Non stop action from the East as another tropical depression enters the swell window
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed Jan26)
SEQLD/NENSW Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Long range E/SE swell Wed/Thurs, lully and inconsistent with light winds.
- Fun E swell hangs into Fri
- Rebuild in fun tradewind swell this weekend with light SE winds
- New E swell builds in Mon with SSE to SE winds
- Much more muscular E swell from tropical depression (possible cyclone) Tues, holds Wed AM before easing. Mod S to SSE winds expected
- S/SE to SE swell fills in late next week as another strong high moves into Tasman
- Tropics remaining active, stay tuned for updates
Swell from the E/SE generated by a low pressure system drifting south through the Tasman, punched at the upper end of the f/cast range through yesterday with surf in the 3-4ft range and generally light winds. Morning land breezes tended to light E’ly sea breezes. Lots of fun surf was recorded on Beachbreaks and Points. Size has eased back a notch today from that source, with longer range E swell filling and inconsistent sets in the 3ft range with light winds providing more glassy conditions. With the slight drop in size and period , surf has become more peaky and suited to a bigger range of beaches. Winds are now tending to light E’ly breezes.
This week (Jan 26-28)
Summer blocking pattern has proven to be a favourable pattern for surf and that looks to continue. At the moment a reinforcing high pressure system is sliding into the Tasman Sea below Tasmania. It’s weak at present (1019 hPa) but expected to strengthen over the coming days and it will have the pressure gradient tightened on two fronts. First, from the west as a trough/low tied to the Southern and Indian Oceans moves through WA and SA and then from the East as a tropical low drifts into the slot from behind New Caledonia this weekend. That spells a lot of surf ahead.
In the short run the approaching trough system will be too far south for the sub-tropics with ridge re-establishing and winds maintaining from the SE to E. Long range E swell eases through tomorrow. Expect sets in the 2-3ft range but they will be very Lully and slow at times. Light morning winds will tend to SE to E breezes, freshening in the a’noon.
The working week ends more of the same E’ly swell, a mix of leftover long range and peakier, close range source, with size in the 2-3ft range. Light morning winds should see Beachbreaks options open up, with light ESE to E winds in the a’noon.
This weekend (Jan 29 - 30)
Few tweaks for the weekend f/cast. E’ly winds perk up in a wide band from the North Island back in towards the Tasman Sea from Thurs, as result of a large band of high pressure beginning to be squeezed by tropical low pressure. There are retrograding areas of strong breezes also pushing back into the Northern Tasman, well aimed at the sub-tropics.
This will see a perk up in size Sat, into the 3ft+ range. More of the same SE/ESE wind flow is expected, lighter inshore early. Should be plenty of fun options on Points and beachies.
Size holds at similar levels Sun with similar winds. It’s a rinse and repeat day from Sat, so if you found fun waves Sat, hit the replay button for Sunday.
Next week (Jan 31 onwards)
Local winds look similar to start the new week. The high pressure ridge maintains a regime of light/mod S/SE to SE winds, likely SW inshore early.
E swell will be on a slow build, initially from the cradling fetch of E’ly winds extending from the North Island into the South Pacific and back into the Tasman Sea. A classic looking summer fetch.
Pushing down onto that cradling high will be a tropical depression (possible cyclone). See below.
Swell on Mon will push up from the 3ft+ range into the 3-4ft range during the day. Possibly 3-5ft at the more exposed E swell magnets in the later a’noon, as longer period swell trains make landfall. The trend will be upwards after lunch with SE winds.
There’s still some question marks over the wind outlook from next Tues onwards.
For sure though, strong E swell will be in the water, at least in the 5-6ft range and likely bigger 6ft+ in NENSW. GFS does have a stronger system approach the coast before a slight Northwards movement, while EC has a weaker system track slowly southwards through the Tasman. Based on that, we’ll leave some room for fine-tuning the f/cast on Fri. S’ly winds are likely to increase as the tropical low approaches the coast. Pencil in Tues for a potential great day once we dial in these wind shifts.
The rest of next week is likely to see swell slowly decline from a peak on Wed morning in the 5-6ft range, with plenty of E swell lasting the week.
S swell from a cold front and trough is expected to trend to the S/SE as a major new fetch occupies the Tasman sea adjacent to NSW later next week.
A strong high at southern latitudes and trough through the Tasman strengthen this SE fetch, leading to plenty of short range SE swell building later next week with winds from the same direction.
The monsoonal surge remains active across Northern Australia, extending into the Coral Sea and South Pacific Convergence Zone so a high likelihood of more tropical low pressure development remains into next week.
Check back Fri for the latest look at this and the action ahead next week.