Small and soft, then patient, then S swells
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by James Casey (issued Friday 26th February)
Best Days: Saturday, Sunday for the family. Late Monday and Tuesday for the patient. Friday with lighter N/NW winds and easing S swell
- Weak 2ft E swell filling in for the end of the week and into the weekend
- E groundswell filling in late Monday but more so into Tuesday delivering inconsistent 3-4ft sets bigger for Sunshine Coast, smaller for Mid N Coast
- 4-5ft S swell developing on Wednesday. Don't get too excited SE QLD or anywhere as it'll be accompanied by moderate S/SE winds
- Lighter winds on Friday with easing S swell
- Another S/SE change and pulse of decent S/SE swell for next weekend.
A weak E swell has been providing some waves the past few days. Today was 2ft out of the E with N NSW picking up the most swell around 2-3ft. Winds weren't all that favourable, an infeed of NE winds ahead of a weak S change, making it bumpy for SE QLD and N NSW if you weren't in a protected norhtern corner. The S change reached Port Macquarie by midday providing decent waves in town. Meanwhile, thunderstorms fired up around Coffs Harbour keeping winds light out of the NE ahead of the change.
Into the Weekend
Well as mentioned earlier in the week, there's not a lot of action for the weekend.
There's a weak E trade setup delivering 2ft waves to our coast. It's nothing special but it is preventing it from being flat.
What about our old friend the wind? Will the wind help or hinder our chance of waves?
Well for the most part the wind won't be playing much of a part. We will see light and variable winds early for N NSW and SE QLD before a seabreeze kicks in later in the day. The wind will show up in a bad way for the Mid N Coast. Fresh E/SE winds will make it onshore for much of the day, all thanks to a coastal trough. This means, unlike further north, it will be relatively bumpy for much of the day.
Well normally I wouldn't bother mentioning the tide but this weekend it is worth mentioning. The best winds will coincide with a decent high tide that will fill up most banks, wasting the lighter winds of the morning on fat and slow waves. We saw it this morning (Friday) and it's likely to occur over the weekend too. A bigger board with less rocker like a fish or mid length will be the pick.
The New Week
A long period E groundswell will arrive Monday afternoon, adding a bit more push although it'll be slow going. This swell will originate from a tropical low in the SW Pacific, referred to as 94P for now. It is unlikely to intensify into a tropical cyclone but the winds being whipped up at the moment and into the weekend are aimed nicely at our coast. This means the swell will travel over 5000km towards our coastline between New Zealand and New Caledonia delivering some inconsistent sets to our coastline from Monday afternoon and into the week.
In terms of swell size from this low expect a very slow 3-4ft across the board. The Sunshine Coast will actually see the most of the swell, up around 3-5ft, as the strongest winds are aimed a bit further north. Meanwhile the Mid N Coast will see waves around 3ft. I can't stress enough how slow these sets will be, it's travelling a long way so expect long breaks between the sets.
A S change will move through on Tuesday. It will reach the Mid N Coast just after dawn, fill into N NSW by the middle of the day, arrive on the Gold Coast just before dark and coast into the Sunshine Coast late Tuesday. Ahead of the change winds will be N/NW, except for the Sunshine Coast where it'll be NE.
By Wednesday it’ll have whipped up a pulse of 3-5ft of S wind swell before a longer period 4-5ft S groundswell really fills in later on Wednesday. Although with strong S/SE winds you’ll be limited to protected southern corners where less swell will be getting in. Don't expect much along the points of SE QLD either this is quite a S swell meaning it won't wrap around the larger headlands very well. SE QLD will likely just 2ft from the easing longer period, slow E swell.
Winds will remain out of the S/SE and the S swell up around 3-4ft mark for S swell magnets until Friday when winds go light and variable with a N/NE trend to them. This N/NE trend will grow as another strong S change approaches late on Friday, filling in on Saturday. The swell will begin to ease closer to 3ft by Friday before another solid S/SE pulse to arrive late in the weekend.
This swell will originate from a system in the Southern Tasman. A high centred to the west of Tasmania will have a ridge funnelling strong S winds towards our coastline and delivering another decent S/SE groundswell for Saturday.
That’s a while away though so let’s keep an eye on it and I'll explore it more on Monday. For now enjoy your weekend.