More energy from the Southern quadrant into the weekend before a taste of Spring next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 27th July)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr) 

  • Mix of S and SE swell Thurs with offshore winds, favouring NENSW for most size
  • Fun sized SE swell Fri, with a late spike in S swell (more likely on the Mid North Coast)
  • Fun mix of S and SE swells Sat favouring south of the border
  • Surfable leftovers Sun with winds tending onshore
  • N’ly pattern sets in next week with some rideable tradewind swell from Tues, favouring the Sunshine Coast
  • N’lies persist into the end of next week


NW winds spoiled the part for large chunks of the region yesterday before they tended W/NW and W’ly later in the a’noon (or after dark in most places!). Surf was still solid with sets to 4-5ft. Today has seen solid sets in NENSW, with a mix of SE swell and new S swell which came in more aggressively than f/cast on Mon. That’s seen surf to 4-5ft in NENSW, grading smaller 2-3ft in SEQLD. Offshore winds have been widespread through the region, ranging from W/NW to W/SW. 

Still some energy in the ocean this morning with plenty of lines

This week (July 27-July 29)

One of the features of this current La Niña phase has been long-lived swell events as low pressure lingers in the Tasman Sea. This current event is typical of that pattern. We are now close to the end game as the low which started off the CQ Coast in the Coral Sea expends it’s last energy off the bottom of the South Island New Zealand. That declining swell energy is being replaced by new S swell energy as a front and small low currently wind up off the NSW Coast. This swell is coming in early and coming in over expectations. Following fronts likewise look to warrant size upgrades from Mondays notes.

In the short run and todays stronger than expected pulse of S swell holds into Thursday, although on an easing trend by the a’noon. Expect sets to 4-5ft early at S facing beaches in NENSW, smaller 2ft in SEQLD. Mixed in with this directional S swell will be SE swell from the ex Coral Sea low now located under the South Island. That will supply some inconsistent 2-3ft sets during the day. Under all day offshore winds, with just a touch of S’ly bias, it looks like another fun of surf ahead.

Winds tend SW on Fri as another cold front pushes across the state and into the Tasman Sea. As mentioned in Mondays notes, the more robust EC scenario now looks likely, with an upgrade in size coming with it. We’ll be looking at de-powered leftover 2-3ft surf early, mostly from the SE, with a late kick in S swell. Under current modelling this should quickly push up into the 3-5ft range at S facing beaches, across the MNC mid-late a’noon, showing across the Ballina stretch right on dark and likely to arrive after dark north of the border. 

This weekend (July 30-31)

Fridays stronger S swell naturally translates to more energy available for Saturday. The front pushes away quite quickly so winds will tend SE through the day as a weak ridge builds in behind the front. Starting out mod SW before tending  light/mod SE. Expect size in the 4-5ft range early at S exposed breaks in NENSW, smaller 2ft in SEQLD at S facing beaches. A bit of leftover SSE energy will be in the mix as well.

Leftover S’ly energy from the front and what’s left of the fetch under the South Island pads out Sun. Models are probably over-cooking the energy available, but there should be some 3ft sets available at S swell magnets in NENSW, smaller 2ft in SEQLD. A weak onshore flow will see E’ly winds kick in through the day with a land breeze early lasting until mid-morning. 

Next week (Aug 1 onwards)

There’ll be a Spring feel in the air with a high sitting off the NSW Central Coast directing a N’ly flow along the coast to start August. N’lies freshen to start next week, as the high moves offshore and gradients tighten as a front approaches. Expect a fresh N’ly flow Mon morning with a mix of small leftovers on offer in the 2ft range and a bit of NE windswell on offer for the desperate in the a’noon.

The high pressure creates a modest trade flow which extends just far enough South in the Coral Sea early-mid next week to generate some rideable E’ly tradewind swell for the region, favouring the Sunshine Coast. 

Expect a peaky, short period tradewind swell to develop Tues and extend into Wed and Thurs in the 2-3ft range on the Sunshine Coast, decreasing in size the further south you go and not likely to show much south of Yamba.

Winds look serviceable with a light N’ly flow that should be offshore in the mornings.

Late in the week N’lies freshen with a couple of nasty days of strong winds likely Fri/Sat, possibly producing some stronger NE windswell on the MNC.

Check back Fri and we’ll see how it’s shaping up. Bit early in the season to get excited about NE windswell and short period tradewind swells when we still have quality groundswells to surf. 


crg's picture
crg's picture
crg Wednesday, 27 Jul 2022 at 6:28pm

A banner day down here today. That extra kick in size had a local magnet right on its limit with perfect direction, tide and winds.
And no one out.
Thanks Huey.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Thursday, 28 Jul 2022 at 8:28am

The scourge of the shire has just turned up again on the island cam lol /abruptchaos

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Thursday, 28 Jul 2022 at 1:30pm

pretty sick this morn south of sawtell, north of Nambucca. 3 out, offshore, 3 foot with some kick, one great bank, I must have saw 30 excellent empty barrels. was hard to position at times due to the sweep.

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi Thursday, 28 Jul 2022 at 1:43pm

Nice one, damn banks around here seem to be largely obliterated, so once again a nice swell goes to waste somewhat