On the cusp of an extended run of easterly swell

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 17th April)

Best Days: Plenty of easterly swell for the entire period, though windy at times in SE Qld and Far Northern NSW. 

Recap: We’ve seen small leftover surf Tuesday increase slowly from the east today. Winds have been generally SW tending S’ly then SE. 

This week (April 18 - 19)

Today’s Forecaster Notes are brought to you by Rip Curl

No changes to the short term forecast.

Thursday’s winds will be similar to today across SE Qld and Far Northern NSW; early SW tending S’ly then SE, but we’ll see lighter and more variable winds throughout the Mid North Coast under a weaker pressure pattern.

Friday will see a ridge of high pressure strengthen across the coast, freshening E/SE winds across the region - though again, the main strength will be north form Yamba, with lighter winds expected across the Mid North Coast. Pockets of early SW winds are possible (though less likely than Thursday).

As for surf, we're looking at a slow upwards trend out of the east from our developing trade flow in the northern Tasman Sea, building from 2-3ft to 3-5ft between early Thursday and very late Friday. As always, expect smaller surf running down the various points, with eventual size dependent on exposure. 

This weekend (April 20 - 21)

Looks like a steady weekend of punchy trade swell ahead, around 4-5ft+ across most open beaches though smaller running down protected points. South from Yamba may see a fraction less surf size. 

Winds will remain fresh and gusty from the E/SE across SE Qld and Far Northern NSW, though it’ll be lighter south from Yamba and more SE in direction. We may see isolated pockets of SW winds early mornings but there’s a greater chance of this across the Mid North Coast, and perhaps one or two locations in SE Qld (such as the southern Gold Coast). 

The models have firmed up the ridge in the Coral Sea over the weekend so we are now unlikely to see a drop in size through Sunday afternoon. 

Next week (April 22 onwards)

The latest model updates are now showing a strengthening trough/tropical low well north-east of Fraser Island on Sunday, which could build wave heights a little more into Monday, though not much. If anything, it’ll probably just muscle up the existing trade swell, but more noticeable will be a swing in the swell direction to the E/NE, perhaps even a touch of NE at times (in addition to some pre-existing E'ly swell)

This scenario would provide a more uniform size range across SE Qld breaks, create bigger surf (relative to an E/SE or SE swell direction) across sheltered inner points.

South from Ballina, surf size will be smaller though the trend should be of a similar nature: reinforced through Monday and Tuesday, easing slowly from Wednesday, though a persistent ridge extending east into the South Pacific until about Wednesday at least, should maintain at least 3-4ft E’ly swell for most of the week. 

As for winds, it’ll remain gusty out of the eastern quadrant. Confidence is not high on whether it’ll be more east or south-east but either way this synoptic pattern will be ideal for sheltered points. There's low confidence on early periods of SW winds too, given the closer proximity of the trough/low in the Coral Sea and the associated stronger coastal pressure gradient. 

Anyway, this is only a recent development in the models, so let’s wait and see how Friday’s runs are looking before we get too excited.

Elsewhere, there’s not a lot happening in our swell windows long term but it looks like easterly swell won’t be in short supply next week, which is great news as long as local winds play ball.

See you Friday!


freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 3:26pm

remember that little red Choo Choo train?

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Thats what this E swell reminds me of. It's trying so, so hard...........

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 3:43pm

Haha, yeah it doesn't have a great deal of push.

At the same time I had a great little surf this a.m., clean as a whistle, lefts and rights with shoulder high sets, perfect water temp and clarity.

Glad I made the most of it, looks like the wind will be into it for quite a few days.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 3:48pm

water was so nice hey.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 3:51pm

Epic day. Not the most incredible surf , but a great day nonetheless.

Got a few fun ones at the beach known as Lowbar’s. So named because you’ll always have a good time , you’ve just got to set the bar low enough.

Those expectations are so low they’re lying face down in the dirt most of the time. Extremely pretty can hide a lot of character flaws.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 5:22pm

I clicked on here to whinge about the parlous state of our banks, as I thought this was the place you came to vent, but today the thread is a warm water love in.

What's going on and where can I release my anger?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 5:35pm

come on Stu, let it out.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 5:38pm

anyone looked at dorsal lately cause it looks as though ol whiteys coming back.


Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 5:52pm

I’m over dorsalwatch.

I’ll be surfing or at the beach and the chopper will come down and hover / circle with siren blazing. Then I go on dorsal watch to check it it and they never report it.

It’s happened 3 times. One of which I saw the shark. A decent pointer.

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 5:56pm

I was looking for the gripe section too??

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Friday, 19 Apr 2019 at 4:36pm

Good Friday indeed...

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 19 Apr 2019 at 4:53pm

Sorry fellas, I don't know what came over me.
I got down the beach that morning and it was a magic day and then I saw a young fella about 4 or 5 years old stand maybe for one of his first times before promptly falling off.
As I walked his board back out to him I said "Hey that was a good one!", he beamed at me and said "Yeah!".
His dad was stoked too.
Maybe it was the double shot piccolo I had just before but it seemed like a good day.

Made me want to rush off and order a new board, maybe a 2+1 around the 8"0' mark for those fun smaller days.