Couple of small days ahead before another extended round of action from the East

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 27th Apr)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Last pulse of longer period S swell on the menu this week; Thurs
  • E'ly tradewind swell rebuilds into the weekend, with stronger E’ly swells next week persisting through most of the week


S’ly groundswell in NENSW yesterday has eased momentarily before a last pulse fills in through the a’noon, and into tomorrow. Background Swell from the East has maintained 2-3ft surf in SEQLD. Winds were light and variable through the morning and are now tending to light E/NE to NE sea breezes.

Residual E'ly swell energy holding firm

This week (Apr 27-29)

No great change to yesterdays notes. A large 1029 hPa high pressure system is sitting smack bang in the middle of the Southern Tasman Sea in a deepening phase, with a series of tropical troughs in the Northern Coral Sea beginning to expand Tradewinds through the tropics.

There’s a slight rebuilding of the ridge along the coast through to there end of the week as Tradewinds establish which will see winds swing back to the E/SE to SE, although winds should tend to light SW breezes through the morning.

S’ly groundswell through Thurs will see some 3ft sets in NENSW at S exposed breaks, with smaller 2ft waves in SEQLD. Background E swell will hold in the 2ft range. Light winds will see a small mixed bag of surf, biggest in NENSW.

Friday will see a slight bump in E’ly tradewind swell, more noticeable through the a’noon. Nothing dramatic, but size should inch up into the 2-3ft range by close of play. Light winds through the morning will tend to light E’ly to SE’ly breezes through the a’noon. Should be some small, fun waves to wash off the working week.

This weekend (Apr 30 - May1)

No great change to the weekend f/cast.

Light winds both days with a N’ly bias Sunday.

The surf outlook is straightforwards. The long, broad tradewind fetch dips down through the end of this week, and we’ll see a slow but steady increase in E’ly tradewind swell over the weekend.

Saturday should start out small, in the 2-3ft range, building into the 3ft or 3-4ft range (more likely on the Sunshine Coast) during the day. Light morning land breezes will tend to light E’ly breezes in the a’noon. These breezes will tend more E/SE in QLD, grading more E/NE south of Yamba to the Mid North Coast.

By Sunday we’ll see surf up into the 4ft range, with an even spread of size across the region. Light morning winds will favour beachies before light N’lies kick in, with backbeaches becoming favoured. A S’ly change will propagate North through the a’noon, likely reaching NENSW through the mid a’noon and the QLD border later in the day. We’ll finesse the timing of the change on Friday.

Next week (May 2 onwards)

Plenty of chunky E swell ahead next week as Tradewinds and a sub-tropical low drifts south through the South Pacific slot (see below). Nothing complicated about the f/cast either. S’ly winds will likely shift the focus to the Points through Mon and Tues, with the strength of the ridge only seeing brief periods of lighter SW winds inshore early. These S to SE winds won’t be as strong as the ones we’ve just seen in recent weeks.

Broad tradewind fetch with embedded sub-tropical low generates another extended round of E'ly swell

Surf will elevate up into the 4-5ft range through Mon and persist at these levels through Tues and Wed. Quality should be excellent as wave length draws out and period boosts a notch later Mon into Tues. 

By Wed the pressure gradients slacken as the high cell sits over NSW, leading to light land and sea breezes. Wed should be an excellent day for a wide swathe of the f/cast region.

Through to the end of next week and we’ll see a slow roll-off in size from the E as the extended tradewind fetch gradually contracts Eastwards out of the swell window. E swell should pad out next week with winds tending S’ly through Thurs/Fri.

A small troughy feature off the coast will be the potential curve ball. This could possibly generate some local SE swell depending on it’s position through the end of next week, as well as modifying local winds.

We’ll see how that shapes up on Friday.

Some intense frontal activity below the SE of Aus is likely to see some pulses of refracted S’ly groundswell early in the week beginning 9/5.

Check back Fri and we’ll see how that is shaping up.


Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Wednesday, 27 Apr 2022 at 4:29pm

Those offshore days on the long range around the 7th give a glimmer of hope. I'm sure it will turn to shit by then but gee it's nice to see. We haven't had those teased at in so long. Imagine what a clean ocean looks like, I'll probably just live in it once it turns up. Come on autumn, you can do it.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Wednesday, 27 Apr 2022 at 7:15pm

... aaand they're gone.

uncle_nico's picture
uncle_nico's picture
uncle_nico Wednesday, 27 Apr 2022 at 9:27pm

Yep that was brutal.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather Thursday, 28 Apr 2022 at 8:22am

Punching well above it's weight this morning. Supports my theory about these semi stationary high pressure systems

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 28 Apr 2022 at 8:42am

What do you got Don?

Residual E swell or S groundswell?

The latter is more prominent here this morning.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather Thursday, 28 Apr 2022 at 9:11am

Bit of both Steve, but I'm thinking with the beach I checked it was probably the latter that was the sets, but the E'ly swell still well above forecast at the other non-south swell magnet beach I checked.

surfiebum's picture
surfiebum's picture
surfiebum Thursday, 28 Apr 2022 at 10:34am

Woke up super early on the sunny coast, check the obs and it's been light offshore for a few hours so I get excited.
Only to have all that change 10 minutes later as it swings to the east and gets up to 15kt again...

Interesting looking at that period of lighter winds and the recorded temps at the time, once the temp dropped to below ~21.5 the wind went light and jumped back up again as soon as it warmed at 4am.
Cross fingers for some cooler nights

tip-top1's picture
tip-top1's picture
tip-top1 Thursday, 28 Apr 2022 at 6:00pm

those early morning scud/storms love to ruin a nice little offshore window ,

spudsurf's picture
spudsurf's picture
spudsurf Thursday, 28 Apr 2022 at 2:57pm

Ben, the cams seem to still have a glitch. Kings cam is frozen after 2:19p?

spudsurf's picture
spudsurf's picture
spudsurf Thursday, 28 Apr 2022 at 3:02pm

Ok it's live again. Looks like a few of them stopped and so no recording for that period showing.