Tricky wind shifts continue with some fun swells to utilise

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri Oct22)

SEQLD Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Small surf Sat with small window of clean conditions AM before NE winds kick in
  • E/SE swell builds Sun, with light winds AM, S'ly change PM (may not reach Sunshine Coast)
  • E/SE swell holds Mon AM, slowly easing PM and into Tues. Good AM winds
  • Small S swell on the radar for Tues/Wed next week

Northern NSW Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Small surf Sat with brief window of clean conditions AM before NE winds kick in
  • E/SE swell builds Sun, with good winds AM, S'ly change PM
  • E/SE swell holds Mon AM, slowly easing PM and into Tues. Good AM winds
  • Initial S swell pulse Mon, stronger pulse Tues PM
  • S swell peaks Wed AM, easing Thurs
  • More S swell potential for next weekend 

Recap

Winds have been generally light over the last 48hrs, with periods of favourable conditions to ride what has been a generally lazy and weak surf. There’s been some 2ft sets, which perked up a notch in NENSW yesterday a’noon, as winds clocked around the compass. Swells have generally been in the 2ft range today, slightly larger at NENSW swell magnets, with early light winds giving way to NE seabreezes. Nothing to write home about, but enough to get a shortboard moving.

This weekend (Oct 23-24)

Still a dynamic weekend f/cast ahead. The current Tasman low has drifted out and become absorbed into a long, NE/SW angled trough in the South Pacific, which is currently organising and energising a broad but thin fetch of E’ly gales from the South Pacific down into the Tasman Sea adjacent to the North Island. It’s a complex wind field which is expected to be quite mobile, but still capable of generating a nice pulse of ESE’ly swell for the region.

That swell is expected to build in Sunday, along with mod S’lies as a low forms East of Tasmania in a trough line.

For Saturday we are looking at swell trains from the more proximate Tasman low, slowly easing through the day. Weak high pressure off sub-tropical NSW generates a NE flow through tomorrow, but there’s not much synoptic strength in it, so early winds are likely to be favourably disposed from the NW before clocking around to the NE and freshening in the a’noon. Expect a continuation of weak and lazy 2ft surf, with a possible 3ft set further south on the Mid North Coast.

Sunday hinges on the S’ly change which is working it’s way up the coast. This is likely to be at the bottom end of the f/cast region by 9am, working it’s way north to be around Yamba, mid/late morning and the Border by later in the a’noon. Confidence in the change is lessened by the small, troughy area in front of it, which could stall or create convergence zones so you’ll need to keep tabs on local winds Sunday. Unfortunately, the change looks to stall out before it hits the Sunshine Coast, which is likely to see a N’ly flow there for Sunday. Through the a’noon, longer period E swell is expected to fill in, with wave heights reaching 3-4ft. Expect smaller 2ft surf to be there until the longer period ESE swell fills in. The fetch position is more favourable for the southern end of the f/cast region, so expect the upper end of the size range down there.  It’ll be a tricky day, with lots of differing wind angles through the day and across the region.

Next week (Oct 25) and beyond

The new Tasman low East of Tasmania dominates the first half of next week, but it does look a bit less favourable for swell production compared too Wed’s f/cast. It stays closer to Tasmania, in the swell shadow of the Hunter curve suppressing swell potential for our region. Despite the slight haircut in size Mon will still have plenty of surf with E swell from the North Island source in the 3-4ft range, easing back during the day and a smattering of shorter period S swell along the NENSW coast, refracting back into the coast. Winds are expected to have S’ly component early but with latest model runs continuing the troughy pattern along the coast a NE Seabreeze is possible. There’s still a lot of troughiness lingering along the NSW coast so local wind convergences are likely/possible. Keep tabs on local winds and check the comments for updates.

Lighter winds are more certain for Tuesday with a peak in S swell likely during the a’noon.

 The Tasman low reaches peak intensity through Mon, with a compact but strong fetch of gales off the Gippsland and Far South Coast.  Expect a wide variety in wave heights through the region as some areas dip out due to the fetch position. 

Longer period S swell pushes wave heights up into the 3-4ft range at S facing beaches in NENSW during the a’noon, smaller 2ft at SEQLD swell magnets. Easing E/SE swell should provide a few small 2-3ft sets early before easing in the mix. 

Wed sees a morning peak in S swell with some longer period swell providing 4ft sets across S exposed breaks in NENSW, and some small leftover E swell in the mix. Expect a peaky blend of 2-3ft surf in SEQLD at exposed breaks, easing during the day. A weak, troughy pattern maintains a regime of light SSE/SE winds, which won’t be offensive considering we are at the end of October, normally the peak of the NE season.

A couple of days of N’ly winds are expected through the latter part of next week, as weak high pressure at sub-tropical latitudes slowly gets squeezed by another approaching front and trough. Thats likely to lead to couple of days of small, poor surf, especially in the context of the run we have been getting. Small leftover S swells Thurs in the 1-2ft range, with a developing 1-2ft NE windswell Friday. Nothing to write home about and probably not worth surfing.

Into the medium term and another mid-latitude system is expected to approach Tasmania next weekend. Models are still divergent on this system with EC pushing it into the lower Tasman, then spawning another low in the Central Tasman among a trough line. That would see S swell likely Sun with major swell potential into the week 1/11. GFS has a more modest, stalled low, which moves into the Tasman as it weakens next weekend. Suggesting much more modest S swell potential into November. With the dynamic and troughy Spring pattern so far, no doubt these prospects will be revised when we come back on Mon.

Check back in then and have a great weekend. 

Comments

tomrnoir's picture
tomrnoir's picture
tomrnoir Friday, 22 Oct 2021 at 3:29pm

Thanks Steve-o. The Sunny Coast strikes again

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 22 Oct 2021 at 3:44pm

Not sure I've ever seen such an extended period of troughiness and fickle wind shifts as this Spring.

You'll get something if you keep on it.

spookypt's picture
spookypt's picture
spookypt Friday, 22 Oct 2021 at 4:20pm

The links to the Surf report and WAMS are for CHIBA?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 22 Oct 2021 at 4:29pm

Backwards navigation doesn't work (been a known problem for years, difficult to fix).

spookypt's picture
spookypt's picture
spookypt Friday, 22 Oct 2021 at 6:29pm

It woulda been worse if Chibas report was for pumping in the period. I thought it was April 1. Doh pee me I guess

Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67 Saturday, 23 Oct 2021 at 7:42am

Howling N in Cooly already, hasn’t laid down all night, game over

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Saturday, 23 Oct 2021 at 8:07am

The Seaway's been under 10kts all night, and has recently gone from the N to the NW. Should be options at a few spots (though swell quality doesn't look particularly good, regardless - that overnight northerly has left quite a few bumps).

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Saturday, 23 Oct 2021 at 9:07am

shame, nice little swell in the water.
has cleaned up a bit since dawn.

davo3000's picture
davo3000's picture
davo3000 Saturday, 23 Oct 2021 at 5:02pm

Sorry Boyz we have to make it flat and north for the weekend. The gold coast beaches need to be safe for the Brizzo swimmers. So it seems!

burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Saturday, 23 Oct 2021 at 6:41pm

kept my expectations low and found some ok waves on the high tide.

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Saturday, 23 Oct 2021 at 8:16pm

Burleigh was terrible at sunrise…got slightly better as time went on….main word to note is slightly. Still better than lying in bed.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg Saturday, 23 Oct 2021 at 8:26pm

Any updated projections for the timing of the southerly change tomorrow?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Saturday, 23 Oct 2021 at 8:59pm

probably an early WSW/SW flow at first light south of Coffs with the change proper by 7am

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg Saturday, 23 Oct 2021 at 9:20pm

Thanks...dawnie location locked in

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Saturday, 23 Oct 2021 at 9:22pm

report back with findings

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 8:50am

No early for me...had a wild storm come through here about 11pm last night...dropped a tree branch through our lounge room window...just waiting on my glazier mate for a measure up.
Hopefully an arvo on mid tide with a bump in swell...

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 8:55am

Yikes!

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 9:06am

bugger.
I surfed some trashy 2-3ft rights solo yesterday, saw a shape a couple of times and got out of the water.

less than 500m from where I was : [email protected]
·21h
DPI advise 2.54m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at SHELLY BALLINA, Ballina at 11:09 am on 23 Oct 2021.

Juvey in feeding mode doing a couple of drive-by's or just pure co-incidence?

I'd love to think it was just my paranoia, but ignorance is no longer bliss.

Definitely not worth losing a leg over.

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 10:06am

Yeh been feeling a bit spooky out shelleys recently mate, I was sitting on my own for about 20 mins the other day when my mate went in.
Didn't feel good at all.
Hopefully we get a kick in that swell around lunchtime, gonna go have a suss then.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 12:15pm

Reckon Shelly feels the sharkiest out of that stretch of coast.

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 12:32pm

Yeh that strip of trestles/north shelleys through to the rivermouth at northy always feels sketchy, never enjoy surfing it alone really.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 7:37pm

You reckon Shellys history makes it feel sharkier?

tiger's picture
tiger's picture
tiger Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 9:57am

You didn't miss anything crg, clean enough early, but very small.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 11:55am

Winds swung fresh WSW mid morning but the surf just wasn't quite doing it. Only 1-2ft shories with no real shape... needed another half a foot and it would been OK. Another foot and it'd have been pumping.

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 12:12pm

Meant to pick up a notch through the day though right ? If ya can score the window between swell picking up and south winds arriving could be gold!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 12:38pm

Waiting patiently.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 4:56pm

That was fun.
An hour of straight W'ly winds as the swell just muscled up a notch on the dropping tide.

Mostly 2ft, the odd 3footer. Definitely undersized, but perfect when they came.

Early afternoon with a hot straight offshore wind did not feel like the East Coast in Spring.
Felt more like a WA day with a hot E'ly wind at one of the small wave reefs.

S'ly finally came and scuffed it up.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 5:04pm

Swell seems to be starting to show here but most spots don't have favourable low tide options. Prob needs another foot. No wind at a couple of joints, NE elsewhere, just gone S'ly now. Argh.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 6:11pm

Hot 10-15kn westerly for 4 hours in the middle of the day, odd day.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 7:04pm

Not much to write home about down here...too strong and too south for the wind and protected corners were average and crowded.
Got the new window in though.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 7:31pm

bulked up a bit more through the late arvo and the S'ly eased back a few notches.

richard187's picture
richard187's picture
richard187 Sunday, 24 Oct 2021 at 8:28pm

Defo some nice lines this arvo, water was boardshort warm again

Ardy's picture
Ardy's picture
Ardy Monday, 25 Oct 2021 at 7:39am

Just chasing some free advise on what would paddle better, 5’10” @ 44 l or 6’4” @ 41.5l both fish shapes, l just don’t know if the shorter board would have the same glide as slightly longer cheers (for sunny coast conditions)

Rockethut's picture
Rockethut's picture
Rockethut Monday, 25 Oct 2021 at 7:54am

More surface area = better paddling
But the longer one will be less manoeuvrable.

Rockethut's picture
Rockethut's picture
Rockethut Monday, 25 Oct 2021 at 7:56am

So waited yesterday for some size and it arrived together with onshores. All bets were on this morning but unfortunately the onshore continues. Fuk it

Patate's picture
Patate's picture
Patate Monday, 25 Oct 2021 at 11:06am

“All bets were on this morning “ Numbers and expectations at a famous protected spot this morning reflected exactly this...with reasonable but so very inconsistent wave on offer.

Steve, you nailed the forecast size very accurately again, thx :) and looking forward to tonight’s update

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Monday, 25 Oct 2021 at 10:52am

The good news is : we have missed the howling nor-east episodes that last for weeks this Spring.
Bad news: you have to be Johnny on the Spot or Jill to time these flukey wind changes with the right tide and swell.

simsurf's picture
simsurf's picture
simsurf Monday, 25 Oct 2021 at 1:31pm

Fucking shite this morning south end, Yesterday was clean all day up north end, but the banks are rubbish everywhere.