More E/SE swell from Ex TC Cody incoming with a couple more days of N'ly winds
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued MonJan17)
SEQLD/NENSW Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Strong E/SE holding Tues AM before easing slowly with N'ly winds, lighter in SEQLD
- Last pulse of the E/SE swell Wed, easing during the day with light N'ly winds (flukey in NENSW), tending E/NE then E/SE north of Byron, S'ly change on the Coffs Coast
- More E to E/SE swell developing Thurs, likely peaking Fri , with winds favouring the Points
- Residual SE to E/SE swell holding at fun, workable levels this weekend, with SE winds slowly easing
- Small long range E swell Mon, persisting Tues/Wed with light winds
- Small E/SE swell likely Thurs
Saturday was in between pulses with 3-5ft of E swell across the region and a brief window of clean conditions on offer before N’ly winds kicked up and reached moderate strength. There was some great waves on the beach breaks early if you could find somewhere handling the swell.
Size kicked Sun, with the Sunshine Coast seeing the biggest surf in the morning. Under light morning winds size was in the 6ft+ range with great surf again if you could find a bank handling the size and get out to it. Size more generally kicked into the 6ft+ range through Sun a’noon across the region with light/mod NE winds.
NENSW had the biggest surf today with solid 6-8ft lines pounding the beaches and a light variable flow early on supplying glassy/lumpy conditions. Smaller 4-6ft surf was reported in SEQLD with light morning winds. All this swell has been courtesy of TC , then Ex TC Cody, the second cyclone swell for 2022, despite being in only the second week of January. Not a bad start to the year, at least swell wise.
This week (Jan 17-21)
Ex TC Cody slipped behind the North Island late this weekend and is now slowly drying up as a swell source. Due to the slow moving nature of the system as it approached the North Island there’s still some more solid surf to come, with a final pulse of E/SE swell expected Wed.
Today will be the peak of the swell with a slow roll-off in size tomorrow. There’ll still be plenty of size through the morning, with 4-5ft surf in SEQLD, slightly larger 6ft sets in NENSW and size easing during the day. Winds will be the issue, they’ll be from the North, lighter in SEQLD and more likely to be NW for a period early. That offers up potential for some good beachbreaks if you can finds a suitable bank.
More N’ly winds are expected through Wed, with a S’ly change now expected to impact the southern area of the f/cast region, during the a’noon. Further north winds will start to tend more E/NE, then E/SE during the as a large high starts to build a ridge along the sub-tropical coast. A trough off the Central Coast will affect winds more in the south of the f/cast region.
A final pulse of E/SE swell generated as TC Cody was slowly slipping down behind the North Island will see another pulse of long-is period swell, with sets in the 4-5ft range, with size easing back through the day. Winds will be tricky to work around with a lighter period of NW winds early more likely in QLD.
By Thursday strong high pressure consolidates S of Tasmania, becoming slow moving with pressure gradients tightening along a broad flank by the coastal trough. That will see fresh S to SE winds develop with these winds extending offshore into the Central Tasman sea. Expect building short period SE swell during the day, up into the 3ft range in NENSW, a little smaller 2-3ft in SEQLD.
That high pressure ridge will stay firmly in place through the end of this week,migrating north during Fri and aiming up more at sub-tropical NSW and SEQLD with mod/fresh SE to ESE winds continuing through Thurs and into Fri. Size should peak Friday in the 3-5ft range in NENSW, 3-4ft in SEQLD but you’ll need to find protection at the Points to get any quality and with mostly short period swell trains there’ll be a swift roll-off in size away from the Outer Points.
This weekend (Jan 22 - 23)
Pressure gradients finally ease over the weekend- at least in NENSW- as the high begins to lose steam as it moves East of Tasmania and the focus of the ridge moves up into QLD. That should see mod E/SE winds Sat, easing into Sun, with light SE’ly winds expected south of Yamba. North of there winds will remain a mod SE on Sat, easing a notch Sun.
Swell wise we’re looking at residual ESE to E swell on Sat in the 3-4ft range. If you can work with the wind and aren’t too fussy about quality there will be waves to be had with the best quality being on the Points and semi-sheltered breaks.
Size drops a notch Sun into the 3ft range, offering up a chance for some peaky beachbreaks if the winds co-operate. Sunday looks the better day for quality as onshore winds ease but Points are still likely to see the best quality.
Next week (Jan 24 onwards)
Looks like a quieter week on the radar next week, after such a hectic start to the year.
High pressure will still be in the Tasman, but with a weaker flow expected as the system matures and weakens. A couple of E swell sources are on the radar. Small, long range E swell generated in the South Pacific from a tropical depression in Tongan longitudes supplies inconsistent 3ft surf from Mon, likely persisting at fun levels through Tues and Wed. With light winds expected that promises a few days of fun on the beachbreaks.
A retrograding trough travels from the North Island back into the Tasman Sea early next week. Models are offering divergent takes on it, so it’s not worth getting too excited about. Under current modelling that should see some 3ft surf from the E by Thurs next week.
Longer term and an approaching complex trough system towards the end of next week is likely to see N’ly winds freshen by the end of next week. GFS model suggests further low pressure development in the South Pacific window near Fiji week after next, indicating our Summer of E swell, modulated by La Nina has further to run before sputtering out.
Check back Wed for a full update.