Great waves for many coasts to continue, and continue
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 31st July)
Best Days: Great waves for the entire period. Though still best suited to the points Saturday under a lingering S'ly. Open beaches each next week with lighter winds tending NW.
Recap: Building E/NE and S’ly swells reached 3-5ft at some exposed spots on Thursday afternoon, and we’ve seen slightly stronger surf today with 4-6ft sets at Northern NSW swell magnets. Winds have been out of the south so the points have had the best waves.
This weekend (Aug 1 - 2)
The synoptics are really complex at the moment, but the combined swell/wind trend is fairly linear so I’m not going to waffle on too much today about the various sources and how much they’ll each contribute to each coast.
In the mix right now is a short range S’ly swell and some juicy E/NE swell. Both of these swells will ease back over the weekend (the S’ly swell a lot, the E/NE much more gradually) but a brand new S/SE swell is expected to push across the region, generated by a developing Tasman Low in the central basin.
The models have slightly realigned the Tasman Low out of our swell window compared to previous runs, so I’m going to very slightly peg back wave height estimations for Saturday’s peak out of the S/SE. South facing beaches south of Byron should pick up 4-6ft sets, with smaller surf elsewhere. Wave heights will then ease slowly through Sunday (3-5ft early at south facing beaches south of Byron, smaller elsewhere).
However the E/NE swell should maintain 4ft+ sets at most coasts through Saturday morning, easing to 3-4ft on Sunday. So, there’ll be waves pretty much everywhere.
Local winds will dictate conditions this weekend. Lingering S’ly breezes are expected on Saturday under the influence of a coastal ridge, they’ll be fresh at times north from Yamba but light to the south. Some locations in Far Northern NSW and SE Qld should see a period of early SW winds though this is less likely on the Sunshine Coast.
On the other hand, Sunday’s looking nice and clean with light winds and sea breezes across all coasts.
Get into it!
Next week (Aug 3 onwards)
The E/NE fetch on the eastern flank of a broad Tasman trough - containing the Tasman Low - will actually strengthen over the weekend though very gradually retreat to the east (see chart below).
This fetch will be best aimed towards Southern NSW and the Mid North Coast, but most regions should pick up some nice waves from the E/NE through Monday and Tuesday, before easing slowly from Wednesday. Wave heights may dip a little into Monday (from the weekend) but should perk up very late afternoon and through Tuesday, rebuilding to 3-5ft across much of Northern NSW, a little smaller into SE Qld. We’ll then see a a very slow easing from Wednesday.
Long term has a bunch of swell source on the cards too. A broad sub-tropical low developing well east of New Zealand will strengthen over the weekend, and despite the lengthy travel distance, should supply some small but useful E’ly swell later next week (around Friday) and through the following weekend (and even into the start of the next week). Max surf size will probably reach 3-4ft and it’ll be very inconsistent, but it local winds play ball there’ll be some great beachies on offer.
Additionally, a deepening cut-off low will enter our acute south swell window on Wednesday morning, and a thin fetch of S’ly gales just off the Tasmanian coast could generate a strong S’ly swell for Northern NSW around Thursday or Friday - though the model guidance is quite divergent right now, so we need a few more days to firm things up.
Either way, the longer term outlook is shaping up for a succession of strong polar lows/fronts to advance through our south swell window and it’s likely wave heights will become quite elevated out of the south across Northern NSW later next week and into the weekend.
More on that in Monday’s update. Have a great weekend!