Increased feast from the east, for Easter
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 15th April)
Best Days: Wed PM onwards: building E'ly swell, though becoming wind affected at exposed spots (most prominently Fri onwards, more so in the north than in the south). Biggest surf Sat/Sun, easing Mon.
Recap: The weekend threw up some small fun peaky waves at a handful of beaches that were finely tuned for short range SE swells. Surf size was in the 2-3ft range out of the SE (in the north) and a small S’ly swell glanced Northern NSW’s south facing beaches both days, offering inconsistent but otherwise straight energy of a similar size. Winds were generally SW early, tending S’ly then SE throughout the day. Wave heights eased back from all sources this morning.
This week (April 16 - 19)
There’s really just one swell event worth considering this forecast period. And the good news for those of you heading away over the Easter break, is that it’s timed perfectly from Thursday onwards.
Prior until then, we’ll see small weak residual swells across the open beaches. There’s a smattering of minor, poorly consolidated E’ly fetches scattered across the Tasman Sea and they’ll all contribute a couple of feet of average, peaky surf for the next few days, but it’s not worth getting too excited about. If you’re keen to get wet, aim for a morning session whilst winds will be a little lighter and more around to the SW, before they swing S’ly then SE.
Our Easter swell is being generated by a broadening E’ly fetch atop a large, stationary Tasman high, that’s expected to remain slow moving inside our swell window up until the weekend. Which means we’ll see E’ly swell through the entire holiday period.
A small increase is expected Thursday (2-3ft open beaches) but Friday is where we’ll start to see bigger surf pushing into exposed coasts, with 3-4ft surf throughout the day, possibly reaching 4-5ft very late (though more so into Saturday). Expect smaller waves running down the various points and into other sheltered spots.
As for local conditions, a persistent ridge across the coast this week will maintain moderate to fresh SE winds in the north, but it'll be a little lighter across the Mid North Coast. There’ll be early periods of SW winds across some regions, though the ridge will strengthen into Friday and this will increase wind speeds, and we may see a touch more east in the overall direction (remaining SE across the Mid North Coast). The chance for early periods of lighter SW winds will diminish slightly on Friday, but there’ll be a few locations still doing well for the early session (i.e. Southern Gold Coast).
This weekend (April 20 - 21)
We’ll see a plateauing E’ly swell over the weekend, which should reach 4-5ft+ at exposed beaches later Saturday or perhaps early Sunday (smaller running down the points), with fresh and gusty SE winds in the south, tending more E/SE in the north. Locations south from Yamba will see a little less wind and a smidge less surf size.
As per Friday, there’s a slim chance for isolated pockets of SW winds here and there. But for the most part this swell and wind combo will be best for sheltered points, and they’ll be a lot smaller. Outer points will be slightly more wind affected, but bigger and still worth the effort.
Next week (April 22 onwards)
A gradual easing of swell and wind will occur early next week, though it looks like we’ll see a ridge hold steady through the Coral Sea, keeping SE Qld flush with small mid-range SE swell for much of next week.
Elsewhere in our swell windows, and the broadscale steering patterns look conducive for further synoptic developments in the Tasman Sea, so it’s quite likely we’ll see fresh easterly swells from brand new sources next week too.
All in all, we've got an active period ahead - just a shame that local winds aren’t perfect - but it’s a nice run of easterly swell ahead for some time.
See you Wednesday!