Stacks of easterly swell for the holiday break
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 19th April)
Best Days: Most days: Plenty of E'ly swell (biggest over the weekend) but problematic winds for exposed spots in SE Qld and Far Northern NSW, best at sheltered locations. Better conditions on the Mid North Coast though with a little less size. Wave heights easing slowly from Monday onwards.
Recap: We’ve seen slowly building E’ly swells over the last few days; Thursday built from 2-3ft to 3-4ft at exposed beaches and today has managed 3-5ft surf for much of the day (smaller at protected spots and the points). SW tending SE winds on Thursday gave way to gusty E’lies at some coasts today, though morning S’lies occurred at scattered locations.
This weekend (April 20 - 21)
No change to the weekend outlook.
We’ll see the current E’ly swell plateau into Saturday before easing slowly later Sunday. At its peak, exposed beaches should manage 4-5ft+ sets though wave heights will be smaller at protected locations, and along the points.
The models have ever so slightly eased back the strength of the coastal ridge which means the E/SE flow shouldn’t be quite as strong, though it’ll be problematic at open beaches, especially Saturday. A little less wind (and size) is likely across the Mid North Coast all weekend, and Sunday should see a minor easing of wind strength from Saturday too. Pockets of early SW winds are possible, though not guaranteed north from Yamba as the synoptic flow may override most topographical influences.
Also in the water across Northern NSW on Sunday will be a small southerly swell, generated by a small but tight low well to the SE of Tasmania later Thursday and Friday. This should provide south swell magnets with occasional 2-3ft sets, though you’ll be lucky to be able to distinguish them from the bigger, more dominant E’ly swell.
Next week (April 22 onwards)
The models have cooled on Wednesday’s fetch re-intensification in the Coral Sea, and instead weaken the ridge very slowly. Though, it’ll remain active for a few days so the overall surf trend will be a gradual easing from Monday thru’ Friday, initially 3-5ft across Far Northern NSW and SE Qld's open beaches (smaller across the points), easing to 2ft by Friday or thereabouts.
So that’s about half to maybe one foot of size loss each day - not particularly noticeable.
Winds will be light and variable all week across the Mid North Coast under a weak pressure gradient, but we’ll see initially moderate E/SE winds (pockets of early light S’ly or maybe SW winds) in SE Qld and Far Northern NSW early in the week, also gradually easing as the days progress. So, expect reasonable conditions with plenty of peaky surf all week, though bumpy across the beachies early on (in the north).
Looking elsewhere, and the next major synoptic feature is a succession of strong fronts through the lower Tasman Sea around Friday, that’ll supply strong southerly swell for Northern NSW for a few days into next weekend.
More on this in Monday’s update.
Have a great Easter!