James KC

A return to spring

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by James Casey (issued Monday 8th March)

Best Days: Today and tomorrow but it’s a pretty bleak forecast. Let’s hope for next week.

Outlook

  • Tuesday last of fading S Swell 
  • Quiet period of waves with mostly local swells 
  • S wind swell Wednesday
  • Weak E trade swell Thursday into weekend
  • NE swell begins to build for Mid N Coast into the weekend
  • Larger S pulse for next week

Recap

The swell didn’t really fill in until Saturday late for the Mid N Coast, Sunday for N NSW. Size wise the Mid N Coast saw waves around 6ft with magnets picking up 8-10ft, N NSW 4-6ft with the points 3-4ft but inconsistent. 

SE QLD saw the peak late yesterday for the Gold Coast and into this morning for the Sunshine Coast. Waves around the 3ft mark for the Sunshine Coast, magnets even up to 4ft, and 3-4ft for the Gold Coast. 

All in all the S swell probably underperformed a little, especially for SE QLD. It’s not overly surprising though, with a S swell and a large forecast region it needs to mentioned. While the Mid N Coast was solid and N NSW not far behind, the largest of the S swell seemed to go straight past SE QLD with only the odd S swell magnet picking up a fraction of the size seen further S. 

This Week

With the peak of the S swell now behind us we will see it slowly ease throughout the day today and into tomorrow. 

By this afternoon the Mid N Coast will see waves ease to 3-4ft, N NSW will be 3-5ft and SE QLD 2-3ft. 

Synoptically we are heading into a quieter period with a weak trough moving up the coast on Wednesday followed by a broad high moving over the southeast of the nation. A trough over land will keep winds light enough while a high moves out over the Southern Tasman preventing any decent swells for most of the week.

Back to the local conditions. 

Tomorrow it’ll be 2ft for the Mid N Coast 2-3ft for N NSW and around that 2ft mark for S facing beaches of SE QLD, more like 1-2ft elsewhere. 

With N winds for all locations northern ends of beaches will be your best bet. The Mid N Coast will see more NE in the wind so you’ll have to fins more protected northern corners. 

By Wednesday there will only be short period swells in the water around the 1-2ft mark for all locations. As a change approaches from the S. 

Winds will be light enough early for the Mid N Coast but it’ll be a slim window as the S change moves through just after dawn. For N NSW winds will be SW early before the change moves through around mid morning. SE QLD will have NW winds early before winds turn SW late morning with the change. In the afternoon winds will go SE for all locations.

Thursday will have lighter more variable winds although with an E flow, more SE for SE QLD and more NE for the Mid N Coast. Again nothing special with only small, weak waves on offer.

The End of the Week 

A stronger front will sweep across the bottom of the nation drawing in N winds ahead of it creating some localised swell before a change late on Sunday. 

These winds ahead of a stronger front will strengthen out of the NE on Friday. While S NSW get’s 2-3ft of NE swell the Mid N Coast will see 2ft waves with less fetch. 

Meanwhile, N NSW and SE QLD see a weak E trade swell around that 1-2ft mark. 

Both Friday and Saturday will see fresh N/NE winds across the entire region, a but more NW earlier in the morning. 

On Sunday the front will approach with stronger N winds ahead of the change. S winds will hit the Mid N Coast by late Sunday afternoon and Monday for N NSW and SE QLD. 

The New Week

The change late Sunday and into Monday looks like it'll be fairly strong and bring with it some promise of some decent swell for next week. 

At this stage, it’s looking like a low could form off the coast Mid N Coast and linger for a while bringing a persistent swell lasting into the end of next week. 

Let’s not get too excited though it’s a while off. We’ll keep an eye on it.

Comments

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 4:03pm

Strong lines at Yamba, breaking a long way out.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 4:11pm

Swell still strong as expected and mentioned on the weekend in the comments.

Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 4:18pm

Solid as on the Tweed this arvo, plenty of dolphins about too.

burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 4:42pm

ahhh well, back to reality. its been a great run of fun waves although nothing amazing lighting up the points apart from a day or two at Kirra over the whole summer.
ill give Summer a 6 1/2 out of 10.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 5:01pm

I'm giving this south swell an 11/10 for hype and a 3/10 for actual SURF.

burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 5:02pm

The fact its still being debated is kinda funny now.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 5:16pm

exactly.

a little humility about where it went wrong is the best way to learn.......

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 5:27pm

Hype, there was little hype over this way.. ?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 6:24pm

hhhmmmmm.......there were people paddling around on 7'6's on Sunday in 3ft surf who had flown in for this swell expecting 8ft surf.

just looking at the headlines there was hype.

anyway, I'm more interested in trying to hindcast and figure out what went wrong.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 9:21pm

Wow, you’d have been bloody keen to fly in for that swell!

This hype thing makes me laugh. It’s all what if’s, figments of people minds and imagined realities.

dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 7:50pm

For the tweed, i don’t think it was late. I’d say first pulse forecast big unders and second pulse nicely on forecast.
Interestingly the eden buoy matches the tweed swell pattern much closer than the other southern buoys.

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 8:35pm

Any large straight south swell with south winds is usually crap.ive learned that and don't get amped anymore, 4-5ft seems to be best

nextswell's picture
nextswell's picture
nextswell Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 8:35pm

Live on MNC, missed majority of the swell visiting family on SC. No sign of swell until Sunday on SC. Sadly quite avg. Unfortunately the board didn’t make it off the racks. What a waste

SDW's picture
SDW's picture
SDW Monday, 8 Mar 2021 at 10:42pm

Well, in the nearly 4years I’ve lived on the Sunshine Coast, the only time I’ve seen any S’ly swell of any real size or power, was last year back in July, during the event that produced that massive surf around Sydney. I didn’t see anything on the charts to expect anything much happening up around these parts based on last week’s synoptics.

kaiser's picture
kaiser's picture
kaiser Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 7:50am

Burleigh Beach AND North Burleigh cams now? Is there no limit?

Maybe put up a map with a legend marking every sand bank and nearest intersection. And real-time available car parks. Sheeesh.

burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 11:15am

Real time carparks would be epic! but agree with the cams at north burleigh, give us a break Ben. Put up a cam at "your local" at the tweed that you never mention and leave our beach breaks alone mate.

burzum's picture
burzum's picture
burzum Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 12:20pm

Yep, its getting a bit much! Fuck the cams off at Palmy and Burleigh (non point). Are they really necessary? The Gold Coast is so saturated with cams. It just makes it harder for those of us trying to get a quietish waves away from the points.

Palmy used to be a reasonable localised zone, but we are now starting to get the Euros and Brazo overspill from the points. Not saying the cams are responsible for this, but surely they are not helping.

Wheres the cams at Pottsville, Cudgeon reef, etc eh? Yep, just continue to exploit the Gold Coast. May as well flog the dead horse.

calk's picture
calk's picture
calk Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 12:36pm

Nothing in the Currumbin Beach, Tugun or Bilinga stretch yet...

I feel like getting a cam at Cabarita would have been no small feat. I recall stories of them being constantly defaced many years ago.

Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 1:55pm

The palmy cam is a moot point due to its location, based on the past 12 months+ sand setup. I dont reckon it would attract crew of any nationality to any of the ave's. How far back are you going with palmy being fairly "localised" with no "euros or brazzos"? I know, and am friends with a couple permanent resident brazillian familys that own and live in palmy and that have been surfing any of the working avenues near daily for the past 5+years at least. Bit of a rough broad brush to stroke on people you appear to know next to nothing about. So easy to hop on the m1, drive 20 mins south (from palmy) and find that quite wave you're looking for mate.

benjis babe's picture
benjis babe's picture
benjis babe Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 2:15pm

wow 5yrs that's a long time

Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 3:01pm

Typical response from someone who reads what they want, blinded by their own beliefs, disregarding the context of what I'm saying. People will move and surf where they wanna and have done so for years. Well before the camera at palmy went up...I'm not advocating for more cameras don't get me wrong, Im just sticking up for the good people that I know and that have surfed this spot regularly for years, and who weren't fortunate enough to have been born on the Goldie or in Aus for that matter.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 3:26pm

Much like who does the first morning report and where from, what's the real story on the Lennox cam and any questions surrounding the Palm Beach Reef cam ( https://www.swellnet.com/surfcams/palm-beach-reef )... silence speaks volumes...
Unfortunately for the GC, highrises create ample opportunity for anonymous cameras whereas in other places they're far easier to track down and invite to be elsewhere.

burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 9:00pm

great point about the anonymous cameras in highrises, Ben i would really like your response about the cams. Im actually really off swellnet for the north burleigh cam. How would the locals feel if you placed a cam where you surf in Northern NSW which you never name?
Freeride can you give us the rundown on what happened with the lennox cam?

tomrnoir's picture
tomrnoir's picture
tomrnoir Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 9:17pm

Lennox locals went as far as to smear faeces on Steph's car, so you can imagine the consensus on surfing commercialisation in that neck of the woods.

Troppo's picture
Troppo's picture
Troppo Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 9:39pm

Yet even without a camera Lennox is one of the most crowded spots on the east coast.
This may show that cameras dont directly link crowds to surf spots.
If we had 8 or 10 or 12 cameras all facing surfers Paradise, would this correspond to a direct overcrowding of that spot??
I doubt it! Cause the waves dont back it up.
I live at Mooloolaba. I've lived her since 1983. Feel free to place as many cameras here as you like. Go for It! The wave is garbage 99% of the time, so why would you bother coming here chasing waves???
To all you surfers who live close to a world class break, Maybe think a little deeper, and stop blaming cameras for the crowds.
Fact of the matter is you live near a wave many people the world over want to ride. Full Stop....
Don't bother blaming new cameras or more cameras, just accept the fact you live close to a surf spot where many others want to surf.

the-flying-dog's picture
the-flying-dog's picture
the-flying-dog Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 9:51pm

Lennox is a world class wave known world wide. Different situation to Palm Beach/Tweed Coast Troppo. Nothing world class at either.
Guaranteed if those hypothetical cams at Surfers showed a decent bank and good conditions the crowd would be more of a shit fight than without the cams

burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Wednesday, 10 Mar 2021 at 9:00am

Lennox is the same category as any point break, it will be crowded regardless. Its more like getting a cam at another less crowded spot close to Lennox. Swellnet has the ability to "hide" their cameras in buildings on the Gold Coast and they don't seem to care if it may upset people, they don't have that luxury in most spots in Nth NSW.

the-flying-dog's picture
the-flying-dog's picture
the-flying-dog Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 9:24pm

Agree on the over saturation of surveillance on breaks burzum, but don’t assume it’s not a problem down the tweed coast. Plenty of cams over the border to feed the hordes, and it’s obvious that cams add to the crowds at those spots and spots nearby.
First action in the morning for a gc surfer seems to be check the cams at dbah/kingy/caba, text your mates and convoy down. Guarantee crowds would be less if real time footage of conditions was scrapped
FYI banks are rooted down there

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Wednesday, 10 Mar 2021 at 9:08am

Cameras at world class spots probably don't add to crowds in aggregate averaged out over a year.

What they do though, is take away all possibility of any "unguarded" off-broadway moments.

Everything is now broadcast 24/7.

Little off peak moments, which can be surprisingly uncrowded are now on-line and never again out of the public gaze.

Thats a very big conceptual and practical difference in how a surf spot is utilised and becomes crowded, all the time.

Without cams there is still the possibility of gambling and scoring uncrowded surf at world class spots if you are prepared to chance your arm on unhyped swells.
So cameras do very much link directly to crowds.

I have very much photographic proof of this.

Flattest day for over a year today.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Wednesday, 10 Mar 2021 at 10:10am

"Little off peak moments, which can be surprisingly uncrowded"

That's the essence FR.

No-one expects the primo days to be uncrowded but as you've said it's those smaller days, the high tide days, the inconsistent flukey sessions and the side shore-but-decent surfs which would come to a grinding halt if there was permanent streaming to the outside world.

The claims that the horse has bolted and things can't get any more crowded are patently untrue.

vbaaccess's picture
vbaaccess's picture
vbaaccess Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 9:16am

I concur yet again your reports are bang on correct. I could not do any better. A Spring week in Autumn is not uncommon. After two months of consistent easterly swell with no northerlies it was bound to happen. The following week is more promising.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 11:04am

first non-surf week since December.

tomrnoir's picture
tomrnoir's picture
tomrnoir Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 1:20pm

For the last ~two months the water on the Sunny has been really nutrient-rich. Clean, but a deep green in comparison to the usual crystal clear water we get (creek/rivermouth/stormwater-adjacent breaks the exception).

I had previously been under the impression that the deep green was more common in colder waters? Really strange - skimmed a journal article on it yesty during my lunch break but was a lot of information to take in.

Presumably, someone on here can ELI5?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 1:50pm

You are correct, looks like chlorophyll-a readings are high in along the coast.

Could it be fertiliser run off into Moreton Bay, firing off primary production and then drifting north onto the Sunny Coast?

benjis babe's picture
benjis babe's picture
benjis babe Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 2:23pm

we have had a lot of consistent rain, Maroochydore river has a lot of farms close to its boundaries. would this affect the chlorophyll readings

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 2:48pm

Yep with fertiliser run off.

tomrnoir's picture
tomrnoir's picture
tomrnoir Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 2:59pm

Surely the Mdore River runoff would affect surrounding areas only, though?

ruckus's picture
ruckus's picture
ruckus Wednesday, 10 Mar 2021 at 8:08am

Having not lived here or visited for a while I have found the water in Noosa to be super soft and a complete fucking pleasure to swim in (much more so then what I remember). It’s a dream. I’m assuming this is due and ties in with the high chlorophyll-a readings & Tomrnoirs observations?

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo Wednesday, 10 Mar 2021 at 10:52am

Mobile phones are worse than web cams for crowds, if you don't subscribe the ads are unbearable anyway.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Wednesday, 10 Mar 2021 at 10:55am

mobile phones are bad, but if there are few people surfing and no-one has "phoned in" then there is no problem.

Web cams take that decision out permanently.

Everything is broadcast, 100% of the time.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Wednesday, 10 Mar 2021 at 1:36pm

The mobile text a thon when a wave or bank gets fun can have its positives when all the locals head to the same spot while you’ve got something else up your sleeve.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 10 Mar 2021 at 1:57pm

Whatsapp group surf chats are the worst.

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops Wednesday, 10 Mar 2021 at 1:59pm

Wait, that's a thing?
Is that why word of a decent bank seems to get out so quick these days?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 10 Mar 2021 at 2:06pm

Yep, if I come across one, it stays low key.

kaiser's picture
kaiser's picture
kaiser Wednesday, 10 Mar 2021 at 7:02pm

... except if it’s broadcast on one of your company’s many cameras. Then it’s the scourge of population growth etc etc