Solid surf slowly eases through the week with some supporting energy favouring South of the Border
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 25th July)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Plenty of leftover size from the E/SE Tues with NW, tending W’ly winds
- Nice leftovers Wed with winds tending SSW in he a’noon and a late kick in S swell across the MNC and North Coast
- Mix of S and SE swell Thurs with offshore winds
- Fun sized SE swell Fri, easing through the a’noon and further through Sat, becoming small Sun
- A quieter period ahead to start August
Tons of large surf over the weekend as a Coral Sea low tracked near Fraser Island and then out to sea. Saturday saw XL surf with only Kirra and Noosa surfable initially before things settled in the a’noon and the Superbank came on song. Size was in the 8ft+ range, grading into 6-8ft surf at Kirra, smaller in the a’noon and 4-5ft surf at Noosa, dropping quickly in the a’noon.
Size was smaller Sun, still 6-8ft in NENSW, with few places surfable, grading smaller 4-6ft on the Superbank.
Today has seen a renewal in strong ESE swell with some 6ft sets in NENSW, 4-5ft in SEQLD and light winds providing great surface conditions especially on semi-sheltered Points. More surf is expected this week before things settle down into the weekend.
This week (July 25-July 29)
Lovely looking map this morning with the weekend’s Coral Sea low low lingering near the North Island, having intensified overnight. Current ASCAT (satellite windspeed) pass shows storm force winds embedded in a larger fetch of SE-ESE gales to severe gales aimed back (mostly) at NSW. That will maintain quite elevated wave heights from a favourable direction for NENSW through most of the week, smaller in SEQLD, with supporting pulses arriving from the S during the week as a more typical winter pattern of cold fronts pushes into the Tasman,bringing a mostly offshore flow through the region. In short, we’ll be looking back to the South this week.
In the short run and Tuesday is still looking pretty good, with an early W/NW to NW flow tending W’ly as a front pushes across the state. Expect plenty of great ESE-E swell in the 4-5ft range in NENSW, smaller 3-4ft in SEQLD, just slowly easing through the a’noon.
Wednesday sees a mix of easing E-ESE swell with early sets to 3-4ft in NENSW, smaller 2-3ft in SEQLD, dropping back through the day. A cold front forms a small surface low off the Central/Mid North Coast, energising a SW-S fetch along the coast (see below). An a’noon kick in new S swell is on the cards for the Mid North Coast, with sets to 3-4ft at S facing beaches through the a’noon, arriving mid-late a’noon north of Yamba. Winds will tend W/SW Wed, with a tilt to the SW-S later as the front sweeps through.
Offshore winds continue through Thurs with S’ly quadrant swells continuing. The directional S swell will peak in the 3-5ft range at S facing beaches in NENSW, smaller 2-3ft in SEQLD at select S swell magnets. A pulse of SSE swell will be filling in as the remnants of the Coral Sea low re-organise under the South Island , aiming up a fetch back towards the East Coast. This swell pulse will be a little weaker, coming in around 3ft and expect some inconsistency due to the travel distance. With all day offshore winds it still looks like a good/great day.
By the end of the working week swells will be on the wane. Another cold front brings a SW flow through the day, potentially swinging more SSW-S through the day. SSE swell will slowly back down through the a’noon, with a few 3ft sets early becoming more inconsistent through the a’noon. We’ll keep tabs on the possibility of a late spike in new S swell. Wave models aren’t suggesting anything but the EC prognosis is for a stronger frontal passage Fri so stay tuned for updates.
This weekend (July 30-31)
Wave models aren’t suggesting much action at all this weekend. A classic August W to NW flow with surf easing right back. Size in the 2-3ft range Sat with leftover SSE swell and 1-2ft range Sun as the last of the S and SE swells from our current low ebb away.
We’ll mention that as the conventional wisdom. The European Model (ECMWF) has a much more bullish outlook with a strong front, creating a deep S to SSW fetch through the lower Tasman. That would suggest a much more active weekend with S swell building possibly as early as Fri PM and size in the 4-5ft range Sat, holding Sun morning before easing. Let’s flag that for now as a possibility and revisit on Wed. EC has been the more adventurous of the models during this La Niña and often needs to be dialled back. Check back Wed and we’ll see whether we are pulling out the snorkels or the step-ups.
Next week (Aug 1 onwards)
Looks like a relatively quiet start to the last month of Winter. Whatever frontal systems do pass through will clear the Tasman, with a more northward moving high creating a weak blocking pattern in the Tasman, suggesting a spell of more settled weather and small surf.
We’ll keep tabs on some fronts rapidly transiting through the far Lower Tasman but at this stage they look like marginal swell sources with very zonal fetches.
With so much surf on the short term to deal with we can afford to not stress over a quiet week next week.
Check back Wed for the latest update.