TC Cody drifting through South Pacific towards New Zealand brings multiple pulses of E to E/SE swell over the coming days
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed Jan12)
SEQLD/NENSW Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- E swell muscling up Thurs from TC Cody with SE winds, lighter Thurs AM
- Plenty more E swell Fri into Sat with light winds Fri, tending NE on Sat. Light NW winds possible Sat AM
- More E swell, rebuilding from the E/SE Sun, with N'ly winds, lighter in SEQLD
- Strong E/SE swell Mon, pulsing again Tues with N'ly winds, dropping out Tues in SEQLD
- Short range S to SE swell lilkely from Thurs into next weekend
- Still watching the tropics for potential long range E swell and another TC near Fiji
E’ly swell picked up yesterday into the 3-4ft range, with some larger surf reported on the Tweed Coast. Winds were generally light/mod E to E/SE which meant scrappy but surfable conditions, especially on the Points. Lighter SE winds today have provided clean waves across the Points and some adjacent beaches with around 3ft of swell, building into the 3-4ft range as the tide dropped. Plenty more E swell is on the menu for the f/cast period.
This week (Jan 12-14)
Current ASCAT (satellite windspeed) passes show a healthy fetch of E’ly winds flanking TC Cody as drifts south/south-east of the area between Fiji and New Caledonia towards the North Island. Compared to model forecasts Monday strongest winds were still slightly in the swell shadow of the South Pacific Islands which has meant a slightly sleepy start to this swell event.
A weak ridge along the sub-tropical coast extending up into tropical QLD is generating a light/mod SE flow across the region, a bit lighter than Mondays f/cast expectations and those winds continue into the end of the working week when they start to tend E/NE as a trough system approaches from the W.
Short term and tomorrow looks good wind-wise for the Points with a residual light/mod SE’ly to E/SE’ly flow, possibly light SW inshore early on the Southern Gold Coast.
A muscling upon is expected through the morning as longer period E’ly swell fills in. That should see 3-4ft sets through the morning (tidally affected) before stronger 4-5ft sets fill in through the a’noon. Some exposed breaks on the Tweed Coast may see 6ft sets from this pulse.
Fri morning looks great for conditions with a light/variable flow, most likely SW on the Gold Coast, light SE elsewhere and continuing 11-13second period E swell with 4-5ft sets. It will be pulsey and tidally affected so keep that in mind. By the a’noon winds will tend more E/NE, NE south of Byron so the Points will get scuffed up. It’s likely windspeeds will be under 15 knots so if you can tolerate some bump it’ll remain surfable.
This weekend (Jan 15 - 16)
E swell from TC Cody (possibly ex TC by this stage) continues into Sat at moderate levels , likely 3-4ft, slowly easing through the day and into Sun morning. Winds look great for the beachies Sat morning if you can find a bank handling the swell. Expect light W/NW to NW winds before they track around to the NE and freshen.
N’ly winds will be with us again on Sun, likely weaker in SEQLD and stronger south of Yamba. An intensification of TC Cody is expected later Fri into Sat as it approaches the North Island and undergoes extra-tropical transition (see below) and this is expected to generate a stronger pulse of E-E/SE swell filling in Sun. Surf should rebuild into the 3-5ft range, possibly with some 6ft+ sets at swell magnets through the a’noon. Surfable spots will be at a premium with N’ly winds.
Next week (Jan 17 onwards)
Plenty of swell to start to the new week as strong E-E/SE swell holds in the 6ft range Mon, possibly 6ft+ at exposed breaks ,slowly backing down into the 4-5ft+ range before another pulse of E/SE swell lifts wave heights back into the 3-5ft+ range Tuesday. The problem will be N’ly winds which are expected to remain fresh and gusty both days, albeit lighter in SEQLD then NENSW. That will place backbeaches handling the swell at a premium so spot selection is going to be tricky.
By Wed next week we should see a S’ly change of some description working it’s way north, as a trough moving in advance of another high pressure ridge enters the chat. Surf will be on the ease, with leftover energy from the E/SE in the 3ft range, becoming more inconsistent as the day goes on. N’ly winds ahead of the change and we’ll finesse the timing on Fri, it’s too far out now to have any confidence on wind change.
Later next week a strong high moves into the Lower Tasman and with an angular trough expected along the leading edge of the high a fair coverage of SE winds is expected to develop. That should see short range S to SE swell build into late next week, but with such a long lead time confidence is extremely low on the details.
A long E’ly fetch in the South Pacific through the mid-latter part of next week is a possible source of long range E swell but at this stage the fetch moves away from us at about the same rate it intensifies, suggesting only a few stray 2-3ft sets sometime in the week beginning 24/1.
There’s some model suggestion of a new tropical low, possibly forming between Vanuatu and Fiji next week, with potential to undergo cyclogenesis,so we’ll keep eyes on that and update Fri.
Check back then for the latest update.