Gradually easing E'ly swells, then a decent round of S'ly swell (for Northern NSW)
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 22nd April)
Best Days: Wed/Thurs: improving conditions as winds abate, with easing E'ly swells (Tues onwards will see light winds across the MNC). Sun/Mon/Tues: solid S'ly swell, good winds likely too.
Recap: E’ly swells have maintained 4-5ft+ sets across most exposed coasts for the last three days, with a wide range in conditions - the Mid North Coast saw light offshore winds, but north from about Yamba, an onshore flow kept exposed beaches very bumpy, relegating the only workable options to sheltered locations.
Noosa looking fun this evening
This week (April 23 - 26)
The E’ly flow responsible for our weekend’s E’ly swells has become smaller in size and contracted slightly to the north of our swell window, into the Coral Sea.
However, it’s still positioned favourably for SE Qld and Far Northern NSW (see chart below), and we’ll see plenty of E’ly swell on Tuesday (3-5ft open beaches, smaller outer points), before a gradual easing trend takes place from Wednesday, down to 2ft+ by Friday.
Expect slightly smaller surf south from Yamba, with a similar trend.
Like variable winds and sea breezes are expected across the Mid North Coast all week (with a possible N’ly flow on Friday). North from here, Far Northern NSW and SE Qld will still be susceptible to fresh E/SE breezes on Tuesday but it’ll throttle back from Wednesday, becoming light and variable for the rest of the week.
The only other swell source on the charts is for Northern NSW on Friday. A powerful but poorly aligned front and low will track south of Tasmania on Tuesday, and south swell magnets may see some glancing sets in the 2ft+ range for the last day of the working week, however it’ll be a fleeting event and generally unreliable as a go-to swell source (the E’ly swell will likely be more dominant).
This weekend (April 27 - 28)
A strong round of Southern Ocean fronts will drive into the lower Tasman Sea later Friday (see chart below), heralding a sustained round of south swell for Northern NSW.
At this stage we’re looking at three seperate fronts crossing the region, and wave heights should pulse around 4-5ft+ at south facing beaches south of Byron between Saturday afternoon, and Monday or Tuesday (though, surf size will be a lot smaller at beaches not open to the south). However the precise timings of each pulse is yet to be finalised, and wave heights will be smaller ‘between pulses’, so to speak.
It’s also very likely that SE Qld will see very small surf throughout this period.
There’s also potential for a small size upgrade depending on where each low reaches maximum strength - the first is currently expected to do most of its work on the wrong (western) side of Tasmania, but the models have been moving around a bit in recent days so we’re likely to see the forecast change a bit as the week progresses. The other fronts are further back in the model cycle so confidence is subsequently lower.
A S’ly change will push across the Northern NSW on Saturday morning (ahead off the swell increase), but it should throttle back into the afternoon, and become light and variable by Sunday as the south swell reaches a peak, which is good news. However, let’s take a closer look on Wednesday.
Next week (April 29 onwards)
The third and final front in this sequence will dominate Southern NSW on Monday and Tuesday, so at this stage the outlook is for elevated surf out of the south for the first half of the week, easing thereafter. There’s nothing off any interest standing out in the long term charts beyond this otherwise.