Coupla fun south swells on the approach
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 21st October)
Best Days: Tues/Wed and maybe early Thurs should have fun small S'ly swells at south facing beaches south of Byron.
Recap: Saturday offered some fun waves out of the south across Northern NSW. Most south facing beaches picked up sets in and around the 2-3ft mark but a few bigger waves near 3-4ft were observed during a mid-morning (Mid North Coast) and early-mid afternoon (Far Northern NSW) pulse. Elsewhere it was smaller, including SE Qld which remained very small. Winds were light for most of the day but did freshen from the north into the afternoon. Fresh S’ly winds and tiny leftover swells padded out most of Sunday. Today has seen moderate winds from the S thru SE across most beaches, with small windswells in SE Qld and a slow, lacklustre S’ly swell across Northern NSW. An increase is expected at any time now (it’s running a little late) having graced Southern NSW yesterday and today with two seperate pulses; the biggest being mid-morning today (4-5ft), which should soon arrive across the Mid North Coast, though a little smaller than what we saw down south.
This week (Oct 22 - 25)
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First things first - we’ve got an extended period of mediocrity across SE Qld. This is not unusual for this time of year, but rather than reiterating the same points throughout the forecast notes, I thought I’d cut to the chase. The only options will be exposed northern ends and south facing beaches for the next few days, preferably Wednesday whilst winds are light. Keep your expectations very low.
Across Northern NSW, we’ve got a series of southerly swells that’ll provide good options at south facing beaches on Tuesday and Wednesday, and probably early Thursday too.
The only concern at this stage is that we should be seeing some reasonably solid energy in the water right now (across the Mid North Coast as a minimum) and its delay gives me pause for any confidence it’ll appear overnight. Nevertheless, although the source storm track is well off-axis, it’s nicely established and I think we’ll see overlapping swell trains for a few days.
Getting the timing right is pretty hard because of the number of swells in the water at any one time, but the good news is that a weak high pressure ridge will allow winds to be light and variable with sea breezes until Thursday, when early NW winds will swing to the north and gather strength as a high ridges across the Tasman Sea. So, aim for a morning surf over the next couple of days for the best conditions.
As for size, we’re probably looking at surf size fluctuating in and around the 3ft+ range at south facing beaches south of Byron both Tuesday and Wednesday. Model guidance suggests Tuesday will see the strongest surf (i.e. most size), but there’s a sneaky front going under Tasmania tonight that would suggest an arrival time on Wednesday afternoon. So keep your diary flexible for the next few days and aim for your favourite south swell magnet.
Expect a slight decrease into Thursday, and then another drop into Friday, both with freshening N’ly winds.
This weekend (Oct 26 - 27)
Strengthening N’ly winds Saturday will write off surf conditions across most coasts, though they will also generate a local windswell for exposed north facing beaches. The only hope for anything worthwhile on Saturday is the Mid North Coast, where an approaching trough may encroach this region and disrupt the local airstream, providing a brief window of clean peaky surf (and, say 3ft of short range N/NE swell).
The trough will push up the coast into Sunday morning, delivering gusty S’ly winds though very little S’ly swell to remaining coasts: the best swell energy will be be positioned half to one day behind, from strong SW winds exiting eastern Bass Strait later Saturday, so Sunday will generally only see windswells in the lee of the change.
However, there is a chance that early morning may see a brief period of small N/NE windswell at the swell magnets. Probably not as good as what we saw last week - which wasn’t amazing anyway - but that’s about the best we’re looking this weekend right now.
Next week (Oct 28 onwards)
The parent low to Sunday’s swell source looks impressive on the synoptics way down near the ice shelf, but it’s currently modeled to track rapidly eastwards and therefore many not spent a lot of time in our swell window. So, we have some southerly swell expected for a few days early next week - ballpark 3-4ft south facing beaches south of Byron from Monday thru’ Wednesday - but nothing over the top in the size department.
See you Wednesday!