby's picture
roubydouby commented Sunday, 19 Feb 2017 at 9:23pm

Earlier this evening I stood out in the rain in my undies, and kind of stared into the night sky.
The rain felt nice on my skin.
My girlfriend asked what was wrong and I just sighed, then came back inside and did the dishes.
It would be nice if we got some waves.

Results may vary.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Sunday, 19 Feb 2017 at 9:41pm

Ha, them feels!

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Monday, 20 Feb 2017 at 9:22pm

Hahaha

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog commented Sunday, 19 Feb 2017 at 9:46pm

Long period east swell looks promising.

Sheepdog

the chase's picture
the chase's picture
the chase commented Monday, 20 Feb 2017 at 1:19am

Mate Heard that before.

davetherave's picture
davetherave's picture
davetherave commented Monday, 20 Feb 2017 at 5:01pm

Go body surfing. Get in the power. Have fun for Christ sake. Have a go without your safety device. Be brave just you and the ocean energy. Great for your surfing fitness and I'm personally sending SD and KW heaps of good kahuna vibes. Bodysufing connects you purely to the spirit of surfing. Go on get in and stop whinging and just feel the power of our beautiful friend and be thankful that it allows us to play in it. Go on, I dare you to give it a go-no excuses accepted .

davetherave

waxyfeet's picture
waxyfeet's picture
waxyfeet commented Monday, 20 Feb 2017 at 5:24pm

Die hippie

waxyfeet's picture
waxyfeet's picture
waxyfeet commented Monday, 20 Feb 2017 at 5:25pm

(said with tongue in cheek, not meant to be aggressive)

the chase's picture
the chase's picture
the chase commented Monday, 20 Feb 2017 at 5:25pm

I admire your positive. But There has been very little power in the ocean for a long time. Even a body bash at 1ft and onshore is not that enjoyable. Hopefully things change cheers.

davetherave's picture
davetherave's picture
davetherave commented Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 at 3:42am

Just have to know where to look and which tide. I been having heaps of fun. Especially last full moon.

davetherave