Average weekend, but looking fun next week

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Southeast Queensland and Northern New South Wales Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 1st August)

Best Days: Mon thru' Thurs: fun mix of SE and E'ly swells in SE Qld. North Coast/Mid North Coast will see a mix of E'ly swell (Tues/Wed/Thurs) and S'ly swell (Wed/Thurs).

Recap: It’s been tiny in SE Qld, but exposed south facing beaches in Northern NSW picked up a fun clean S’ly groundswell on Thursday that was nice enough to hang around into this morning. A small NE windswell also pushed into the North Coast region today. 

This weekend (Aug 2-3)

The models have slightly wound back the strength of the front pushing through in the lower Tasman tonight, so as a result the weekend surf forecast has correspondingly been pulled back a touch.

Additionally, the timing has also shifted around due to a repositioning of the core fetch. Exposed south facing beaches in Northern NSW will see a small increase in short range southerly swell on Saturday (mainly sideband energy from a strong SW fetch pushing off the mainland) and very little of this will get into protected spots - our model is slightly overcalling wave heights at the moment, I think we’ll be lucky to see much more than 2ft+ at south facing beaches by the end of the day).

Winds will be gusty from the south by this time so there really won't be much surf of any value. And SE Qld won't see much, if any swell from this initial source. 

The main increase in new south swell has been pushed back a little and should arrive overnight Saturday, padding out Sunday with low quality 3-4ft waves at south facing beaches in Northern NSW, and very small surf elsewhere - I’m even doubtful that the protected points (which’ll be clean under the southerly breeze) will have enough size to be worthwhile on Sunday - maybe a couple of feet tops, and rather weak in structure.

As for SE Qld, surf size will be tiny away from the south swell magnets - perhaps 1ft or maybe 1-2ft at the semi-exposed points along the Gold and Sunshine Coast at best on Sunday. However, they’ll be cleanest under the southerly airstream. Overall keep your expectations low - it’s really not a great weekend for surfers anywhere between Seal Rocks and Fraser Island.

Next week (Aug 4-8)

Next week’s swell sources can be divided into a couple of areas. Firstly, SE Qld will benefit from a strengthening ridge across the Coral Sea from Sunday onwards, that’ll provide the biggest waves on the Sunshine Coast (albeit accompanied by a fresh and gusty SE airstream for a few days).

In fact the models have marginally strengthened this ridge since Wednesday's notes, so I’m going to slightly bump up the surf forecast - most Gold Coast locales should see occasional 2-3ft sets at times from Monday thru' Wednesday, and the Sunny Coast should be another half to one foot bigger. However locations south of about Ballina won’t see much from this source. 

In the South Pacific, a developing belt of trades NE of New Zealand are expected to kick up a small mid-period E’ly swell that’ll fill in across most areas on Monday afternoon, holding Tuesday/Wednesday before tapering off later in the week. Our surf model forecast is calling 4ft surf on the Goldy on Tuesday, which I think is a slight overcall - it appears the models is combining this long range east swell with the trade swell generated by the Coral Sea ridge. As such I’m keeping a lid on wave heights to 2-3ft+ at most beaches between the Sunny Coast and Yamba (with smaller surf south of about Coffs). 

Winds will remain out of the SE across the southern Queensland coast during this time (with possible brief windows of SW winds in a few select areas) but with increasing southerly latitude, the ridge will weaken and we’ll be more susceptible to lighter winds with a lingering period of sou’westers in the mornings. 

Also in the North Coast mix during the middle of next week is a series of new long period south swells, generated by a strong frontal passage south of Tasmania early next week. This swell is due through Wednesday and Thursday and should be worthy of 2-3ft sets at south facing beaches. 

Long term (Aug 9 onwards)

More strong fronts are expected through our southern swell window mid-late next week, which will keep the Northern NSW coast flush with south swell through the following weekend and beyond. More on this in Monday’s update.


wellymon's picture
wellymon's picture
wellymon Friday, 1 Aug 2014 at 7:25pm

Awesome Synoptics SN,
The last week I have been correlating SN synoptics charts versus LWT's from WZ, Even SN synoptics versus WZ. Only trying to archive good storms like this that is moving across the Southern Ocean.
Pretty impressed how close the SN synoptic chart on the 28th, 5 days ago pretty much happened today, great to see how close you guys can forecast well ahead, nice one.
28.07.14 prognosis for 01.08.14

SN Real today 01.08.14