South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales by Ben Matson (issued Friday 18th April)
Best Days: Easter Sat/Sun: Large, strong SE groundswell with NW tending SW winds. Smaller surf in SE Qld but still quite strong. Sun: easing SE swell and a building S'ly swell in the Mid North and (later) Northern NSW Coasts. Best conditions early. Mon: rapidly easing swells with good winds early.
Recap: Consistent SE swell all week in the 3-5ft range at exposed locations, smaller in SE Qld. Early offshore winds Thurs tending S'ly, early offshore winds today tending E'ly.
This weekend (Apr 20-21)
What a great run of swell we’ve had this week. And it ain’t over yet, with a very large SE swell due to arrive on our doorstep in the next twelve hours.
Without repeating the detailed notes of the last week surrounding the development of the responsible weather system (a merger between ex-TC Ita and last weekend’s Tasman Low), it’s worth noting that the ASCAT satellite returns - which confirm wind speeds at the ocean’s surface - on Thursday morning came back showing that the core fetch was a little stronger and broader than I had anticipated in previous notes.
What this means is that the stronger winds will have generated slightly larger waves with slightly higher swell periods than previously thought. This translates to a bigger swell at the East Coast with a slightly longer interval, and also a slightly earlier arrival time.
It now looks like the leading edge will push across the greater NSW coast this evening, with the biggest waves expected at the coast between dawn and midday Saturday.
Size wise, I’ve upgraded the peak of the swell by a couple of feet - the biggest surf will probably occur across the Mid North Coast (6-8ft at most open locations, possibly as high as 10ft at a handful of swell magnets), with marginally smaller surf in the vicinity of 5-6ft across Northern NSW, sometimes throwing up the odd 8ft set across the various swell magnets and offshore reefs. As per usual, expect smaller surf at protected locations.
Across SE Qld, wave heights will taper off in size due to the swell direction, however beaches with a high degree of southerly exposure should see occasional 4-6ft waves but it’ll be much smaller on the points, somewhere in the 3ft+ range and rather inconsistent at times.
As for winds, a fresh SW change will make its way up the coast during the day. We’ll see freshening NW winds prior to this - mainly in SE Qld and Northern NSW - but the SW breeze should kick in by late morning/early afternoon. The Mid North Coast should see a much shorter window of W/NW winds ahead of the SW breeze.
On Sunday, the SE swell will ease rapidly but it’ll be replaced (across the Mid North and Northern NSW) by a building S’ly swell that should produce sets to 3-5ft at south facing beaches by the afternoon. Unfortunately, this southerly swell won’t make it very far past the border (it’s not expected to arrive here until late in the day anyway) so SE Qld will be relying on the easing SE swell on Sunday.
There should still be plenty of fun waves in most areas though, with light variable winds up until about lunchtime when a fresh NE sea breeze will kick in.
Next week (Apr 22 onwards)
Rapidly easing swells from both the east and south will pad out Monday morning, and from then onwards we’re looking at an extended period of quiet surf across the East Coast until next weekend.
Another strong front will traverse the waters well south of the Tasman Sea on Sunday, kicking up a small long period S’ly groundswell forthe Mid North and Northern NSW Coasts on Tuesday afternoon but at this stage it doesn’t seem that there’ll be much size in it (owing to a predominant W’ly storm track in the Southern Ocean).
Elsewhere, our swell windows are expected to remain on the quiet side for quite some time. So make the most of the Easter holiday swells as it could be back to the high volume fish from Tuesday onwards!
Ben, a few possible interesting developments 25th onwards....
Your forecast has nailed it but the report, once again, is woefully off the mark.
six out of ten?
It's the day of the Autumn.
Yeah, photos look awesome FR.... How many breaks are handling it?
I think the GC reporter needs a new camera, no pics pretty much all week.
He's on holiday Matt. Normal service will resume in about a week's time.
That tropical system developing late in the month would be a great late gift for us Northerners.Any other models picking it up yet?Whats the chances SD?Coolum Coves were smoking today,too straight for the Beaches,way too South for Noosa.Big size reduction from Mudjimba south.
Like the snow season in the southern hemisphere, has been late by a month +, over the last few years.
Seems to me with the alignment of the southern cross with alpha beta and Q1024 stars are putting things a little bit behind, corresponding to melanoma in the southern hemisphere and late seasons....?
We have to keep an eye on Y+Welly 995622 stars in the northern quadrant of Beta Upme delta Fucka.
Ha,I thought as much.
Toby, few models have something to look at.... Reckon the island might've been fun today... But I'm a bit surfed out tonight hehehe....
Wellymon, tobym - worst case scenario would be some ok trade swell 27th ish onwards... Dunno if the low out beyond Fiji will do much re' "cyclone".. You never know..... But it looks like it may give extra length to a fetch with that high moving ove NZ 29th/30th... We'll see.....
Also a small tropical disturbance east of Innisfail around the same time, but I'm not too confident on that one....
For my eyes, there's still nothing of major interest on the charts (for SE Qld/Northern NSW) at this stage. Should be a pretty quiet week of surf in the region.
There's a loose consensus between the models of some developments in the northern Tasman later in the weelend (interaction between a strengthening Tasman high and a broadening low pressure trough in the southern Coral Sea) that may deliver some good surf next week, but that's still quite some time away.
Yeah.... 25th we'll have a better idea....
SD, what's ya thoughts on the long range proggs for out in the SPCZ? Both Access and GFS aligning reaonsably well this far out, but EC not too interested at all at this stage?
Don, It doesn't look as encouraging as "Ita".... Trade swell.... Maybe a trip to the Kimberleys?? ;) Or wait for some south swell early/mid next week?
When Ita was being born, it had a really good feed of warm ene/ne winds on her eastern flank - directly from the equator ( btw -the world view back then had a really awesome vision, Ita forming just on our side of the equator - spinning clockwise, and not far away on the other side of the equator was another tropical low, spinning of course anti clockwise - looked fantastic :) ).
These current systems (Coral sea) don't seem to have that warm feed, and even though the water temp is over 26', I can't find the confidence or optimism re' cyclonic activity.... I hope I am wrong.... The system up near NQ looks like an upper trough.......
East coast north Island NZ may fair ok though... Again....... Things have been aligning over there quite often lately....
(note - message to Don , back on 8/4/14) - "Don. Have you noticed how this system has kept the monsoon active, and that several smaller systems over the past week have continued to deliver decent swell to east coast north island NZ?"
Cheers SD, but I wasn't referring to a cyclone necessarily....more so the low pressure/high pressure squeeze to the NE of NZ that this morning's GFS run was progging.
SN Wams still showing it I believe....but I don't know what GFS run this is showing as SN doesn't show this information.
Also, 00z EC run this afternoon is kinda jumping on board to some extent now, albeit this side of NZ and earlier than GFS.
No mention of it in Ben's Sydney's forecast notes today so he mustn't think too highly of it eventuating?
That'd be 18z data still Don, 00z WAMs come through at 6pm.
Yeah, I know the system you mean, Don...... Nth NZ should be happy.... Shame about the massive high sorta being behind it, ay..... If it was sitting under it, well....... You might get a faint swell....
On a separate note, that southern low forecast for 30/4 below tassie looks evil... "Evil I tells ya!!!" ;)
donweather wrote: No mention of it in Ben's Sydney's forecast notes today so he mustn't think too highly of it eventuating?
However, it was mentioned in today's SE Qld notes though.