Clean, fun surf and offshore winds continue with stronger swells on the radar
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 6th July)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Fun levels of SE swell continue Thurs with mostly offshore winds
- Increase in S-SSE swell Fri with clean conditions
- Small clean surf Sat
- Small clean surf Sun AM, with an a’noon increase in strong SSE swell for NENSW
- Strong SSE groundswell Mon, with SW-S winds
- Easing SSE groundswell Tues with clean conditions
- More S swell expected later next week, stay tuned for updates
Clean conditions, rain and very cold (for the sub-tropics!) weather have been with us since Mon. Surf hovered in the 3ft range Tues, a little smaller in SEQLD and has boosted a notch into today. Winds today have been a bit funky as a small low pressure centre forms on the Mid North Caast. That’s seen W winds tend NW-N and winds south of Coffs go hard SE-ESE.
This week (July 6-8)
You couldn’t get a more “perfect” La Niña winter synoptic set-up if you tried. A massive cloud-band enveloping most of the Eastern Seaboard, tied to a complex low pressure system in the Tasman, and strong high pressure system with both systems slow moving. Multiple trough lines also complicate the situation, leading to uncertain movements of the main low, and development of secondary low pressure centres, of which one is forming off the Mid North Coast today (between Coffs and Port Macquarie). As noted on Mon, this is playing havoc with weather models.
There is a clear trend now in sight though, with the main low centre expected to move away from the Coast through tomorrow, as another trough pushes through the region. By Friday the low will have moved towards the West Coast of the South Island, where it intensifies again.
In the short run and the reinvigorated low, trough and another strong high pressure moving in the Bight tightens the coastal pressure gradient through Thurs, leading to a freshening of SSW to S’ly winds south of Coffs. North of Coffs and into SEQLD we’ll continue to see a flukier NW-SW flow - likely to end up in a light/mod SW’ly south of the border through the a’noon. Surf from the SE-S/SE holds in the 3ft range in NENSW, smaller 2-3ft in SEQLD.
Winds tend more true SW Friday, likely more W/SW inshore. We’ll see a bump in size, from Thursday’s intensification, with sets to 3-4ft in NENSW, continuing 2-3ft in SEQLD at S facing beaches.
This weekend (July 9-10)
We’re getting more clarity on the weekend now as models come into line. Things are looking pretty good for our region.
Saturday now looks like a favourable wind outlook for the region, as the low situated off the West Coast of the South Island and an elongated high drive a mostly light W’ly flow across the sub-tropics, with a possibility for a weak seabreeze in the a’noon. Surf-wise we re looking at a mix of south quadrant swells in the 3ft range in NENSW, smaller 2ft in SEQLD at S facing beaches, clean under all day offshores. There’ll be some small, residual E swell in the mix to 2ft, enough to add some peakiness to beachbreaks.
Sunday looks a similar story- for the most part. Offshore winds, a little stronger in NENSW, where they will be under the influence of a front/trough and S’ly flow in temperate NSW. QLD will see light land and Seabreeze.
Small surf all day for SEQLD, with a gentle mix of E and small S swells in the 2ft range at open beaches.
A solid increase in swell is expected later Sun, with the bulk of the increase arriving mid-a’noon on the mid North Coast and later a’noon north of Yamba..
This will be generated by the low intensifying to severe gale status through Fri/Sat off the West coast of the South Island, with the fetch well aimed at East Coast targets (see below).
Expect size to build into the 4-6ft range across the Mid North Coast mid a’noon, propagating north to tickle the QLD border by dark or close to it.
Next week (July 11 onwards)
Sundays pulse extends into Mon with plenty of size, possibly even bulking up a notch with longer swell periods. 6ft+ surf with bigger sets at more exposed breaks is expected in NENSW, smaller 4-5ft at S exposed breaks in SEQLD . Winds are still looking a tad dicey. A morning SW breeze is likely, before winds tend SSW to S at mod speeds as a high pressure ridge builds in.
An easing trend will be in play Tuesday as surf from the S/SE winds down. Expect a few solid 5-6ft sets early at S facing beaches in NENSW, smaller 3-4ft in SEQLD, under dreamy light W’ly to W/NW’ly conditions, dropping slowly through the day. Tuesday is definitely one to pencil in.
A cold front sweeping across the region Wed should see W’ly winds Wed and small surf in the 2-3ft range. We’ll keep our eyes out for a late increase in S swell Wed, more likely on the Mid North Coast if at all.
At this stage Thurs looks a better bet for an increase in S swell, provisionally up into the 3-4ft range at S facing beaches in NENSW with S’ly winds, that eases down Fri.
More fronts are expected later next week, suggesting more S swell for next weekend.
Longer term and models are still suggesting no end to the troughy dynamic in the Tasman- with expanded potential for more low pressure development into the medium term.
Check back Fri, there’s a lot to dial in for the short term and we’ll update how the medium term is shaping up as well.