thermalben

Plenty of swell, but gotta work around the winds

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 5th June)

Best Days: Sat/Sun: light winds and a fun mix of SE then S'ly swells. Biggest in Northern NSW, smaller in SE Qld. Wed/Thurs: fun waves across the outer SE Qld points. 

Recap: Surf size came up strong from the south on Thursday, reaching a windy 6-8ft at south facing beaches south of Byron though much smaller elsewhere, around 3ft across SE Qld outer points and bigger at south swell magnets north of the border. Winds remained out of the south so the points were the best option. Today has come in smaller than expected north of the border, with 2-3ft surf in SE Qld and slow options across the points though Northern NSW has still managed 5-6ft+ surf at south swell magnets, albeit under average conditions (again, best suited to protected locations).

Friday morning lines at D'Bah

This weekend (June 6-7)

Today’s under-performance in SE Qld is most likely related to a persistent southerly direction (instead of a gradual swing to the S/SE and then SE, as forecast). Peak swell periods jumped to 14 seconds just before midnight Thursday, but this wasn’t enough to counter the directional influence north of the border. 

In any case, we’ve got another pulse of SE swell due to fill in from anytime about now onwards, which should provide a great morning of waves on Saturday with light variable winds keeping conditions clean. 

This energy has originated from a broad strengthening of S’ly winds off the West Coast of New Zealand on Thursday, in association with a Tasman Low that formed in the lee to our mid-week southerly change. This swell direction will certainly favour Northern NSW more than SE Qld but there should be enough size and period to allow for some good waves at most coasts.

South facing beaches south of Byron should pick up 4-5ft, maybe 4-6ft sets (though they’l be pretty inconsistent) however anywhere not exposed to the south will be proportionally smaller. North of the border, outer Gold Coast points should pick up occasional 3ft sets, with bigger surf at exposed northern ends and south facing beaches. Expect a little less size across the Sunshine Coast. And again, it’ll be very inconsistent here too, so expect a log of waiting around for the best waves. Though with light winds there'll be great options across the wide open beaches anyway, so spread out and find a peak to yourself.

Wave heights will ease steadily from this source into Sunday, but a new long period S’ly groundswell will push up the Northern NSW coast during the day, generated by a polar low well below the continent over the last few days. We’ll see a building trend through the morning across the Mid North Coast but it probably won’t reach the Far North Coast until after lunch. 

South facing beaches (south of Byron) should see 3-4ft sets from this south swell, which is probably a comparable size to the easing SE swell - in the morning at least, anyway. I can’t see this long period south swell making much of a dent in proceedings throughout SE Qld so expect small peaky beachies in the 2ft range on Sunday (occasional bigger waves at south swell magnets, exposed northern ends). 

Next week (June 8 onwards)

A small low will develop off the Southern NSW coast on Sunday, and then move across Northern NSW on Monday. This low has been successively downgraded over the last few model runs, and therefore early next week isn’t looking terribly large in the size department. And with freshening S’ly tending SE winds, conditions won’t be great either (and it’ll be small on the points). 

Low quality local southerly windswells will build across Northern NSW on Monday, and there’s a suggestion in the European model that an easterly fetch may develop on the low’s southern flank during the day, delivering a short range swell for Northern NSW on Tuesday. But model consensus is low so it’s not a confident swell right now. 

The rest of the week has a couple of interesting swell sources on tap. 

First, a strengthening ridge through the Coral Sea will building E/SE swells for SE Qld and Far Northern NSW from Tuesday onwards, reaching a peak later Wednesday or Thursday in the 3ft+ range. Locally fresh SE winds will however confine the only rideable options to the sheltered points. 

Northern NSW will concurrently pick up a couple of pulses of small long period southerly swells, from migrating polar lows. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are all best positioned for the most size (peaking around 3-4ft), but I’ll firm up the specifics in Monday’s notes. Winds will be average for the first half of next week but from Wednesday onwards should improve as a high pressure ridge influences the region. So, flag Monday and Tuesday and aim for a surf later in the week. 

We’ll also see some small long range E’ly swell from a distant system (currently in the Tahitian region) arriving around Thursday but no major size is expected due to the large travel distance. This swell will probably blend in with the mix of S’ly and E/SE swells mentioned above. 

Have a great weekend!

Comments

Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67 commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 7:57pm

Don't know where you got the three foot at SEQ points from mate. Even the "outer points" as you call them were ankle high last two days. Still a good 4-5' at a mid north point this arvo though.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 8:05am

A bit slow this morning but the new SE swell looks like it's starting to fill into the Goldy. Snapper looking fun.

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 8:05am

Looks small, slow and crap from what I've seen between byron and ballina... dunno where the 4-5ft swell is :(

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 8:09am

Looking pretty solid in Coffs!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 8:20am

Coffs buoy shows the new SE swell filling in from about 4am (see below - swell periods in the red square). Because swells don't always produce a linear response along the coast, I'm not surprised if some locations are dipping out this morning - but this swell direction/source is good for much of Northern NSW so I will be surprised if there are notable exceptions by lunchtime!

Distracted's picture
Distracted's picture
Distracted commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 11:23am

Cracking morning + surf on the MNC. But the amount of people on the beach and in town is unbelievable!

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 12:30pm

sleepy 2-3ft here.
maybe a 4footer once or twice an hour.

I think it's a false coinage to call this a "new SE swell"....it's just the evolution of the swell train as the Tasman low moves across the tasman.
Swell has eased off and just clocked around ever so slightly.

it was never in the window long enough to generate a meaningful, discrete, new swell source.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 12:34pm

Easy 4-5ft sets in the Tweed. Long groundswell lines, looks very impressive. Million miles better than yesterday.

mickseq's picture
mickseq's picture
mickseq commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 1:01pm

yes Ben, big on the northern end with very little people out, great morning

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 1:27pm

Big end of... which coast?

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 2:31pm

Surfed around 9, it was 3ft with occasional 4ft bomb, most were too straight, swell seemed lumpy and bit low quality, did see a few guys get blinders but they were the exception really. Most beaches looked fair bit worse than what we surfed

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 4:17pm

I had a funny feeing today was going to be another one of those magical mysto Tweed coast swells.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 4:33pm

"magical mysto Tweed coast swells"?

Erm, the entire NSW coast is bathed in strong lines of SE corduroy today.

Except the Ballina Shire, as per usual. 

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 6:30pm

yeah, but nah.

I had a squizz at the cams around lunch when I came in.

weak 2ft at DBah, scrappy 3ft at Gallows. A foot or 2 at the Pass.

which accords perfectly with my surf and what is reported.

anyhow, onto the next one.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 6:45pm

3ft Gallows? Surfcam grab posted above (from this morning) is north of 4-5ft.

Check the Sydney notes for images from that stretch. Plenty of reports of pumping surf.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 7:12pm

Yep this morning an easy 4 foot + (much smaller by evening)
I heard reports of the magnets being bigger

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 7:25pm

I looked at lunchtime{on the cams).

surf was swallowed up by morning high tide until 9-ish.

yeah, some 4ft sets, but very few. it was very sleepy and slow. surfed from 9-12

Sydney 4ft. Take a foot off for travel and you get 3ft. which was about right.

did you get some Solitude?

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 8:20pm

Yeah were some hard work beachies around this morning. Some barrels to be had for those in the spot, certainly nothing to write home about.

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 8:06pm

Walked the dog at Salt, was easy 4ft+ on sets. Wasn't very good, too straight and closey but the sets were strong. Nobody surfing along the whole stretch (when I was there) except a couple of guys trying to do step offs 

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 4:38pm

Love the kid's reflection on the flats.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Sunday, 7 Jun 2020 at 8:20am

Reasonable drop in size overnight but plenty of size still on offer in Coffs.

Gold Coast still picking up since decent waves, Narrowneck ain't looking too bad (though this set went over the reef without breaking - early high tide not helping much).

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 7 Jun 2020 at 9:26am

Got a few fun waves before the crowd started turning up. Just as the numbers started to swell and I decided to get out , it went flat for 20 minutes. More crew filing out the back , creeping within the thirty metre comfort zone I was keeping between myself and other punters. Felt a twinge of irritation fire at the back of my brain.

Looked up from a school of longtail tuna , busting up in the groomed ocean , to a brilliant blue sky painted with wisps of pure white cloud and made a conscious decision to axe the bad vibes before they got comfortable.

Two minutes later a wave came straight to me uncontested . Off the bottom as it stood up nicely on the bank . Quick hook off the top then a clean tube which ran for much longer than it had any right to . Belt the end section , prone all the way to the shore , Walked up the beach knowing that this was a good day just getting better.

Families already setting up all manner of tents and BBQs. Carpark as full as I’ve ever seen it. Days like this are not to be wasted. I swear I can sense the release of tension in crew who’ve bailed on the last couple of months cooped up in Wuflu lockdown within their city homes. Crowds are thick around here. Spirits are rising.

Huey ....dead set , you’re a fucking legend.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Sunday, 7 Jun 2020 at 9:23am

my highlight yesterday was sitting there minding my own business waiting for a set.

fcuking 20kg+ yellowtail kingfish swam right past me, so close I could have stroked it.

there was a lot of bait in the water.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 7 Jun 2020 at 9:35am

Freeride....I’ve got a mind to really chase kingies around here this winter. Never pursued them much . I’d love to be able to show you a photo of a 20 kilo specimen laying in the bottom of the Sea Wok within the next few months. They’re bold , curios fish when you’re diving. They can’t resist a close range inspection of your activity. Are the big ones any good to eat ? Worms ?

BTW....I’m becoming a big fan of the mullet flop. Watching them launch out of the water with all the grace of a foot long humpback then belly slap back through the surface. You can pick them as mindless bastards from 50 metres away , just by scoping their jumping style. The diametric opposite of the Spaniard spear which sees them re-enter perfectly after a 5 metre launch.

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Sunday, 7 Jun 2020 at 11:06am

Did I just hear a shark related death up north on abc?

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Sunday, 7 Jun 2020 at 11:09am

Kingscliff. RIP.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Sunday, 7 Jun 2020 at 11:24am

Thats a bummer. Damn. RIP.

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Sunday, 7 Jun 2020 at 11:25am

Yep was down there at salt just now.

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi commented Monday, 8 Jun 2020 at 10:34am

Pretty weak and average this morning, a few hit the banks well but not much on em

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 8 Jun 2020 at 12:35pm

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 8 Jun 2020 at 6:19pm

thats how the Lennox tornado of 2010 formed: a waterspout that came ashore.