Nothing of interest short term, though long term has options
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 20th November)
Best Days: Sat/Sun: small morning beachies in SE Qld and Far Northern NSW.
Recap: Easing S/SE swells managed small waves across the outer SE Qld points on Thursday, though open beaches were a mess and there wasn’t anything worthwhile in Northern NSW. Small residual surf has persisted today with light winds through the morning, and freshening NE breezes this afternoon.
This weekend (Nov 21 - 22)
Saturday looks OK on the surface in a few regions with light variable winds, but we’ll see northerlies elsewhere. The Mid North Coast (well, at least the lower part) should see some influence from a stalled trough moving across Southern NSW today, that should allow the existing NE flow to become light and variable. And we’ll see the same slack synoptics across SE Qld, but between Byron and Coffs there’s a risk for northerlies at some point.
Not that it matters much anyway, as there won’t be much surf around. A weak ridge through the northern Tasman Sea will supply slow, weak surf in the 1-2ft range across SE Qld and Far Northern NSW with not much energy reaching anywhere south from here. Small residual swells are expected elsewhere.
On Sunday, the synoptic northerly will start to freshen again (though quite delayed across SE Qld) and this will destroy conditions south from Yamba, without any notable new swell in the water either. SE Qld and Far Northern NSW should see a window of opportunity through the early morning, with small persistent E’ly swells again in the 1-2ft range. Expect northerlies to crop up through the afternoon.
Either way, keep your expectations very low both days.
Next week (Nov 23 onwards)
Well, Sunday’s troughy pattern is still expected to develop into an impressive Tasman Low on Monday, but it’s expected to be whisked quickly to the east (see below). This will reduce its size potential for the East Coast though we should see a couple of days of waves from it.
Monday looks terrible everywhere with small residual surf and freshening northerly winds, and a southerly change will extend along the coast on Tuesday, building local windswells in its wake. There’s a chance for a brief window of small N’ly windswell and favourable winds (for southern ends) across some regions on Tuesday but I’m not confident on the specifics right now. I’ll have a better idea in Monday’s updated notes.
Tuesday’s southerly change will be associated with the developing Tasman Low, and it will generate some local windswell but ultimately the quality won’t be high thanks to the acute southerly direction and low period. As such, sheltered spots will be very small through the afternoon and into Wednesday, including the outer SE Qld points (who enjoy this wind the best). So again, keep your expectations very low through this period.
As the S’ly windswell eases through Wednesday, it’ll be replaced with a SE swell originating from a seperate fetch on the southern flank of the (eastward-tracking) Tasman Low. Ordinarily, a stationary low with these characteristics would be worthy of 6ft sets somewhere in NSW, but the fact that it’ll track away from the mainland significantly dilutes its potential, so I think sets in and around the 3ft mark are likely across Northern NSW sometime late Wednesday and into Thursday. I'll firm up size/timing on Monday. Winds look OK across the Mid North Coast but could be an issue north from Yamba under a freshening SE breeze.
SE Qld won’t do as well from this (size wise), so expect small surf on the outer points under a moderate to fresh SE breeze (thanks to an unrelated ridge developing through the Coral Sea).
Elsewhere, and there’s an interesting Southern Ocean low passing underneath Tasmania on Monday that has the potential for a decent (though acute) south swell around Wed/Thurs too, in Northern NSW. I’ll take a closer look at this in Monday’s notes.
Later next week is showing broad troughy signs for the Coral Sea and there is good easterly swell potential for next weekend and the following week. Additionally, the long range has a strong, active frontal sequence through the Tasman Sea during the following week, suggesting a sustained run of decent southerly groundswell for Northern NSW.
So, hang in there, and have a great weekend!