Plenty of SE swell on the way
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 29th June)
Best Days: All week: fun SE swell (strong in Northern NSW, small in SE Qld) with generally good winds, biggest Tues.
Recap: Strong SE swells over the weekend reached 4-6ft at select swell magnets in Northern NSW, mainly the Mid North Coast, with SE Qld coming in much smaller (as expected) due to the origin and alignment of the swell source; most outer points on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts picked up inconsistent 2-3ft sets. Surf size peaked Saturday afternoon ahead of a slow easing trend through Sunday, before abating a little more into Monday. Winds have been mainly southerly quadrant so conditions have been clean across the points. As yet there’s been no sign of the new SE swell across the Mid North Coast this afternoon, however it reached Sydney in the hour or two before dark with 3-4ft sets.
This week (June 30 - July 3)
Our new SE swell should fill in properly overnight, and we’re looking at a full day of fun though inconsistent SE energy on Tuesday, with light winds and clean conditions.
The swell source was very strong and sustained - and indeed, still is - however it was off axis from our swell window, and this will affect consistency, compared to a local swell source with more of an easterly fetch component.
At this stage there’s no reason to deviate from Friday’s estimate, which is 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).
A gradual easing is then expected through the rest of the week, though it’s worth pointing out that the source of our inbound swell is still very active off the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. However, it’s aimed even less favourably towards Australia, so we’ll see smaller surf through the middle to latter part of the week - but more than model guidance is currently indicating. The wave models are picking up the periods but not the size from this swell, which is resulting in a much smaller estimate in surf size from Wednesday onwards.
As such, I’m expecting Wednesday to ease slowly from an inconsistent 3-4ft+ to 3ft+ (south facing beaches south from Byron), and then Thursday to still manage occasional 3ft sets through the morning ahead of a pulse slightly above this (originating from a strengthening at the southern end of the fetch later today and overnight - see below), before then easing from 2-3ft+ on Friday.
SE Qld will see the same trend, though a little delayed compared to Northern NSW, and with a little less size. Expect a low point in size here on Thursday (so, make the most of Tues/Wed, and then Fri). Though the swell magnets will have waves most days.
Lastly, the Mid North Coast may pick up a small S’ly swell on Friday afternoon, originating from W’lies exiting eastern Bass Strait on Thursday.
As for conditions, most of the week looks great with mainly light winds for the next few days, freshening NW Thursday across the Mid North Coast (Friday north from Byron). Thursday and Friday afternoon both have a moderate risk of northerlies but it shouldn’t be overly detrimental if it crops up as speeds should be relatively light to moderate.
The only exception to the above is Tuesday along the Sunshine Coast, which will probably see lingering S’ly winds (they’ll veer SW on the Gold/Tweed/Byron Coasts and should become variable south from the Northern Rivers).
This weekend (July 4 - 5)
A front pushing into the southern Tasman Sea this weekend will freshen SW winds across the Northern NSW coast, though SE Qld should be largely spared of any major strength.
As for surf, we’ll start the weekend with small leftover SE swell (best suited to Northern NSW) and a small S’ly swell from eastern Bass Strait at south swell magnets south of Byron.
The Mid North Coast should pick up a late pulse of new S’ly swell from the front entering the Tasman Sea, but it’ll show best across most of Northern NSW on Sunday with sets pushing 3-4ft+ at south swell magnets south of Byron (smaller elsewhere).
Unfortunately, I’m not expecting much size in SE Qld this weekend, away from exposed northern ends on Sunday, which may pick up a few stray 2ft sets.
Next week (July 6 onwards)
Looks like we’ll be back to a classic winter frontal progression through the Tasman Sea for much of next week, offering back-to-back south swells, at least one of ‘em quite sizeable for Northern NSW (most size likely around Tues/Wed).
More on this in Wednesday’s update.