South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales Surf Forecast (issued Friday 4th April)

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thermalben started the topic in Friday, 4 Apr 2014 at 5:49pm

South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 4th April)

Best Days: Sat: small peaky waves early morning, mainly in SE Qld and Far Northern NSW. Sun: fun waves with a S'ly change and an inconsistent E'ly swell. Late Mon/Tues/Wed: building SE swell (peaking Tues PM) with great winds for the points.

Recap: Plenty of fun small waves across the entire region over the last few days, no great size but nice and clean in the mornings with light offshore winds. 

This weekend (Apr 5-6)

After a wide range of model predictions throughout the week, we’ve finally drawn close to a consensus for the weekend outlook. And that is - the developing low off the South Coast of NSW (right now) probably won’t influence the Northern NSW coast in any great capacity until early next week (it was never expected to deliver much north of the border anyway). I’ll detail these developments in the next section.

Otherwise, we’re expecting an inconsistent pulse of E’ly swell to build across all regions over the weekend, originating from a deep trough/low well to the south-east of Fiji earlier this week. Wave heights are expected to start off a little undersized early Saturday, but should building strongly (albeit very inconsistent) after lunch with exposed beaches picking up 3ft+ sets by late in the day. 

We’ll see a slow easing trend throughout Sunday, but early morning should kick off with similar 3ft+ sets and long breaks between ‘em, due to the distant source of the swell.

As for local winds - we’re looking at a mixed bag across the region. A shallow southerly change will push along the Lower Mid North Coast on Saturday, probably reaching Coffs by the afternoon (but not pushing into the Yamba/Ballina region until overnight or early Sunday morning). 

Prior to this we’ll see freshening N’ly tending NE winds across most regions however locations north of about Byron will probably be spared any strength in the wind until Saturday afternoon

So, this essentially means Saturday looks rather hit and miss across much of the region, mainly due to the expected timing of the swell increase in the afternoon (which will coincide with NE winds in Queensland and Northern NSW). So if you live in this region, aim for an early paddle and expect generally small peaky surf.

On Saturday there’s a reasonable chance that we’ll see a small region somewhere between the Northern Rivers and the Mid North Coast (i.e. centred around Coffs or Yamba) that may see variable winds ahead of the change, but this is very hard to pin down across such a broad geographical range. For surfers in this area, I’d recommend looking at the coastal AWSs during Saturday to assess the status of the advancing southerly change. Unfortunately, the Port Macquarie Airport is not especially reliable (as it’s located inland, and doesn’t pick up shallow features very well) so the most southern AWS with any confidence is Coffs Harbour.  

Sunday's winds will be mainly southerly across Northern NSW (probably early SW winds in some localised areas), but the change is not expected to reach the Gold Coast until mid-morning, and the Sunshine Coast until the early afternoon. So expect light W'ly winds prior to its arrival - possibly swinging NE for a brief period, if the S'ly change is in any way delayed (more likely on the Sunshine Coast than the Gold Coast).

Next week (Apr 7 onwards)

We’ve got two swell events for early next week. The trough/low SE of Fiji is undergoing a secondary phase of intensification, and this will kick up another pulse of swell that’ll arrive on Monday morning, peaking late in the day and holding through early Tuesday before easing through the rest of the week. Again, this will be very inconsistent at times but should be worthy of occasional 3-4ft+ sets at most open stretches.

Elsewhere, the Tasman Low looks like delivering some great surf too. The computer models are in good agreement about the overall synoptic pattern in the Tasman next week, which suggests the low will remain slow moving through the central Tasman Sea. However the models are in disagreement as to how strong the low will be, and what wind strengths we’re likely to see around its core. 

However the most important part (mainly for Queensland surfers) is that the low is expected to move further to the east, and also to the north - which pushes it much more convincingly into the Gold/Sunshine Coast swell window. We’ll still see a slight size reduction north of the border but no way near as much as southerly swells often results in.

So, splitting the difference across all of the model guidance still anticipates a further small upwards trend from late Monday afternoon onwards, peaking throughout Tuesday and early Wednesday, with a peak in the 4-5ft+ range along the Northern NSW coast.

Surf size will be smaller in SE Qld, up to 3-4ft+ at exposed south facing beaches but only 2ft to maybe 3ft along the open points. Protected locations like Noosa won’t see much size from this swell at all and will be relying exclusively on the long range (and very inconsistent) E’ly swell.

As for winds, we’re looking at mainly fresh SW tending S/SE winds for the most part, which will focus the surf towards the points. So a decent run of good waves between late Monday and Wednesday - well worth your attention (Tuesday afternoon is the pick of the forecast period, IMO).

Easing swells are then expected from this Tasman Low from Thursday onwards. Beyond this, there’s currently nothing else of any interest standing out in the charts. There is a suggestion from one of the global models (GFS) that we’ll see a significant tropical cyclone in the Coral Sea next week, but it needs to be noted that GFS has been throwing out widely varying paths of the cyclone in each successive model run over the last few days. So right now I’d consider this an unreliable source (especially considering most of the other models have a much more benign outlook). Let’s re-evaluate this in more detail on Monday.

heebgeeb's picture
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heebgeeb commented Friday, 4 Apr 2014 at 10:55pm

Period's moving on the briso buoy...

donweather's picture
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donweather commented Saturday, 5 Apr 2014 at 7:32am

And it's def bigger than the reported 2ft/2ft+ this morning too!!! Saw a set at dbah which looked 4ft.

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thermalben commented Saturday, 5 Apr 2014 at 7:45am

Looks like it's arrived well ahead of schedule.

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donweather commented Saturday, 5 Apr 2014 at 8:22am

SD..................

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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 5 Apr 2014 at 8:58am

Yes, Don?..... Anything I can help you learned gentlemen with?

Sheepdog

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donweather commented Saturday, 5 Apr 2014 at 9:33am

;)

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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 5 Apr 2014 at 9:38am

Ah, "no comment" was the loud reply...... ;)

Sheepdog

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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 5 Apr 2014 at 9:45am

Aaaannnddd....... still waiting for you point, Don............ Oh, and beware of the sucker punch..... ;)

Sheepdog

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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 5 Apr 2014 at 10:28am

Donny, you've had your chance... Even gave you a "legs up" re sucker punch.... I hope you are enjoying your time off.... Looks like you've lucked it..... Anyway, a few points.....
1 - After being hammered from pillar to post during Luci and Mike, yet then having the sands of time prove me to be fairly accurate, I said I'm not "calling" anymore. I did "slip up" though, on the 31st, and made a small comment re' this "swell event". Here's what I wrote in forecasts 28/3, comment posted 31/3..... "That funky little low just seems to be sitting there, with an average trade fetch all the way to New Cal'.... Local winds look a bit lighter, too..... This will be more of a traditional "inconsistent" swell, though..... possibly later in the week"... BTW, The above comments are in no way directed at you, Don. You may dish it out, but you also were kind enough to say "good call", unlike most.....
2. If the low was in position on the 31st (6 days ago), that fits perfectly into "my methodology" of some form of swell arriving today.... Today being "later in the week"...
3 Go and look at a south pacific mslp for the 31st.... Trade fetch between New Zealand and New Cal', + that low behind it...... Mini version of fetch + Mike......Everyone called it wrong.... In "hindcast", it came in exactly when I thought it would, though it in no way has "peaked"..... i just didn't say anything... Same deal with the low up north and it's direct and indirect influences on what is about to happen.... Mouth zipped.....
Cheers, Don....

Sheepdog

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heebgeeb commented Saturday, 5 Apr 2014 at 11:44am

3-5ft at the island

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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 5 Apr 2014 at 7:10pm

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, one of the last true frontiers of surfing will be all time.... It's not a "call".... It's a fact...... 8 to 12 foot plus..... Dangerous..... Isolated..... And it's in Australia......

Sheepdog

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donweather commented Saturday, 5 Apr 2014 at 8:39pm

SD I'm on holidays this week mate so don't expect too much from me during daylight hours.

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mick-free commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 11:38am

You have my full attention sheepdog.....

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, one of the last true frontiers of surfing will be all time.... It's not a "call".... It's a fact...... 8 to 12 foot plus..... Dangerous..... Isolated..... And it's in Australia......

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

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thermalben commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 11:56am

Model data is pretty varied SD so I wouldn't be quite as confident right now... in any case, I'm not sure if you've got a specific location in mind or a broad region, but almost everywhere picking up this swell - if it does anything - will be very wind affected.

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Sheepdog commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 6:06pm

Mick free - the final frontier......... Seen it with my own eyes back in my professional fishing days early 80s....... Dangerous..... Open to the elements...... BIG tiger sharks....... sketchy currents/tides.... live coral.... Mothership and jetskis a must.....

http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/28108/Map2-GDA94.pdf

Sheepdog

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tobym commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 6:28pm

SD sure Mate, Your dreaming,Swains may get some some action from this,but really it not the best looking system for that area,how much time have You really spent out there?Was You on a Prawn boat or the real pioneers were the Trout fishos.Either way sure there will be swell but it may not be great

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udo commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 6:44pm

Something similar brewing off sw W.A. sheepy ? intense system with good winds I think, 10-12ft also whats your thoughts ?

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Sheepdog commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 6:56pm

tobym - did it all mate - even spanish mackeral ,and as you'd know, you only get the spaniards at dusk and dawn.... Yeah, did bommie hoppn for trout - daytime...... Continental shelf at night for reds..... Banana prawns in Princess Charlotte..... Tigers, bugs and cray runs up in torres..... Spent 8 weeks once not touching land...... And Toby, that map aint a map anywhere near fuckn Swainos...... Turn Right at Cape Melville, man...... Or head south from Torres...... Get your act together, Tobes.....

Udo..... Wouldn't have a clue about W.A..... Wish I did.... I could bullshit, cut and paste, but Qld is my go being a one trick pony and all...... Cheers, Man.....

Sheepdog

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tobym commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 7:09pm

ohh, i,mm an idiot sorry my Man thought you meant elsewhere didint check your link i defer You are more than likely spot on. I now go to hide under zee rock

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dromodreamer05 commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 7:46pm

Hi just wondering if anyone can tell me before i sleep in the carpark at national in order to get a school holiday park tomorrow whether the forecast might come in oversize from Friday notes for Noosa i.e on the incoming tide tomorrow?

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dromodreamer05 commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 7:53pm

if you know what i mean.....!! We're all friends. 2-3 ft, is there room to say any set's could scatter the crowd?

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dromodreamer05 commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 8:16pm

1-2ft? you can have this surf forecasting stuff this is like trying to tip the golden slipper, at least if it's good between now and friday and i manage to get it right I won't have Julian Wilson on the inside of me!!!

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dromodreamer05 commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 8:18pm

All being well...long flight and all, long ride from the airport...

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Sheepdog commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 8:23pm

Dromo... I could tell you a secret that would blow your fuckn head off.... Think about it, dromo...... Really REALLY think about it..... It's right in front of you, man.....

Sheepdog

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dromodreamer05 commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 9:23pm

I'll work it out, but while I've got you, what would you put the percentages at of the cyclone up north getting anywhere near Mackay, I know of one particular point which could really work at 6 metres plus there which apparently is a long way off a category one crossing at Airlie, notwithstanding, I've been chasing a certain central queensland point "further north of noosa" for any of these northeast swell events i can't recall in the last few years. Too much sand allmost seems like an oxymoron. When will forecast notes be specific enough to denote sand quality!!?

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Sheepdog commented Sunday, 6 Apr 2014 at 10:10pm

50/50 dromo.... All the forecast charts have it heading that way...... I've been watching her since she was a single cloud...... Very strange storm this one...... BTW, East coast north Island NZ has benefited from her, and will continue to do so, but that's another story.....
You wont ever get a "sand quality" forecast , man...... Hit and miss....

Late season cyclones are often the most volatile.... March/april ones can pack some punch... Larry comes to mind..... Be careful.... Close proximity cyclone swell can stitch you up..... Keep your wits...
As far as tomorrow goes, ummm...... when is a High tide not a high tide???? Go there at lunch..... Walk to the end of the track ;) Cheers.....

Sheepdog

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wellymon commented Monday, 7 Apr 2014 at 5:34pm

Was looking at Access 10day Synoptic charts, a lot different from SN's.
Interesting synoptic off ;)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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thermalben commented Tuesday, 8 Apr 2014 at 5:13pm

Sheepdog wrote: On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, one of the last true frontiers of surfing will be all time.... It's not a "call".... It's a fact...... 8 to 12 foot plus..... Dangerous..... Isolated..... And it's in Australia......
Did this happen SD? There are no buoys in the region (so we can't confirm data), and the BOM forecast for the Peninsula Coastal Waters (Sharp Point to Cape Melville) was only 1 to 2 metres 'outside the reef' for yesterday, today and tomorrow.
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Sheepdog commented Tuesday, 8 Apr 2014 at 6:54pm

Ben,the BOM are on drugs.... They have no idea about up there..... Mick free knows exactly where I am talking about.... As I said.... The last frontier..... There was also a slacker pressure gradient around where I detailed to Mick.....

http://www.stormsurfing.com/cgi/display.cgi?a=eoz_wave

Sheepdog

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thermalben commented Tuesday, 8 Apr 2014 at 7:35pm

I know where you're talking about too SD, you posted a link on Sunday night (pretty easy to work out too, given the synoptic chart at the time, and the marine animal clues). But the weekend's ASCAT data (and yesterday's) didn't really support anything huge in that neck of the woods IMO.

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Sheepdog commented Tuesday, 8 Apr 2014 at 8:10pm

Ben - "you posted a link on Sunday night" - That's because I deliberately mislead :) I gave a map NEAR the area........ Talk to Mick......

We have a 975hpa cyclone and ridge on its southern flank pumping ese swell from only 1000 km away... I'd say it's more than 1 - 1.5 m
Picture the same scenario off the Goldy.....

Here's a clue -

Sheepdog

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wellymon commented Tuesday, 8 Apr 2014 at 8:40pm

My great great great Grandad owns that island Sheepio.
C
The pattern of the first letter of my real name ;)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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Sheepdog commented Tuesday, 8 Apr 2014 at 8:42pm

C**t? ;) Hehehee.... See in the distance welly? I surfed a left there in 84......

Sheepdog

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thermalben commented Tuesday, 8 Apr 2014 at 8:57pm

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wellymon commented Tuesday, 8 Apr 2014 at 10:17pm

Sheepdog wrote: C**t? ;) Hehehee.... See in the distance welly? I surfed a left there in 84......

Hey, thats not very nice.

It looks like an arrow now, anyways... ;)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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wellymon commented Tuesday, 8 Apr 2014 at 10:19pm

A bird

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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wellymon commented Tuesday, 8 Apr 2014 at 10:23pm

Mick don't know that bird, trust me.

Ben does

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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Sheepdog commented Tuesday, 8 Apr 2014 at 10:23pm

Yeah, Ben.... You are on to the general area....... Small swell window..... Another island further north... Reefs all the way to Cape M*****. I called it "the last frontier"..... Lots of gems, but so hard to score.... Crazy fisherman, similar to some areas in your home state......

Sheepdog