Great Autumn week ahead with some offshore mornings- Finally!
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 2nd May)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- E'ly swells persist through this week, biggest Tues.
- Light morning winds open up beachbreaks most mornings
- Swell easing into Sat
- Slight rebuild in E swell Sun with S'ly winds redeveloping
- Watching charts early next week for coastal trough/low off SEQLD leading to strong E swell and potential inclement weather, stay tuned for updates
Plenty of surf on the Points over the weekend, although Sat was a tad undersized and wind affected in the a’noon. Swell cleaned up and muscled up Sunday with building 3-4ft surf which was mostly clean under W through SW winds, tending S’ly later in the day. S’ly winds today have ramped up, confining clean conditions to the Points, which have been good/great with 3-4ft of clean E swell on them.
This week (May2-6)
High pressure is sitting over the interior of Central NSW, leading to SE wind conditions, with a trade flow in the South Pacific supplying a steady drumbeat of fun, mid-sized E’ly swell. That pattern extends into mid week before a front passes through, bringing a SW’ly flow. A low forming near Tasmania looks to stall, maintaining a light SW to S flow into the weekend before finally racing off into the Tasman later in the weekend, bringing S’ly winds.
In the short run we’re looking at pleasant Autumn conditions with morning land breezes trending to mod SE breezes through the day. Surf tomorrow will be in the 3-4ft range with a longer period E/NE pulse on track to deliver some bigger 4-5ft sets through the a’noon. These will be coming from a fair way away so expect a wait for the sets and some slow periods.
Size holds into Wed morning with 4ft sets and clean morning conditions. Expect a slight easing trend to set in through the a’noon, with winds tending E/NE then N/NE through the a’noon. They should stay pretty light but will scuff up the Points.
Hit the repeat button for Thurs. The approaching front will see winds swing NW through W/NW through the day and with such magical conditions on offer waiting for the sets won’t seem so bad. The swell will be on an easing trend as the tradewind fetch and low which imposed on it will have been moving Eastwards, away and slowly out of the swell window since this weekend. Tradewinds do rebuild at lower levels through this week around a trough near New Caledonia so E’ly energy won’t disappear, just wind back a notch or two, with sets still in the 3-4ft range, albeit a bit slow. Thurs morning looks great for the beachies which have suffered so much due to the constant SE winds.
The working week ends with another day dominated by offshore winds. The front does push through with winds trending WSW through SW in the morning. As mentioned earlier a stalled low developing near Tasmania and linked to an interior trough in Victoria, re-establishes the SW’ly flow through the day, likely tending S’ly by close of play. Surf will still be easing so expect some early 3ft sets, dropping back down into the 2-3ft range through the day. A day of small surf brushed clean by light SW winds sounds nice like a nice day to wash off the week.
This weekend (May7-8)
SW to S’ly winds and quite a bit of them looks like the theme this weekend. Models show the low stalling just off the NE coast of Tasmania through Sat, continuing the W’ly flow across most of temperate NSW tending SW to S’ly up in sub-tropical NSW to SEQLD. There won’t be much size on offer, just a couple of feet from the East. A perfect babyfood day for beginners, kids and those on the hunt for a non-threatening surf. Expect tides to swallow up much of the energy through their higher phases.
Sunday sees stronger S to SSE winds become established. Swell muscles up a notch from the E during Sunday as swell from the re-energised tradewind fetch kicks up. Nothing dramatic, but size should boost back into the 3ft range. With the S winds focus will shifty back to the Points.
Next week (May 9 onwards)
A few things to keep our eyes on for next week. The weekend’s low is expected to track into the Tasman, although GFS model has a much more aggressive and favourable NE up into the Tasman compared to EC. That will see a more solid S swell late Monday into Tues, although I am more persuaded to take the conservative EC track for now, with size in the 3ft range. That could easily be upsized to 3-4ft at S facing beaches. Winds will be from the south so best not get too excited. That should track down through late Tues.
The main factor to watch will be another monster high moving through the Bight. That’s likely to see another strong E’ly pattern build in the Southern Coral and Tasman Sea. Winds are likely to tend ESE to E through next week. A trough of low pressure may form off the SEQLD or NENSW coast, possibly moving south and bringing onshore winds and robust E swell through the middle to end of next week.
To the south another very deep low looks set to form well to the south of New Zealand Tues/Wed, becoming storm force and tracking NE. That spells more solid surf for Tahiti. Although it’s on the eastern periphery of our swell window we’ll keep eyes on it for another rare SSE to SE groundswell, although there is a good chance it will be obscured by events in the Tasman Sea.
Check back Wed for a fresh update.