South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales Surf Forecast (issued Friday 7th February)

thermalben's picture
thermalben started the topic in Friday, 7 Feb 2014 at 2:24pm

South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 7th February)

Best Days: Sat: easing combo of SE swells. Sun: small pulse of E'ly swell (mainly in NSW, less chance north of Byron)

Recap: Plenty of great waves about the Gold Coast on Thursday with a strong combo of building SE swells and fresh S/SE winds that eased rapidly late in the day. There was plenty of surf at most other regions (Sunny Coast, Northern NSW) but gusty SE winds made things difficult at times. Wave heights have eased a little today, but there’s a new groundswell in the water - a long range SE pulse, generated by a deep cut-off low that developed in the Tasman Sea earlier in the week (and delivered unreal 4-6ft waves across southern NSW last night). Good waves were reported right across the Northern NSW coast this morning, but unfortunately winds are now up from the south thru’ south-east, creating messy conditions across exposed locations.

This weekend (Feb 8-9)

The broad outlook for the weekend is for slowly easing swells with light winds tending onshore throughout the days.

Saturday will see mainly easing swells from today - best suited to the beachbreaks early morning before the wind gets into it. However we have a small pulse of new E’ly swell expected on Sunday, courtesy of a developing fetch off the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island this morning.

This is actually the remnants of the same low responsible for the current SE groundswell, however it’s aimed mainly towards southern and central NSW, so we will see slightly smaller surf in Northern NSW - and I’m not that confident that SE Qld will see much, if anything at all from it.

Wave heights should pulse to around 2ft+ in Northern NSW during Sunday, but it’ll be very inconsistent at times and developing onshore winds throughout the day will focus the best waves towards the morning session.

Next week (Feb 10-14)

Nothing major on the cards for next week. A ridge will build across the southern Coral Sea during Sunday and link in with a weak trough off the North Island of New Zealand, but no great strength is expected in the fetch so the resulting wave heights early next week will be small (and will decrease in size with increasing southerly latitude from the Sunshine Coast). 

This ridge is expected to break down around Tuesday or Wednesday as a weak southerly change enters the Tasman Sea, and current model guidance doesn’t favour anything of interest in our eastern swell window beyond this. A deep polar low will slide below Tasmania on Sunday, but it’s not expected to line up in the East Coast’s south swell window very well (southern NSW will pick up a small, long period south swell around Tuesday, but it probably won’t do much north of Seal Rocks).

Looking further ahead, and although the long range weather charts look a little bleak right now, there is one system I’d like to keep an eye on next week, that has some surf potential for parts of the East Coast. 

Once the deep low (mentioned above) pushes east of New Zealand longitudes, another broad high is expected to develop south of the Tasman Sea. At the same time, a trough of low pressure is expected to deepen along the northern half of New Zealand. The squeeze between the two systems (sometime around Tuesday) is expected to generate a strong S/SE fetch, which  - although not perfectly aimed towards the East Coast - could generate a fun SE swell for some regions around next Thursday, or Friday. Let’s take a closer look in Monday’s update.

Hirsty's picture
Hirsty's picture
Hirsty commented Saturday, 8 Feb 2014 at 5:59am

Hey mate I'm just chasing swell direction and size details for Thursday just gone ( 6th ) , is there some where I can access this kind of info on here or any where on the net....? Any help be much appreciated , cheers

Cheater5in

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 8 Feb 2014 at 9:11am

Where are you located? What kind of data are you after (physical buoy, virtual buoy, surfer observed)?

alakaboo's picture
alakaboo's picture
alakaboo commented Sunday, 9 Feb 2014 at 5:24pm

If you're after Qld buoy data, you can get it here:
https://data.qld.gov.au/dataset/coastal-data-system-waves