Large and windy, then a brief calm spell before northerlies crop up
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 10th August)
Best Days: Large windy surf in Northern NSW Tues, better Wed with a reinforcing SE pulse and early light winds. Fun waves outer SE Qld points Tues and early Wed.
Recap: The weekend delivered excellent waves throughout Northern NSW, with a mix of S/SE, E and NE swells maintaining 3-5ft sets on Saturday, easing to 3-4ft Sunday then rebuilding across the Mid North Coast in the afternoon. SE Qld scored quality options on Saturday around 3ft, though it became a little small on Sunday near 2ft. Offshore winds kept conditions clean both days. Today has seen a further small drop in size across most locations though a building trend across the Mid North Coast, in response to a new S/SE swell that built across Southern NSW yesterday and today in the 8ft+ range. Strong S’ly winds are now enveloping the region and will push northwards overnight.
This week (Aug 11 - 14)
So, the synoptics look great with a deep East Coast Low off Southern NSW now retreating to the east. However despite an impressive large peak due on Tuesday, the best surf will occur on the backside of this event.
This is due to two additional swells, a longer period S’ly groundswell that was generated by strong polar lows below the continent over the weekend, and a secondary E/SE fetch developing around the departing East Coast Low (east of Sydney tonight, see below) which will provide a better reinforcing SE pulse across Northern NSW late Tuesday and into Wednesday.
Tuesday’s peak looks to be mainly short period energy, accompanied with a lot of wind (S/SW tending S’ly then S/SE), though should reach 6-8ft across the Mid North Coast early and 6ft+ across the Northern Rivers, though probably just 3ft+ across outer Gold Coast points and smaller on the Sunshine Coast.
Wednesday’s reinforcing SE swell should maintain 4-6ft surf at south facing beaches south of Byron early, easing during the day, and we’ll see much better conditions under a light variable breeze ahead of an afternoon northerly.
Across SE Qld, the same wind regime is expected (light and variable early, afternoon N’ly) and surf size should maintain 3ft+ sets here at the outer points, bigger near 4-5ft at exposed northern ends and south facing beaches (though a touch smaller on the Sunny Coast overall).
The rest of the week looks a little difficult with easing swells and freshening N/NW winds which will maintain the best surf at protected northern corners. A developing coastal trough across Southern NSW on Friday may extend slack winds into the Mid North Coast but by and large we’ll be down to small weak leftover swells by this time, only suitable for exposed beaches.
So, make the most of the next few days.
This weekend (Aug 15 - 16)
Not a lot of action expected this weekend.
A broad trough occupying the western Tasman Sea will maintain northerly winds throughout SE Qld and Far Northern NSW on Saturday, though variable conditions are likely to persist across the Mid North Coast.
There won’t be much groundswell around, but a local N’ly fetch off SE Qld may provide some minor N’ly windswell here.
As the trough moves offshore, winds should swing W’ly into Sunday but at this stage surf size will probably remain small. However, I don’t have much faith in the model guidance right now so let’s check back on Wednesday.
Either way, keep your weekend surf expectations low for now.
Next week (Aug 17 onwards)
The models are not showing much surf promise for next week however with a broad, unstable trough pattern across the western Tasman, there’s a fair chance we’ll see something consolidate in our swell window as the models get a better grip on things over the coming days.
There's also a stalled trough NE of New Zealand later this week/weekend that should generate some fun E’ly swell for us mid-next week.
See you Wednesday!