A bit o' wind, but plenty o' swell (south of the border)
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 26th June)
Best Days: Sat: strong (MNC) tending fun (north from Coffs) SE swell, easing during the day. Small in SE Qld. Pockets of early SW winds, otherwise S'ly. Easing into Sunday. Late Mon (MNC) and then Tues: another strong SE swell, biggest in Northern NSW, much smaller in SE Qld. Generally light winds, easing Wed: Thurs: more SE swell, light winds.
Recap: Small swells mainly from the south have padded out the last two days in SE Qld and Far Northern NSW, though today has also seen building SE swell across the Mid North Coast from a fetch off NZ earlier in the week. This has built size to around 4ft here (smaller as you head north from Coffs), though Southern NSW has seen 4-6ft sets. It’s still very small in SE Qld though.
This weekend (June 27 - 28)
A ridge of high pressure will maintain mainly moderate S’ly winds across most coasts for the next there days. We’ll see early pockets of SW winds but they won’t last too long, and won’t favour every beach either.
Having confidence on the likely size from this new SE swell is quite difficult. Southern NSW came in pretty much bang on size expectations today, and I’m expecting wave heights to hold similar on Saturday. Today’s small surf throughout SE Qld was also expected, as thee building trend isn't/wasn't expected to kick in until much later than its southern counterparts. But the difficulty is estimating exactly how much size to shave off, with smaller wave heights from this swell in the north (compared to the south).
As such, there’s no compelling reason to change the outlook I issued on Wednesday, which is for lully, inconsistent 4-6ft surf across the Mid North Coast on Saturday, smaller as you head north - say 3-5ft through to Byron - and then 2-3ft across SE Qld’s open beaches, smaller again running down the points (and tiny across the inner points).
Wave heights will reach a peakfrom both sources throughout Saturday - perhaps not until lunchtime north of the border - and then ease through Sunday.
Next week (June 29 onwards)
There’s been yet another rejig in the model output regarding a new surface low in the lower Tasman Sea this weekend.
It’s now due to be positioned a little closer to New Zealand, and a less favourably aligned for our swell window, though it’ll pack a punch with core winds in the 40kt+ range on Saturday night and early Sunday (see below).
Ordinarily, its poor alignment would be cause for concern, however this low is expected to remain stationary for an extended periods, which boost its swell potential - and a secondary polar front approaching from the south (clipping the south coast of New Zealand's South Island) will renew this fetch into Monday, extending the duration of the swell event through until the end of the week.
The timing for this next swell has been shunted back a few hours, so Monday morning will see smaller leftovers from the weekend. Keep a mind out for lingering southerly winds.
The models aren’t really liking this new swell much, but I reckon we’ll see a late kick in size with 4-5ft+ sets across the Mid North Coast close to dark, with the swell probably coming in after dinnertime north from Coffs or Yamba.
However, given the time of year - and the reduced hours of sunlight - there is absolutely a risk that the swell may arrive too late to be of benefit for many surfers, even south of Yamba. So, be cautious making any plans for a late Monday session.
Otherwise, this swell should show nicely through Tuesday morning, with 4-5ft+ sets at south swell magnets south of Byron, 3ft+ elsewhere including exposed northern ends of SE Qld (though smaller along the outer points in the 2ft+ range).
New energy from the secondary polar low (mentioned above) is currently due overnight Wednesday, and should lift surf size back up into the 3-4ft+ range for Thursday, with smaller 2ft+ surf north of the border.
Most of next week looks clean under a weak pressure gradient and thus light winds, though Monday will see lingering southerly winds. So, there'll be stacks of options to pick and choose from.
Have a great weekend, see you Monday!