South swells ahead with a few patches of devil wind to negotiate
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 1st June)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- 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 AM, tending NW through N as new pulse fills in
- Strong S-SSE groundswell Sat AM with winds tending W/NW to W, easing during the day
- Surf easing Sun with offsahore winds
- More S swell next week with a couple of tiny/flat days in SEQLD, stay tuned for revisions
The leftover E swell eased quickly though yesterday with a few 2ft sets in the morning dribbling away to not much by the a’noon, under brisk W’ly winds. Gales out of Bass Strait yesterday have produced a small, refracted S swell signal which is producing some clean 2ft surf at the typical S swell magnets today in NENSW, tiny/flat in SEQLD through the morning with a small S swell signal just showing after lunch. Stronger S swells are en route.
This week (Jun1-Jun 3)
Could not be a more apt synoptic pattern for the first day of Winter. Brisk westerly winds and a complex low pressure gyre in the Tasman Sea, with multiple cold fronts and a deep S’ly fetch of gales extending down to 55S have ushered in the first day of Winter. Multiple swell trains are now being generated by this complex cold outbreak, with different period signatures set to impact different areas of the coast. Due to the broad spectrum of swells trains, there should be something for everyone.
In the short run and we’re looking at bigger, but very directional S swell through Thurs, primarily generated by the more proximate fetches to the NSW coastline. That will favour S facing and exposed breaks in NENSW, which should see 3ft of S swell initially, with a secondary pulse pushing up into the 3-4ft range during the a’noon. Keep expectations pegged low north of the border: SEQLD S swell magnets will see smaller 2ft of swell, with some stray 2-3ft sets later in the a’noon. Winds will tend WSW, then SW and S/SW as the frontal progression moves into the Tasman Sea. By mid a’noon a light S to SE breeze is likely, especially north of the border.
Friday looks a much better bet for the region as a whole as longer period energy from the deep S’ly fetch makes landfall. This will have a longer period and better direction so should have a much more even spread of wave heights across the region including north of the border, although S facing exposures in NENSW will still see the biggest surf. Expect smaller 3ft surf early before strong surf in the 4-5ft range builds in through the a’noon. Winds now look a bit of a problem. They’ll be light offshore early but an approaching front will see them tend NW then N through the a’noon. Right when the swell is peaking. Areas south of Coffs may fare better with the timing.
This weekend (June4-5)
No great change to the weekend f/cast. More cold front activity maintains W’ly winds all day Sat and these winds will have a more NW to W/NW tilt through Sunday a’noon.
Plenty of strong S’ly energy in the water Sat morning, albeit likely to have some N’ly scarring on it. If offshore winds clean that up in time we’ll see solid 4-6ft energy in NENSW, grading smaller 3-4ft at SEQLD S swell magnets and northern corners.
Sunday will still see leftover S’ly energy as the swells continue to wane. A few 3-4ft sets are on offer early in NENSW- smaller 2ft in SEQLD- but by lunch-time these will be few and far between and by the a’noon surf will drop below 2-3ft at S facing beaches, smaller in SEQLD.
Next week (June 6 onwards)
The winter pattern rolls straight through into next week with more cold fronts, Westerly dominated winds and swells from the S.
We’ll start next week with surf easing to tiny over Mon with W’ly winds grooming an ocean devoid of swell.
By Tues small amount of S swell should push up wave heights into the 2ft range at S facing beaches in NENSW while SEQLD remains tiny/flat.
Models are still divergent on the strength and timing of these fronts so confidence is very low on specifics this far out.
By mid next week Frontal activity is likely to see another round of S swell in the Tasman, possibly sizey into Thurs/Fri.
Pencil in SW winds and increasing S swells through Thurs/Fri and likely extending into next weekend at this stage. We’ll come back Fri and see how we are shaping up for size and timing.