Weekend of E swell, sunshine and offshore winds before a winter-style pattern next week
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 27th May)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- E swell peaks Sat with offshore winds, flukey in the a'noon
- Small SSE groundswell in NENSW Sat
- Easing E swell Sun with offshore winds
- Last pulse of E/SE swell Mon/easing quickly Tues
- W'ly winds and tiny/flat surf later Tues, before a series of S swell pulses from Wed as winter-calibre low forms in Tasman Sea
Much more typical Autumn conditions since the last f/cast notes with morning offshore winds and lighter SE afternoon breezes. Combination swells have been in the water with shorter period E’ly swells trains more dominant in SEQLD to 3-4ft and longer period SSE swell in NENSW supplying inconsistent 3-4ft sets. All in all, some great fun waves to end the week. Weekend details below.
This weekend (May 28-29)
No great changes to the weekend f/cast. Winds still looking good to great- surface low in the Coral Sea is now moving southwards, with a SW outflow expected across most of the region through Sat, tending light S to SE in the a’noon across NENSW and with a light NE seabreeze possible north of the border.
Sunday sees a more classic SW to W flow as a front strengthens and begins to interact with the surface low which has drifted down from the Coral Sea. Expect that SW flow to tend more W/SW through W’ly in the a’noon as the front moves offshore and a stronger pre-frontal flow begins to make an impact.
Saturday is the bigger day with a late increase in size Fri holding over into Sat and plenty of 4-5ft surf across the region. Compared to Wed’s notes the fetch is a tad weaker and moves south a little faster, putting a cap on wave heights so it’s unlikely we’ll see those 6ft sets - apart from a few really good E swell magnets with deepwater to shallow gradients. There will be a few small SSE long period swell trains in NENSW through Sat but they’ll be back in the mix so you may not notice them.
Size will be easing off through Sun, as the low drifts south out of the swell window. Expect size to drop down from 3-4ft to 3ft during the day and become slow and inconsistent. Offsetting the dropping swell will be a bluebird day with W’ly winds all day.
Next week (May 30 onwards)
Right on cue, as head into the first week of winter, a nice cold outbreak and blast of W’ly winds with accompanying S’ly swells affects the entire East Coast.
Pre-frontal W/NW winds will tend NW and freshen through Mon- which should iron out surface conditions to a degree we haven’t seen for 6 months.
Monday looks interesting. There’ll be some small S swell in the mix, residual E swell and in the a’noon a last pulse of ESE’ly swell coming from the outer extremities of the fetch feeding into the Coral Sea low, which will be located out near the North Island. It won’t be significantly larger but it will rebuild wave heights back into the 2-3ft range. Worth a squizz considering how groomed the conditions will be.
This E’ly pulse eases into Tues, with leftover surf in the 2ft range becoming tiny/flat through the a’noon. Winds will freshen from the W on Tues to reach strong wind/low end gale force through the day. It’s going to be a wild day of stiff offshores.
From mid week we’re looking at a series of S swells, with plenty of size expected as the frontal system joins with the tropical low remnants and forms a large low pressure gyre in the Tasman Sea (see below).
We’ll be revising the details on Mon, as we get closer to the action but the broad outline is a steep increase Wed from both severe gales out of Bass Strait and a long fetch of gales extending SE of Tasmania, all with fresh W’ly winds. That should push wave heights up into the 3-4ft range at S facing beaches after lunch. Smaller 2ft in SEQLD.
Thurs looks even more solid. The fetch consolidates into a long, deep, straight S’ly wind field of gales extending down to 55S. It’s quite unusual to see straight S’ly fetches of that magnitude and while there’s still plenty of scope for this outlook to be dialled down, we’re expecting a solid blast of S’ly groundswell Thurs. Likely in the 5-6ft range across most S exposed breaks. Offshore winds should accompany this swell peak.
S swell then slowly rolls off in size from there into next weekend with high pressure moving over NSW bringing settled conditions before a couple of N’ly days as the high drifts into the Tasman, at more typical Winter latitudes.
More S swell looks to be on the menu following that, although with nothing major indicated at this stage.
Check back Mon for the latest and have a great weekend!