Wintry week ahead with some solid S swell from Thurs

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 30th May)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Last pulse of E/SE swell Mon/easing quickly Tues
  • Tiny/flat Wed in SEQLD with fresh offshore winds
  • Small S swell Wed PM in NENSW at S facing beaches
  • Stronger S swell Thurs with offshore winds
  • Longer period SSE swell Fri with offshore winds, slowly easing over the weekend with devil winds Sat AM
  • More S swell next week, stay tuned for revisions


Pumping weekend of waves for most of the region. Saturday saw 3-4ft of surf from the E with light offshore winds, which tended light SE in the a’noon. Swell kicked a notch into the 3-5ft range and held in there for Sun morning with offshore winds. Size eased quite quickly through Sun a’noon and we’re back to a weak signal from the E with a few small S swell lines in NENSW, all topping out at around 2ft. Winds were light early and are now tending N to NW in advance of a cold front. 

Took all Autumn but we got there in the end

Points lit up too

This week (May30-Jun 3)

Another dynamic week ahead but a bit more straightforwards in the sense that all the incoming swell will be from the S- once the current E swell pulse peters out through tomorrow.

A cold front will push into the region overnight with a complex low pressure gyre forming from the front and remnants of the current low which drifted down from the Coral Sea. That system will drive gales across various area of the Tasman Sea, initially out of Bass Strait and adjacent to the Southern NSW Coast, then extending southwards to form a long fetch through the lower Eastern Tasman Sea. The system evolves a bit faster than models indicated Fri, which will put a cap on wave heights but we’re still in for a nice blast of wintery S swell.

In the short run and fresh overnight N’lies will tend more W/NW through the morning, before clocking around more W’ly through the day. Leftover E swell should see some 2ft sets if you can find somewhere out of the N’ly biased wind. Otherwise, we’re looking at surf going tiny through the day as W’lies groom the ocean. 

Hard-core W’ly winds are expected Wed, possibly at low end gale force. Expect tiny/flat surf through the morning with our old friend- the Bass Strait gale- to supply small S swell after lunch, although only at reliable S swell magnets in NENSW where a few 2-3ft sets can be expected after lunch. North of the border surf will trend tiny/flat through Wed.

Thurs will see a much more solid S swell increase, as the fetch adjacent to Tasmania kicks in. Expect very directional S swell to build into the 3-4ft range at S facing beaches in NENSW, possibly with some 5ft sets through the a’noon. Expect smaller 2-3ft surf at S facing beaches in SEQLD. Winds look good: lighter W’ly through the morning tending light SE in the a’noon.

Friday looks to be the best day of the week. Straight S swell is augmented by longer period SSE swell from the deep southern fetch extending down from near the South Island(see below). In addition to that happy news, which will see solid 4-6ft surf across a wide swathe of S exposed breaks in NENSW, we’ll see lighter winds. SEQLD should see a good whack of clean 3ft S swell at S exposed breaks, with some of the more reliable swell magnets in the 3-4ft range, and a few outliers with 5ft sets. A light W’ly flow is expected early with a weak N’ly breeze through the a’noon. Pencil in Friday if you can. 

This weekend (June4-5)

Another frontal push across NSW is expected this weekend with plenty of offshore winds. They should start out NNW to W/NW Sat before tending true W’ly for the rest of the weekend.

Surf-wise we’re still looking at plenty of energy Sat morning, in the 4-5ft range at S facing beaches in NENSW, smaller 3ft in SEQLD, but that size will slowly ease back during the day, and it’ll have the devil wind across most spots apart from a few select backbenches.

Sunday is a mop up day with leftover S swells in the 3ft range early, dropping back below 2ft through the a’noon. With offshore conditions expected there should be some fun rideable waves at exposed S swell magnets, banks permitting.

Next week (June 6 onwards)

More S swell on the menu next week, although there’s some substantial model divergence between the leading models so we’ll be revising this through the week.

Light offshore winds are likely Mon and it’s likely to be a tiny day with just residual S swells below 2ft.

GFS suggests a front and low in the Tasman Sea Mon, which sees a possible small S swell increase Tues, with SW winds.

EC model puts the low back later Tues, suggestion a Wed increase in S swell.

Models then suggest much stronger fronts, with another low possibly in the Central Tasman, suggesting a much more solid run of S swell into the end of next week.

We’ll just flag now a possible trough/low situation on the Mid North Coast mid next week as a potential ECL precursor.

Check back Wed and we’ll run the ruler over it afresh.



simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Tuesday, 31 May 2022 at 5:50am

wow really strong westerlies all night and im sorta expecting the power to go out at some stage but the wind should clean the ocean up and get rid of that horrible brown shit water.....wondering if this will help change the la nina pattern water temp wise.?

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Tuesday, 31 May 2022 at 9:17am

Gusting to mid-40's.

Gotta love the crispness and clarity with those westerlies after so much onshore rain.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Tuesday, 31 May 2022 at 9:22am

Sand already pushing back in, never been so happy for a flat spell.

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono Tuesday, 31 May 2022 at 3:30pm

Cracking Autumn afternoon around here - pity there's no swell

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Wednesday, 1 Jun 2022 at 8:21am

Welcome, Lake Pacific. What a beautiful sight you are.