Small beachies 'till the weekend; fun tradeswell from Friday arvo

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Southeast Queensland and Northern New South Wales Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 2nd June)

Best Days: Tues/Wed/Thurs: small clean E/SE swell at the beachies with early offshore winds. Fri: keep an eye out for a larger pulse of distant trade swell. Sat/Sun: fun tradeswell with freshening S'ly winds. Next week: bigger distant tradeswell, plus a chance for some punchy surf from a potential ECL in the southern Tasman.  

Recap: Mixed surf across the region with a southerly swell in Northern NSW on Saturday giving way to an E/SE swell through Sunday, that has persisted today. Wave heights came in a little above forecast expectations this morning (3ft sets against a forecast of 2ft) however SE Qld was smaller at only 1-2ft. 

This week (June 3-6)

Nothing major expected across SE Qld or Northern NSW this week. The current synoptic chart shows a broad trough sitting offshore from southern NSW, however it's focused into the Far South Coast and is thus placed well outside our swell window(s). However, a small ridge across the Northern Tasman Sea will continue to supply small levels of energy out of the east all week, and winds should be generally light and variable (early offshore, afternoon onshore). 

Elsewhere, a strengthening ridge to the northeast and north of New Zealand will strengthen long range trade swell across the region by the end of the week. No great size is initially expected from this source (say occasional 2-3ft sets) but we should certainly see a more definitive increase in the surf zone by Friday afternoon.  

This weekend (June 7-8)

We’ve got a very interesting synoptic period ahead for the East Coast. A slowly deepening trough along the East Coast all week is projected to form a possible ECL (as I mentioned in Friday’s notes), however there is still a great deal of uncertainty around the timing - current model guidance is pointing towards early next week as the most active period.

At this stage the most likely scenario for the weekend is for steady trade swell from the fetch sitting between Fiji and New Zealand to supply good surf across most regions. This fetch is expected to become fully mature later in the weekend and early next week (so, we’ll see the most size at the coast during the middle to latter part of the following week) but for now the only concern with this swell source is that the head of the fetch is expected to butt up against the Tasman trough, keeping it roughly one and a half thousand kilometres from the coast (somewhere south of New Caledonia). This will significantly reduce the consistency of the swell however we should still see some good waves, somewhere in the 2-3ft range at times at exposed beaches (maybe a few bigger sets on Saturday).

Wind wise, there is also increasing certainty that the developing trough will force a gusty southerly wind up along the coastal margin over the weekend. Coupled in with a fun east swell, we should see good waves across exposed points offering shelter from the wind. However let’s take a closer look in Wednesday’s notes. 

Longer term (June 9 onwards)

Whilst still quite some time away, there are several indicators suggesting that we could be on target for the first East Coast Low of the season early next week. They are: positive SST anomalies along the eastern seaboard, a deepening surface trough over the western Tasman, a slow moving upper trough over the eastern states, and an infeed of moisture from the South Pacific, thanks to a stationary, broadening easterly fetch between New Zealand and Fiji.

The timing for these developments is a little unclear right now but right now it looks like the Mon/Tues time frame will see some explosive synoptic developments off the southern NSW coast. However, it’s too early to tell whether they’ll benefit Northern NSW and SE Qld to any great degree - we’ll need a few more days to dial in the specifics.

Otherwise, the aforementioned strengthening tradeflow south of Fiji will probably continue to supply the entire region with a healthy, if somewhat inconsistent trade swell around 3ft+ throughout much of next week. Either way there are a lot of interesting things to look forward to in the upcoming discussion notes later this week. 


Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog Wednesday, 4 Jun 2014 at 11:27am

Donweather; that map you supplied, accessg, my memory, had the low forming off townsville.... Looks like its on the money re' position.... But some maps have it moving towards then behind New cal......... Bit of a downer if that's the case.....