Small easing SE swell Saturday, then nothing until a large S'ly swell from Thursday
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 14th July)
Best Days: Sat: maybe some early easing SE swell at south facing beaches in Northern NSW. Not much elsewhere. Thurs/Fri: building windy south swell, best across protected points.
Recap: We’ve seen some fun S/SE swell over the last few days. Thursday was more south in direction and offered 2-3ft sets at south facing beaches, but it remained tiny across SE Qld. Today picked up a smidge in size across Northern NSW (3ft+ south facing beaches) and the northern ends of the Gold Coast saw occasional 2ft+ sets, though the southern/outer SE Qld points and other sheltered breaks remained very small indeed.
Coupla small clean peaks at Narrowneck this morning
This weekend (July 15th - 16th)
The weekend ain’t looking too crash hot.
Our current SE swell from today will ease into Saturday so we’ll kick off the weekend with slow, inconsistent swells with winds around to the NNW. There won’t be much size left across SE Qld (occ 1-2ft sets exposed northern ends, tiny elsewhere, easing steadily) so your best chance for a wave will be south of the border, specially south of Byron where we’re looking at occasional 2-3ft sets early morning at south swell magnets, easing to 1-2ft during the day.
Northern corners will offer the best conditions; winds may veer more NW during the day but they shouldn’t become too strong.
Winds will tend variable on Sunday as a weak trough moves across the region.
As for new swell - in Wednesday’s notes I mentioned an outside chance for the NZ system (responsible for today’s waves) to fire up a secondary fetch and provide some small long period surf through the weekend.
Unfortunately there hasn’t been much in the way of reliable satellite scatterometry passes over this region in the last few days, but model data - which is usually a good approximation anyway - didn’t show any favourable attributes, and they’re not suggesting any new energy either. There’s an outside chance for a few stray 1-2ft sets at exposed beaches (mainly south of the border) but I’m not holding out much hope for anything worthwhile.
The only other small swell source for the weekend (only expected to reach the Lower Mid North Coast on Sunday, and late afternoon at the earliest) is a small south swell, and it’s been slightly downgraded in the latest model runs. This will originate from a strong W/SW airstream exiting eastern eastern Bass Strait on Saturday; locations south of Coffs should see some late afternoon sets in the 2ft range if we’re lucky. Otherwise, remaining coasts will be very small for much of the day.
Next week (July 17th onwards)
The first half of next week looks rather craptacular.
A small trough may form off the Lower Mid North Coast on Sunday night, but wind speeds are currently modelled to be under 20kts and it isn’t expected to hang around either. So I don’t expect we’ll see much surf from this but I’ll keep a watch over the weekend (if anything the Lower Mid North Coast may see a minor short range swell on Monday morning).
Winds will then strengthen from the NW, W/NW and then W/SW through Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as a large mid-latitude low moves approaches from the west. Tiny conditions will otherwise prevail through this time frame. A pre-frontal northerly flow may generate some small windswell for the Gold and Tweed Coasts on Tuesday and possibly (at a stretch) early Wednesday but at this stage it doesn’t look very interesting.
This mid-latitude low will finally enter our south swell window on Wednesday. This will start to kick up a large new south swell (for northern NSW) on Thursday, though it’s looking to be pretty windy with W/SW tending SW gales. Large swells will persist through Friday as a secondary front wraps around the primary Tasman Low, kicking up a renewal of strong energy.
Surf size should reach 6ft+ at south facing beaches south of Byron through this time period, though conditions won’t be suitable for exposed spots - you’ll have to head towards protected locations for the best waves. Expect W/SW tending SW winds Thursday swinging gusty S’ly on Friday.
As for SE Qld, the swell direction will be very south and thus will shave off a lot of size - but with Friday’s gusty southerlies, the outer points will be the only place to surf. A preliminary size range will probably see 2ft surf at the outer SE Qld points both days, perhaps a little bigger into Friday, but much bigger and wind affected at exposed northern ends (4ft+) due to the swell direction.
Let’s take a closer look at this on Monday. Have a great weekend!