thermalben

Might be a good time to turn your focus elsewhere

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 11th December)

Best Days: No great days... just small slow surf at the swell magnets at best.

Recap: Freshening N’ly tending N/NE winds across all coasts Tuesday, and SE Qld through Far Northern NSW today, have maintained below average conditions. These N/NE winds occupied the Mid North Coast on Tuesday but a S’ly change arrived in Coffs around dawn this morning, pushing a little further north than expected - reaching Evans Head around 9:30am though retreating into the afternoon (winds have remained N/NE all day at Byron bay). A small building NE windswell from yesterday’s local breeze, plus intermittent S’ly swells have provided occasional waves depending on your beaches exposure to the swell and protection from the wind.

This week (Dec 12 - 13)

There’s really not a lot of surf in store for the rest of the week. 

Small S’ly swells will persist into Thursday - today was 3ft in Southern NSW, which is a useful barometer for south facing beaches south of Byron for Thursday morning. However sets will be very inconsistent, and size will slowly abate through the day.

We may see some minor S/SE swell late Thursday and into Friday from the bottom of the trough (responsible for the current southerly flow) though no major size is likely, just a few 1-2ft sets at south facing beaches south of Byron. Expect much smaller surf elsewhere.

Otherwise, a small but punchy front will clip Tasmania on Thursday morning, and two fetches - one pushing through eastern Bass Strait and another south-east of Hobart - will both generate some minor energy later Friday, but probably no more size than the pre-existing small S/SE swell. 

Elsewhere, local NE windswell may perk up a handful of exposed beaches with slow 1-2ft waves both days - including some SE Qld locations - but again it’s looking to be pretty slow and weak. 

As for conditions, a weak trough will linger off the coast for the next few days, with southerly winds to its south (i.e. North NSW, mainly Mid North Coast) and northerly winds to its north (i.e. SE Qld, mainly Sunshine Coast). Between the two, variable winds are likely at times (i.e. Gold Coast, Far Northern NSW) but the S’ly change may just sneak over the border into Friday.

So your best options will probably be on Thursday at south facing beaches in Far Northern NSW, which should at least be able to capitalise on the small S'ly swell with variable winds. Elsewhere, keep your expectations low.

This weekend (Dec 14 - 15)

The weekend looks pretty lacklustre. 

The latest model guidance has eased back on Monday’s suggestion for a strengthening frontal passage later this week and into the weekend, so wave heights have subsequently been downgraded a little. This was only going to favour Northern NSW’s south swell magnets anyway. 

Most beaches are looking at tiny waves, south facing beaches may see intermittent, rare 1-2ft sets on the more favourable parts of the tide, both days. But it’s really not a good weekend to be looking for anything amazing in the surf department. SE Qld may also pick up some minor NE windswell from a modest local fetch off the coast over the preceding days, but I can think of a thousand better things to do than hunt down rainbows and unicorns.

Wind wise, we’re looking at light breezes in the morning and afternoon onshores. No major strength is likely either day, but once again - with such an average surf outlook it’s really not worth worrying too much about the wind specifics. 

Next week (Dec 16 onwards)

Although the swell charts look a little lacklustre for next week, the models are showing a lot of instability across the Tasman Sea, with a couple of swell generating regions to keep an eye on. 

A weak surface trough off the Northern NSW coast Sun/Mon has low surf potential, but an associated S’ly change in Southern NSW on Monday may create a local windswell in Northern NSW on Tuesday.

Additionally, a possible mid-latitude low in the south-eastern Tasman around Monday may generate a stronger S/SE swell later Tues/Wed/Thurs. It's a little off-axis for the coast, but pretty strong in the latest guidance and could be a nice little earner at some Northern NSW spots - local winds pending.

Otherwise, a broad trade flow is expected to ebb and flow NE from New Zealand from now through next week. The current incarnation may generate a small E’ly swell for early next week (very inconsistent 2ft+ sets), but a stronger development around Tuesday next week is showing a little more promise for slightly larger waves later next week - though still on the small side. 


Anyway, the short version for the long term is that there’s nothing of any great significance showing up right now, but we do have a few regions to keep a watch on. Tune back in on Friday for a more comprehensive long term outlook. 

Comments

linez's picture
linez's picture
linez commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2019 at 8:00pm

Dire....

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2019 at 8:09pm

glad I tagged and bagged a few sessions last week in those (mostly underwhelming) S swell pulses.

getting halfway though Dec and looking into the long range there's no sign of any summer pattern, ie no Tradewinds.

mr mick's picture
mr mick's picture
mr mick commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2019 at 9:00pm

Here we go again........same as it ever was....started over 12 months ago....letting the days go by... listening to Talking Heads,thought the words appropriate

Mr mick

riley.willemse's picture
riley.willemse's picture
riley.willemse commented Thursday, 12 Dec 2019 at 11:47am

There was 100 people sitting at 0-1ft rainbow on sunday. Im actually dreading the next swell we get if its too big for the open beaches. Unless it lasts weeks the crowds are going to be astronomical.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 12 Dec 2019 at 1:16pm

it's just like the rainfall deficits: we are going to need lots and lots of surf to get back to zero

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Thursday, 12 Dec 2019 at 1:23pm

Do you all still surf?

andosbf's picture
andosbf's picture
andosbf commented Thursday, 12 Dec 2019 at 2:47pm

As often as I have sex after getting married, hardly ever

linez's picture
linez's picture
linez commented Thursday, 12 Dec 2019 at 3:01pm

Solitude.. "surf"....... what is that?

B.B.Blitz's picture
B.B.Blitz's picture
B.B.Blitz commented Thursday, 12 Dec 2019 at 3:01pm

Worst spring early summer in south east Queensland for quite a few years........sitting home with a torn ankle ligament..........not missing a thing but get to watch all of pipe for a change.When it pumps the holiday aggro will be off the scale...

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Thursday, 12 Dec 2019 at 4:23pm

Good time to re-watch The Big Lez series? Get into yoga? sssssccccrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!

Rockethut's picture
Rockethut's picture
Rockethut commented Thursday, 12 Dec 2019 at 7:10pm

Time to move away from this forsaken place.

Mata's picture
Mata's picture
Mata commented Thursday, 12 Dec 2019 at 10:07pm

Ok. From memory (not to be trusted in Spring & early Summer) the last decent swell we had on the Sunshine Coast was in August. So four months and nothing good over 4ft yeah?

Windsurfing, sailboarding, gardening ....

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Friday, 13 Dec 2019 at 8:42am

July 27/28/29 3-5ft, last really good swell.
August shit.
September 2/10 2-3ft, last good surf.
October 2/11, 2-3ft, last ok surf.
November shit.
December shit.

Yep, 7 decent days in 5 months.

Smorto's picture
Smorto's picture
Smorto commented Friday, 13 Dec 2019 at 9:48am

Yep, Saturday July 27 was the last good session (i.e memorable) I had this year. Some ok surfs here and there since but nothing worth remembering.

I work at Burleigh and used to go for lunchtime surfs, but decent waves breaking at the point just seems like a fantasy now.

I can remember the northerlies blowing well into February this year, we're all going to go crazy if that happens again in 2020.

Mata's picture
Mata's picture
Mata commented Friday, 13 Dec 2019 at 6:35pm

About all I can say at this point is the longer the drought, the nearer the rain.

Got da boards, need da surf

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Friday, 13 Dec 2019 at 10:21pm

Glad i fucken left!!!