Northern NSW and South East Queensland Surf Forecast (Fri 27th Nov)

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Craig started the topic in Friday, 27 Dec 2013 at 11:23am

Northern NSW and South East Queensland Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Friday 27th December)

Best Days: Saturday morning, Tuesday morning, early Wednesday

Recap

The E'ly swell continued at an inconsistent 1ft to occasionally 2ft across SE Qld, while the North Coast saw small levels of S/SE swell to 2ft at south swell magnets.

Today both swells have backed away with a small SE swell failing to really top 1-2ft across the North Coast.

This weekend onwards (Dec 28 - 29)

Today's small SE swell was generated by a weak surface trough that developed east of the Sydney/Hunter region. The system has moved further east and more into our swell window and this should provide small levels of SE swell all weekend but only to 1ft to occasionally 2ft across south swell magnets on the North Coast before becoming tiny Sunday.

Next week (Dec 20 onwards)

A strong cold front pushing up the Southern NSW coast on Sunday (pictured right) will produce a fresh pulse of S'ly swell for Monday across the North Coast and Tweed Coast, but conditions will be poor with a fresh S'ly tending SE wind.

This swell will ease out of the S/SE Tuesday as the front moves off to the north-east Monday, but a secondary pulse of S'ly groundswell is due into the afternoon and Wednesday.

Winds will be favourable for south facing beaches with a variable breeze Tuesday morning and light early N'ly on Wednesday. The end of the week will then see fading S'ly swell and small levels of NE windswell.

Longer term, a tropical cyclone is expected to form off the NW WA coast over the coming days named Christine. During the middle of next week it's expected to weaken and then be pushed east across the country, with the remnants of Christine likely to move into the Tasman Sea next weekend. As it does so we could see it merging with a cold front resulting in a strong cold outbreak in the Southern Tasman Sea sending us S'ly swell the following week, but we'll keep a close eye on this scenario.

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mitchvg commented Saturday, 28 Dec 2013 at 11:45am

This ECL has been a bit of a suprise and disappointment for me, it's still chilling in the Tasman, it clocked up 30kt winds, but just hasn't really provided much has it? I've been stalking the buoys and a swell magnet on the Sunny Coast, didn't see nothin.

And this low beneath Tassie, not aiming N enough? Even though it's forecast to move slowly and produce 15s groundswell?

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thermalben commented Saturday, 28 Dec 2013 at 12:41pm

ECL? Which system are you speaking about? Wave heights on the Sunny Coast have been close to forecast expectations over the last few days.

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donweather commented Saturday, 28 Dec 2013 at 1:51pm

I think he's referring to the Tasman low that's just moved eastwards. Had a strong fetch on its southern and western flanks but the fetch was too short and didn't stay in the same location for long. I was hoping something may sneak under the radar from it but it didn't eventuate by the looks of it.

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Craig commented Saturday, 28 Dec 2013 at 5:11pm

ECL/ Tasman Low jeez, these get thrown about willy nilly. Was a weak surface trough that did form a small closed circulation but was for the main part a trough.

Looked better earlier in the week but as it developed it was pretty average, and came in on expectations.

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mitchvg commented Saturday, 28 Dec 2013 at 5:15pm

Yeah Don me too.
ECL/Tasman Low/ trough with embedded low... the sunny coast forecast heights have been on point, unfortunately.

Oh well, the next low under Tassie seems to slowly just drift south and aim west. But still, i reckon it'll be bigger than the SF forecast at the magnets. I reckon anyway.

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thermalben commented Saturday, 28 Dec 2013 at 6:20pm

OK, I see what you're talking about. That system's fetch was short lived and quite directional (and within close proximity to the coast). Our model handled the entire East Coast pretty well from it.

Re: upcoming forecast for south-facing beaches on the Sunny Coast - you reckon it's gonna get bigger than 2ft from the groundswell? I'm skeptical. The model has an increase late Mon/Tues to 2-3ft at south facing beaches (sourced from the short range fetch tracking up the East Coast) with the groundswell filling in late Tues (16 seconds) and into Wednesday (15 seconds), creating 2ft surf at south facing beaches on Wednesday morning.

Swells generated by low pressure systems tucked in behind Tasmania like this one almost never influence the SE Qld coast so I reckon the forecast is pretty good (if anything maybe even a touch optimistic). As a rule I think the WW3 model frequently overcalls south swells in SE Qld (and as a consequence, our internal model therefore overcalls surf size at south facing beaches) which is something we're looking to rectify with future algorithm updates.

Also as a side note, we're rather picky in the Swellnet office about naming conventions - so the acronym ECL shouldn't be used unless it really is an East Coast Low.

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mitchvg commented Saturday, 28 Dec 2013 at 9:09pm

Hmmm yeah, I see the embedded low is still on this side of NZ and dropping in central pressure and just can't help but think there should be more swell.

I didn't mention I was referring to the forecasts at Newcastle, and Ballina. Sunny coast fair enough, I'd guess only the most dredgy double ups might be chest high with the groundswell on Wed on the Sunny coast. Guess I just have try and get down nth NSW and see for myself.

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donweather commented Saturday, 28 Dec 2013 at 9:35pm

Craig wrote:

ECL/ Tasman Low jeez, these get thrown about willy nilly. Was a weak surface trough that did form a small closed circulation but was for the main part a trough.

Looked better earlier in the week but as it developed it was pretty average, and came in on expectations.


Gee Craig, looked pretty much to me like a low pressure system on the ascat passes with rotational winds.

Agree, no ECL but def a low IMO. What actually defines a low pressure system?

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thermalben commented Saturday, 28 Dec 2013 at 9:49pm

Not sure on any specific criteria Don, but my understanding is that a low has to be fully closed. Whether it's for a certain time frame, or across a particular domain scale, I'm not sure (as low pressure systems are found at synoptic-scale, mesoscale, microscale and storm-scale). Otherwise it's a trough.

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Craig commented Saturday, 28 Dec 2013 at 10:03pm

Yes it did form into a low, but I reckon the use of Tasman Low should only be reserved for more significant systems, there is no true guidelines on this though.

And then again an East Coast Low has some set criteria, but is still pretty wishy washy. I use it sparingly unlike some others who through it around every time a low forms (not aimed at you Mitch/Don).

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mitchvg commented Monday, 30 Dec 2013 at 2:58pm

All good bro

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mitchvg commented Tuesday, 31 Dec 2013 at 2:33pm

*Ahem* Sydney reports are looking beefy... :-P
Not quite bankable though, in terms of deciding to go bush camping in nth nsw while my mates go to falls festival...

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donweather commented Wednesday, 1 Jan 2014 at 12:15pm

Well, I was completely and utterly skunked this morning. Drove an hour and half for a coffee and muffin and then jumped in the car and came home without getting me feet even wet!!!

It's been close to 4 weeks now since I got anything reasonable surfwise. Huey you turd!!!

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mitchvg commented Wednesday, 1 Jan 2014 at 5:48pm

Yeah fully, I was tempted to head south but nothing showed up on the buoys, which was surprising considering the spectral graph for Sydney yesterday. But there are some mighty fine bakery/cafe goods down near where (I'm guessing) you went... a vego mini pizza from the 24hr bakery, then a salted caramel slice & double espresso from Bayleaf; worth the hassle of the traffic after a morning sesh!

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wellymon commented Wednesday, 1 Jan 2014 at 7:56pm

Patience will reward us patient ones soon.

Come on Huey (Tangaroa) give it some please.

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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donweather commented Thursday, 2 Jan 2014 at 8:52am

Patience!!! It's been almost a month since we had good swell and winds in SE QLD. It's summer, not spring. How long does one have to wait in summer for something surfable.

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Craig commented Thursday, 2 Jan 2014 at 8:55am

True, I'd be well and truly losing my shit if I was living up on the Goldy. But the end is nigh, lets hope everything comes together in the coming couple of weeks.

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donweather commented Thursday, 2 Jan 2014 at 9:49am

After yesterday Craig I have lost my shit big time. Pretty much given up on surfing at the moment.

End may be nigh swell wise but local winds look atrocious also!!!

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mitchvg commented Tuesday, 7 Jan 2014 at 5:48pm

Dbah's actually looking pretty good right now, on the cam

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mitchvg commented Tuesday, 7 Jan 2014 at 5:55pm

oh nup lol, moffs has some 'wash thrus' haha, finally