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)
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!