thermalben

Dominant swell direction to swing from the east to the south

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 8th April)

Best Days: Most days: fun small waves across SE Qld beaches and outer points. Sun: large though windy S'ly swell, biggest in Northern NSW. Mon/Tues/Wed: plenty of S'ly swell for Northern NSW, only small in SE Qld. 

Recap: E’ly swells have maintained 2-3ft waves across SE Qld and Far Northern NSW over the last two days, with conditions best suited to the outer points under S/SE breezes. Northern NSW has seen smaller surf from this source but a series of S’ly swells built slowly through Tuesday, peaking today around 3-4ft at south facing beaches. Winds have been lighter and more variable south from Yamba. 

D’Bah looking nice this morning

Snapper looking nice Tuesday morning

This week (Apr 9 - 10)

Our current E’ly swell was generated by the supporting ridge to TC Harold, which is now entering our eastern swell window, well east of New Caledonia. However, TC Harold is tracking too quickly to the east to generate any meaningful swell for Australia’s East Coast. As such I am not expecting any energy from it, or the supporting ridge (which has subsequently weakened).

That being said, we have some small E’ly swell on the way for SE Qld over the coming days, from a new high in the Tasman Sea that’ll briefly strengthen a ridge through the Coral Sea and Northern Tasman Sea from now through Friday. We won’t see a lot of size, but it should lift open beaches and outer points back up into the 2-3ft range by Thursday afternoon (perhaps a slight lag on this early morning), holding through Friday. 

Also in the water on Thursday and Friday - mainly across SE Qld, but also parts of Far Northern NSW - will be an inconsistent E’ly groundswell, generated by a deep trough/tropical low well to the east of NZ last weekend, inside its swell shadow. This probably won’t appear much prominently than the local E’ly swell, but may be discernible via spectral buoy data. If we're lucky, the overlapping swell trains may generate a few bigger waves at reliable swell magnets.

As for conditions, the local ridge will maintain moderate to fresh S/SE breezes for much of Thursday - with just a few pockets of early light SW winds - but wind speeds will ease into Friday as the ridge relaxes, creating light variable conditinos across most regions on Friday. The only exception is the Sunshine Coast which may see an early lingering S/SE breeze, but even if that occurs, it should abate by lunchtime. 

As for Northern NSW, we’re approaching the peak of the southerly swell cycle and wave heights will ease from Thursday onwards. South facing beaches south of Byron may see a few stray 3-4ft sets early morning before it eases to 2-3ft during the day, and Friday will be down to 2ft+. We’ll also see some E’ly swell (as above) in the water though it’ll be smaller with increasing distance from about Ballina or Yamba. 

Winds look generally light to moderate E’ly on Thursday, tending northerly on Friday, though with reasonable periods of light variable winds (generally in the mornings). So, conditions won’t be amazing but it’ll be workable.

This weekend (Apr 11 - 12)

Freshening pre-frontal westerly winds on Saturday will maintain clean conditions for the open beaches, but all of our swell sources will be easing. Northern NSW will see just a foot or two of lazy, leftover south swell, but SE Qld’s swell magnets may pick up a few 2-3ft sets early morning before size eases to 1-2ft during the day. 

A vigorous front will push off the coast overnight Saturday, delivering fresh to strong S/SW winds to most regions, possibly gale force across the Mid North Coast. 

We’ll see building S’ly swells through the day, originating from two seperate sources - the first from a broad, intense polar low pressure system tracking well south of Tasmania on Friday (see below).

Although poorly aligned within our swell window - and also located a long way from our region - the sheer strength of this system can’t be discounted, and we’re looking at long period energy in the 17-18 second range. This should contribute a brief period of 3-5ft surf at south facing beaches south of Byron, though it’ll be very inconsistent and won’t show at protected coasts (nor many locations north of the border either).

The other south swell (primary, or secondary?) will have originated from a strong fetch trailing Saturday night’s change. The swell periods will be lower but there’ll be more size in the ocean swell (see below).

This should kick up 4-6ft+ surf at south facing beaches south of Byron, smaller elsewhere in the 3-4ft range, and even SE Qld should see a kick in size through the afternoon, reaching 2-3ft+ across the outer Gold Coast points (smaller across the Sunshine Coast). Expect smaller surf in SE Qld through the morning.

Of course, under these gusty S/SW tending S’ly winds, only sheltered points will have clean conditions. Let’s firm up the specifics in Friday’s update. 

Next week (Apr 13 onwards)

Strong secondary fronts trailing behind Saturdays system will maintain elevated southerly swells across Northern NSW for Monday, Tuesday and (according to model guidance) possibly even Wednesday - though I think mid-week is a stretch (Mon and Tues most likely). 

This should keep south facing beaches in the 3-5ft range, and conditions are looking great under an extended period of light winds thanks to a weak high pressure ridge. 

With no meaningful easterly swell expected in the water next week, SE Qld will be reliant on diffracted southerly swell for its surf, so expect much smaller wave heights. There should however be small peelers across the outer points.

More on this in Friday’s update. 

Comments

Hastoes's picture
Hastoes's picture
Hastoes commented Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020 at 7:10pm

I love y'all @ swellnet !! Best surfing related website available by a long shot . Few things, I've lost my job. I still don't have a solid answer to the question of access to social security. I have two kids and a wife .I have a lot of outgoings and no incomings. I can't afford to keep my monthly subscription .I'd like to say a few things before I exit. I don't agree with comments in regards to the local forecasts as to what locations you should go. To be specific, in the last few days the morning report (not today) would say this mornings swell would favour the tweed or the northern beaches ( example). Please just give general comments not implicating actual areas . I don't agree that you have the webcams operating during this time. It breaks me to say that the forecasting side of this business is not only a non essential operation at this time, but is adding to the potential death rate of this great nation. Please reconsider your impact. Out

aj

kaiser's picture
kaiser's picture
kaiser commented Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020 at 7:35pm

This morning’s early report gave 3ft and 5/10 as the observation. Show me one wave prior to 8am that wasn’t Dbah and was still 3ft and I’ll give the game away. This is not the time for overcalls

Alanjwells's picture
Alanjwells's picture
Alanjwells commented Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020 at 7:56pm

Yeah tend to agree, surfed Currimundi from first light and it was rubbish, 3/10 max. Was waist high crumbly short period dribble.

Alanjwells

cam.jw's picture
cam.jw's picture
cam.jw commented Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020 at 9:03pm

2 words......high tide.

Cjw

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 9:08am

Plenty of 3ft waves on the Tweed yesty morning.

Here's Snapper around 6am.

kaiser's picture
kaiser's picture
kaiser commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 10:00am

Nah sorry. Still an overcall. Coincidentally the early report was removed in the afternoon and the mid morning report was duplicated.

scott.kempton's picture
scott.kempton's picture
scott.kempton commented Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020 at 8:40pm

What's with all the whining if your onto it you have a fair idea what's going at your local . I like the forecasting and knowing when to organise a days work around the surf

Hastoes's picture
Hastoes's picture
Hastoes commented Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020 at 8:55pm

Work ? I wish

aj

Hastoes's picture
Hastoes's picture
Hastoes commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 6:03am

.

aj

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 7:46am

Hi Hastoes, sorry to hear - difficult times comrade , all the best, in solidarity

Breath. Murdoch's empire will one day fail to control our minds.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 7:46am

workers united.

Breath. Murdoch's empire will one day fail to control our minds.

Hastoes's picture
Hastoes's picture
Hastoes commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 8:41am

Freedom has the strength of compassion and flexibility. It has, above all, the strength of intellectual honesty.

aj

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 9:04am

One wave, one surfer, three snaps, almost the same part of the same turn.


freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 9:29am

good luck getting back on your feet Hastoes. heaps of crew in the same boat.

Hastoes's picture
Hastoes's picture
Hastoes commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 8:03pm

Thanks Free, yep so many people affected! The aim of my post was purely purposed on not myself, but a snapshot on what others may be going through. Ben had posted something related on another forum in regards to what had transpired 100 years ago during the Spanish flu. Shit man it would've been a challenge to come out of the other side . For me its about what what's right for myself and my family, I try not to dwell on what others are proactively doing to help stop and start again, but that's the greatest anxiety that I myself have. I cannot control the actions or inactions of others, but I do control my own. That is the reason that I air my" dirty laundry ". It is the only way that I can see that I may slightly influence others to get a grip on the reality that we are facing. I know that a few may try and knock me . Thats life.
Again, thank you for your kind words , seriously love to ya'll

aj

linez's picture
linez's picture
linez commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 9:32am

Can't drive a short distance to a quiet beachie, but still heaps of crew out at dbah..... makes sense.

Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding commented Friday, 10 Apr 2020 at 6:34am

Do people forget how dense the housing (specifically apartments and residential buildings) is around Coolangatta, rainbow bay and dbah? Of course there are crew who live in that part of the world who can easily walk to dbah. Open your eyes next time you're down the area, boards and wetties on balconies all over the joint. Get a grip people, some people are local to that area.

orangefield's picture
orangefield's picture
orangefield commented Friday, 10 Apr 2020 at 12:43pm

Do you mean all crowds aren’t the 2 headed monsters from Brisbane? That the GC and Tweed is a big place with lots of surfers? Shock horror!

Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding commented Friday, 10 Apr 2020 at 3:27pm

Haha, it's crazy... I think trust in what the media and politicians are spewing is misplaced and at an all time high. There is no balance anymore. It's either your in or your out. And if your in the out camp, good luck. There is a really dark undertone to all this, didn't take long for it to start to spill out...

alexsmith1's picture
alexsmith1's picture
alexsmith1 commented Friday, 10 Apr 2020 at 3:41pm

Dbah is a joke! Lot of guys travelling coming from the northern end of the coast to score below average waves.

Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding commented Friday, 10 Apr 2020 at 6:21pm

Yeah...right.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 10 Apr 2020 at 9:53am

The east swell isn't very strong, but there's the odd peaky wave.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Friday, 10 Apr 2020 at 3:36pm

It was cracking at my local beachie from late morning until just after lunch. 3hr session and I’m fcked.