thermalben

Small conditions this week; building E'ly swells from Saturday onwards

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 13th November)

Best Days: Fri: small increase in trade swell. Sat/Sun: better increase in trade swell. Mon/Tues/Wed: stronger E'ly swell.  

Recap: A combo of SE and S’ly swell built wave heights through Saturday, reaching 2-3ft across SE Qld into the afternoon and 3-5ft at south swell magnets south of Byron. The south swell eased through Sunday but the SE swell maintained good 2-3ft+ sets across the Far Northern NSW and SE Qld coasts. Today we’ve seen size ease back as well as the strength.

This week (Nov 14th - 17th)

There are no new swell sources in our swell windows right now, so we can expect a few days of small lazy surf right across the coast through the middle of the week

No major strength is expected in the local wind field until Friday when we’ll see a freshening NE trend across the Mid North Coast, otherwise expect the usual regime of early light variable flows and afternoon sea breezes. Hit up the swell magnets for slow, weak, peaky surf, and keep your expectations proportionality low.

A minor increase in trade swell is possible very late Thursday and Friday, originating from a temporary flow developing south of New Caledonia on Wednesday, but I’d be surprised if open beaches between the Sunny Coast and Ballina saw much more than 2ft.

This weekend (Nov 18th - 19th)

I’ve been discussing this E’ly swell event for ten days now (first mentioned as a fantasy system in these notes on Nov 3rd), and despite the impressive convergence between model guidance last week, they have diverged somewhat over the last few days. Which is not altogether unsurprising I suppose, seeing that we’re still quite a few days away from this system actually developing. 

The upshot at this point in time is that the weekend will kick off with a small trade swell, generated by a modest E’ly fetch developing south of Fiji on Wednesday and reaching a peak on Thursday. But, it’s not expected to be very well consolidated, and will be positioned quite a distance from our coast so the best we can hope for are building 2-3ft waves throughout Saturday (more chance for this size range in the afternoon, than the morning). 

The new swell expected on Sunday has suffered a downgrade in the latest model guidance, though we are seeing some see-sawing heights between each model run. At the moment the entire leading edge could very well be shunted back until Monday, but we need a few more days to firm things up.

Current expectations are that we’ll see the trade swell kick up notch, mainly due to some additional energy originating from the head of the new fetch developing around a deepening E’ly dip north of New Zealand on Friday. This will however be aimed more towards the Coral Sea, which means we’ll see the upper end of the likely size range (3-4ft+) across the Sunshine Coast, with smaller surf as you head south (compared to Saturday’s trade swell, which should be relatively uniform across the region).

Winds will remain onshore all weekend, though at this stage there’s no suggestion of any major strength away from the Mid North Coast, which may see a little more influence from a strengthening Tasman high. 

Anyway, lets take another pass on the data on Wednesday. 

Next week (Nov 20th onwards)

With only low to moderate confidence on this event, we really have to wait a few more days to firm up specifics.

For now Monday, Tuesday and maybe Wednesday look like they’ll pick up somewhere in the order of 4-5ft E’ly swell across open beaches (in fact, our Coffs Harbour data point is estimating 4-6ft surf on Tuesday, see below). However, an anchored high pressure system in the Tasman Sea its likely to maintain onshore easterlies. 

Looking further ahead, and the middle of next week is expected to see a renewed strengthening Tasman high direct a broad NE flow across the western Tasman Sea, generating a lengthy period of NE swell about the Southern NSW coast into the end of next week and the following weekend. This energy will be smaller but equally worthwhile out of the E/NE about Northern NSW and SE Qld. 

So, there is plenty of surf in the longer term outlook still to negotiate. More on that in Wednesday’s update. 

Comments

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 13 Nov 2017 at 6:03pm

Small and lifeless at Snapper this afternoon.

mitchvg's picture
mitchvg's picture
mitchvg commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 11:23am

ACCESS looking good over a few days but not sure if every single run has been consistent

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 12:40pm

The excitement...
The hype...
The froth...

The downgrade :-(

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 4:26pm

Business as usual then.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 4:29pm

Eh? There'll be waves. And, per November standards, it'll be pretty good.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 5:51pm

I'm actually liking the slight downgrade...will suit the banks a lot better than 6ft+
And yes...I'll take it in November anytime.

Boogie_luv's picture
Boogie_luv's picture
Boogie_luv commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 4:42pm

Dam, you mean it won’t be pumping like CW is reporting...
'southern Queensland and northern NSW coasts will, in all likelihood, pump at size for two or three days straight. By that I mean OFF THE HOOK, double over-head lines of ESE groundswell wrapping into southern Queensland’s points, while simultaneously hammering most of the NSW coast'
:)

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 4:47pm

'Off the hook, double-overhead Qld points' is a big call.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 5:27pm

Do they really write that hyping bullshit ?

That's fucking embarrassing.

Sure , call the conditions but hitting the propaganda afterburners is just shithouse. Creates a fucked up vibe.

It's not matey , it's a public incitement to get out there and get some ! Get some ! Get some !

I just picture an overamped City surfer crushing an empty tin into his forehead and jumping into the tube stance that Keanu and Gary Busey adopted when they gloriously realised that the Dead Presidents were surfers.

Boogie_luv's picture
Boogie_luv's picture
Boogie_luv commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 5:57pm

Agreed, good luck finding a wave to yourself on Sunday if the swell starts filling in!!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 4:47pm

Still a few sneaky sets at D'Bah.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 6:11pm

This whole residual swell that has been hanging around has been gloriously under-called and wonderfully under-hyped.

Day after day of fun waves, in fucking November.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 7:49pm

Spot on there freeride.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 8:03pm

Double spot on...
Still some random 3ft sets today, emerald clear water, boardies and a new board...
Happy days.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 8:23pm

was 3ft+ this arvo, blue warm water, light winds. so fun.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 10:54pm

Pretty impressive late Spring if you ask me. Air feels more like autumn the last few nights/mornings.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 at 8:00am

The complete annihilation of the normal Spring northerly pattern has been unprecedented, if you ask me.

2 northerly days in Nov...and even they were pretty piss weak.

surfiebum's picture
surfiebum's picture
surfiebum commented Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 at 9:52am

Don't talk about it in case you jinx it.

mitchvg's picture
mitchvg's picture
mitchvg commented Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 at 1:33pm

I think ACCESS has been a bit more erratic than usual, still better than GFS though. Looking like a peak in wind and swell on Sunday

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 at 1:39pm

With the low peaking in intensity Friday evening/early Saturday, the peak in swell is not due until Monday.