More tricky wind changes ahead with S swell easing through the week
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon Oct25)
SEQLD Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Leftover E swell Tues, easing through the day
- Small S swell on the radar for Tues/Wed with small windows of favourable winds AM
- Tiny into the weekend
- More directional S swell Sun/Mon
- Possible short range SE swell next week, stay tuned for revisions
Northern NSW Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Leftover E swell Tues, easing through the day
- S swell pulse Tues with good morning winds
- S swell peaks Wed AM, easing Thurs
- Directional S swell likely Sun/Mon as low enters Tasman
A few waves over the weekend with Saturday being the worst of it, just a small signal with onshore NE winds, although a few fun waves at backbeaches for the keen. Sunday had an array of winds with periods of hot W’ly winds brushing clean small swells. These swells did build from the E later in the day, with a S’ly change working it’s way up the coast. Stronger E’ly swell is in the water today but onshore winds from the ESE around to NE are hampering surface conditions. Considering the time of year there have been average to OK waves on offer if you can time the wind shifts with the right tide and swell.
This week (Oct 25-29)
In a sense this week’s f/cast is quite straightforwards and clear cut (for a change!). The current synoptic pattern is a low pressure system E of Tasmania directing a fetch of SSW to S strong winds to low end gales adjacent to the NSW South Coast. This low then eases as it moves out into the Tasman sea later today. As it does, we’ll be left with an easing signature of S swell, which will carry us into the middle of the week, before a few days of small NE windswell before another low is expected into the Tasman this weekend generating another round of S swell.
In addition we have some leftover E swell from the fetch near the North Island over the weekend, which has now dissipated.
S swell is expected to build through tomorrow, with a pulse of slightly longer period swell lifting wave heights up into the 3-5ft range at S facing beaches in NENSW through the PM, smaller 2ft+ in SEQLD S facing beaches. Leftover E’ly swell will hold a few 3ft sets through the morning, with that swell source easing back during the day.
Light NW winds may tend NE for a while before a weak ridge establishes S/SE winds, which then tend more E’ly through the a’noon. Like all these troughy wind changes we’ve been getting expect a wide array of wind directions across the region, due to small convergences around the trough line. Keep tabs on local winds for best results and don’t expect pristine surface conditions.
Wed morning is probably the best window of the f/cast period, especially in NENSW as mid period S swell peaks through the morning, before beginning a downward trend. A small amount of E swell is in the mix as well, more favourable for SEQLD. This will see 3-4ft at S exposed breaks in NENSW, easing through the day, with some 2-3ft surf at SEQLD swell magnets. Expect much smaller surf away from these S exposed breaks. Winds look good early, likely W to WSW, before a NE Seabreeze kicks in.
The trend is then downwards through Thurs as we get into mop-up mode for this current round of S swell. Early 2-3ft sets at S facing beaches in NENSW S facing beaches, grading to leftover 1-2ft surf in SEQLD, will slide downwards through the day. Small amounts of background E swell from persistent but weak Tradewinds in the South Pacific maintain a tiny signal through the end of the week, more noticeable in SEQLD.
A northerly pattern becomes entrenched through Thurs, as a weak high at sub-tropical latitudes drifts off NSW and an approaching complex inland trough and frontal system approaches from the interior.
It’s not a particularly tight squeeze and the resultant N’ly fetch off the coast looks weak and disjointed so we’re not expecting any great NE windswell potential at this stage. We’ll take the low road for now and hope for an upgrade on Wed.
In the context of this Spring, Fri doesn’t have lot to recommend it. The northerly pattern will be well entrenched so expect dawn to dusk N’lies, possibly with a window of lighter NW winds early, more likely in SEQLD.
Friday is almost pure small NE windswell with a tiny signal of background E swell to back it up. On current modelling, size in the 1-2ft range is expected. And its weak, low period stuff, so you’ll need to be keen and bring a good groveler or big board to get moving. For the first time in a long while, the end of the working week does not bring any aquatic bliss.
This weekend (Oct 30-31)
The headline feature this weekend is yet another low forming in that window of Tasman Sea just east of Tasmania as the inland trough and front exit the interior. Thats expected to occur, overnight Fri or early Sat, bringing freshening pre-frontal N’ly winds through Sat. Those winds will likely see surf very tiny and offshore but there a couple of flukey swell trains possible which could see some 2ft surf if you need a slide. Depending on the timing, winds out of Bass Strait early Sat may see some small S swell later Sat. Some long period S swell from the Southern Ocean and stray S swell from a low which passes quickly through the swell window Thursday might provide a rideable wave, but its flukey stuff and no meaningful size is expected. Winds should tend S’ly by close of play Sat. Check Wed to see if any of these get an upgrade and to finesse the timing.
Sunday is a very different story. S swell from the fetches slingshotting around the low will see pulses of S swell likely build through Sunday. Models are being quite conservative with size estimates in the 3-4ft range at S facing beaches in NENSW. We’ll use those estimates for ball park figures and be open to upgrading if windspeeds behave like similar systems in the recent past. S’ly winds will likely constrain surfing options away from maximum size anyhow so lets come back Wed and see how it is shaping up.
Next week (Nov1) and beyond
November starts in familiar fashion: a low pressure system east of Tasmania generating S swell for the region. That’s likely to see a solid S swell for Mon 1/11, topping out around the 4-5ft range at S swell magnets in NENSW, smaller elsewhere.
A large high pressure system is then expected to move into the Central Tasman setting up a ridge of high pressure which has reasonable chances of developing short range SE swell into next week, more likely in SEQLD. A polar low passing through the Southern Ocean Sun/Mon 31/10-1/11 has potential for a small pulse of long period S swell mid-week.
Very low confidence in long range forecasts due to the instability in the Tasman so check in Wed for a full and fresh update. See you then.