South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 7th December)
Best Days: Entire period: plenty of trade swell, biggest Sunday. Winds won't be great but there'll be options across the outer SE Qld and semi-exposed Northern NSW points. Surf size will become small mid-next week.
Recap: Fresh trade winds and building trade swells over the last two days have favoured some nice waves across the outer SE Qld and semi-exposed Northern NSW points. Size is now around 3-4ft across the SE Qld and Far Northern NSW coasts (smaller south from Byron) and should push a little higher later today and into the weekend.
Building trade swell at The Pass this afternoon
This weekend (Dec 8 - 9)
We’ve got a classic summer pattern ahead for the weekend, with a stationary high in the Tasman Sea and a building E’ly trade swell that’s due to reach a peak on Sunday.
Local winds are the only fly in the ointment. We’ll see moderate to fresh E’lies at times throughout SE Qld, though the position of the Tasman high will see E/NE tending NE winds across the Mid North Coast. Between the two - i.e. north from Coffs up to about Ballina - winds will be lighter in strength; though still onshore. The chances for periods of light variable winds early morning is slim at best across most regions.
Wave heights will be largest in SE Qld, building slowly towards a peak around 4-5ft+ on Sunday, though it’ll be smaller running down the points, and sheltered southern corners and coves will be smaller again.
Concurrently, wave heights will slowly decrease in size as you track south from Byron. However, there certainly won’t be any shortage of trade swell across all coasts all weekend.
So, it's looking like a points-only affair this weekend. Bring the crowd repellant!
Next week (Dec 10 onwards)
Sunday’s E’ly swell will persist at a similar size into Monday morning, though it’ll trend down throughout the day as the Tasman high weakens and the trade flow throttles back.
This should see Tuesday down into the 4ft range across open SE Qld locations (smaller south of Byron), with Wednesday near 3ft and Thursday back to 2ft (again, smaller south from Byron each day).
Wednesday’s model runs had suggested we’d see a new tropical cyclone develop between the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu later this week, but it hasn’t eventuated. That being said, the synoptic pattern isn’t much different so the broader outlook for this period remains the same.
Elsewhere, and a near-stationary synoptic pattern all week will deliver an extended period of onshore winds to the region, with N/NE winds across the Mid North Coast thru’ NE winds into SE Qld. For what its worth, current modelling has north-easterly quadrant winds across the Mid North Coast up until late Tuesday 18th December, which is twelve consecutive days counting today. Yikes!
Otherwise, there are no new notable swell sources on the boil. A couple of systems way out in the far South Pacific (either side of Tahitian longitudes) look either too distant, or poorly aligned for our region - but I’ll keep tabs on this next week. Closer to our region, we may see a passing trough evolve into a more significant swell generating system in the Tasman Sea early in the following week, but it’s too far away to pin down anything for the time being.
Have a great weekend, see you Monday!