South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 26th March)
Best Days: Fri: unlikely to be good surf but keep an eye out for localised periods of light winds. Sat: Improving surf in Northern NSW as winds swing NW. Sun: fun surf in most regions with light winds. Mon onwards: return to the trade swell regime.
Recap: OK waves on Tuesday with easing E’ly swell and generally light winds. Terrible surf developing today thanks to a strengthening E/NE wind.
Next week (Mar 27-28 onwards)
Not much too recommend for the rest of the week. We’ve got strengthening NE winds on Thursday tending N’ly throughout Friday - and this will write off surface conditions just about everywhere. It's a real shame too as a deep trade flow across the northern Tasman Sea will concurrently kick up a sizeable E’ly swell.
Just one small point worth mentioning - even though it may not drastically improve surf conditions - we may see a window of light variable winds early Friday morning as a deep trough of low pressure over the eastern states intensifies and slips just offshore. This may potentially even bring small localised periods of offshore winds in a few areas.. the Gold Coast is the first that comes to mind (although I’m rating this a low chance right now).
However with a dog’s breakfast of junky swell likely to be on offer, I doubt such a scenario would offer any significant improvement to the surf. But, it may allow for a go-out if you’re totally desperate. Either way, keep your expectations low and monitor the live weather obs up and down the coast in the early hours of Friday morning, for signs of a (rapid) abating trend in the local wind field.
This weekend (Mar 29-30)
Nothing overly fantastic is expected this weekend, but we will see a reasonable improvement from what's expected to be a terrible end to the working week.
A small low is modeled to form off the South Coast of New South Wales overnight Friday (and won’t generate any notable swell for Northern NSW) but it’ll influence the local wind field and this is a Good Thing. Initially, the SE Qld region will remain under a northerly influence on Saturday - possibly NW early - but I still think it’s going to take some time for conditions to improve north of the border.
A weak southerly change extending along the southern NSW coast on Saturday may penetrate as far north as Port Macquarie or even (if we’r lucky) Coffs Harbour by the late afternoon, however there won’t be much strength in it. NW winds prior to the change will dominate the region (including the Northern Rivers into the afternoon) so if you don’t mind chunky short range swells in the 3-5ft range with NW winds, then you will have a few options to pick and choose from.
Sunday looks a little better in most regions with easing swells and mainly light variable winds/sea breezes as the pressure gradient relaxes across the coastal margin. There’ll still be some leftover wobble but it should be a reasonably good day for the beach breaks just about everywhere. There’s a mild risk of a moderate E/NE breeze in SE Qld (mainly on the Sunny Coast) related to a restrengthening trade flow south of New Caledonia but I’ll re-evaluate this in more detail on Friday.
Next week (Mar 31 onwards)
Nothing major on the cards for next week, just a bog standard mid range E’ly swell across the region thanks to a broad, strengthening trade flow south of New Caledonia. This should maintain anywhere between 3ft and maybe 5ft of peaky surf across exposed beaches for much of next week.