Weak swells with N'ly winds this week, extending into the weekend

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 1st August)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr) 

  • Small background E/NE swell this week with slightly biggest surf on Tues (just!), fading down through Wed-Fri and a N’ly pattern
  • Small NE windswell on the Mid North Coast Fri
  • Tiny surf likely this weekend 
  • Small S swell likely from Mon/Tues next week


S swell provided a few fun waves through Sat with Northern NSW seeing 3-4ft of size and light winds, grading smaller 2-3ft in SEQLD. Sunday eased back in size with a few 2-3ft sets on offer in NENSW, smaller 1-2ft in SEQLD and onshore winds kicking in. Today has wound right back with a weak E’ly swell in the 1-2ft range and N’ly winds making a mess of it. 

Small, weak stuff on offer this week

This week (Aug 1-5)

We’ve finally come to a low spot in the current La Niña phase we are in with energy being dialled right back this week.  The high pressure belt is moving at a more typical northerly latitude over interior Australia and with weaker, more mobile high pressure moving over the interior and into the Tasman, we are looking at a period of N’ly biased winds with W’ly oriented fronts being quickly shunted across the Tasman. A monster low slamming WA early this week, decays in the Bight before pushing into the Tasman over the weekend and doesn’t look to generate much surf for the Eastern seaboard. A weak trade flow in the Coral Sea is now retreating Eastwards, away from our swell window. 

In the short run and there’s not much of a story to tell. Small amounts of E/NE tradewind swell in the 2ft range with a few bigger sets on the Sunshine Coast and decreasing in size the further south you go from Cape Byron. A weak front brings a W’ly change, tending to variable winds through the a’noon. Bring the groveller.

That extends into Wed with N’ly winds starting to freshen in the a’noon, and size from the E/NE unlikely to exceed 2ft.

The end of the week doesn’t offer much more in the way of action. Weak E’ly swell will hover around the 2ft range or less. A trough of low pressure quickly transits from SE of New Caledonia towards the North Island, without generating any meaningful swell, but we will keep eyes on it in case it slows down and offers up something juicier.

Otherwise, we are looking at a continuing N’ly pattern, with a small amount of NE windswell on the Mid North Coast Friday. Looks good for flathead fishing.

This weekend (Aug 6-7)

Not much happening Saturday. Whatever leftover NE windswell will have been groomed flat by W’ly winds with just a smidgin of background E’ly swell keeping it above flat, so expect a great day for snorkelling with tiny surf in the 1ft range or less. 

As mentioned the decaying low pressure system about to smash WA will be approaching the Tasman, which will see winds shift W then SW Sunday.

Sunday is likely to be tiny as well, with just tiny background energy in the 1ft range. It’s not looking like much to be honest, so keep expectations pegged low for Sunday. 

Next week (Aug 8 onwards)

The decaying low and front will be in the Tasman Mon next week (see below). A brief and broad SW-S fetch pushes up the NSW Coast Mon, generating a brief spike in S swell likely late in the day Mon on the Mid North Coast and Tuesday across the rest of the region. Expect surf to build from 1ft to 2-3ft during the late a’noon at S exposed breaks, on the Mid North Coast, possibly reaching Yamba in dark.

Size holds into Tues morning- with 3-4ft surf at S facing beaches in NENSW, smaller 2ft in SEQLD- before easing through the day with mod/fresh S’ly component winds messing up S facing beaches. Expect much smaller surf at more sheltered spots.

Through the middle of next week we’ll be tracking fetches off the South Island and possibly Cook Strait. Model runs over the weekend looked quite promising for pulses of E/SE and SE swell from those locations. Current runs are weakening those fetches and moving them away more quickly. At a minimum we’re looking at small SSE-SE swell from the South Island side of the Tasman from the middle of next week, with continuing W to NE wind shifts as mobile high pressure continues to move at a more N’ly latitude for now. A pretty typical Spring pattern that is likely to break back to Winter before August is done according to long range models.

Check back Wed for a fresh update.


tiger's picture
tiger's picture
tiger Monday, 1 Aug 2022 at 4:50pm

Shame about the water quality in the rivers ATM, otherwise I'd be frothing for some flatty action. I'll have to turn my attention to off the rocks instead.

SDW's picture
SDW's picture
SDW Monday, 1 Aug 2022 at 9:54pm

Hoping the more northerly position of the high pressure belt allows one of those monster Southern Ocean lows, which seem to be getting bigger and more intense, to hit East Australia and deliver a serious cold outbreak before winter’s end. Crystal ball says around about August the 9th.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather Monday, 1 Aug 2022 at 10:58pm


Le_Reynard's picture
Le_Reynard's picture
Le_Reynard Tuesday, 2 Aug 2022 at 4:59pm

I wonder how...S word....(Spring)....will play out this year. Been a cold winter, no Autumn, crazy summer, kind of exaggerated seasons, or something.

brow-nobbys's picture
brow-nobbys's picture
brow-nobbys Tuesday, 2 Aug 2022 at 6:09pm

Just abit of advice please so is a 3-1 zodiac inflatable with a 15 HP motor good enough for the south straddie attack looking at putting it in the back of my ute,, roller down to bum beach no boat ramps ??

burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Tuesday, 2 Aug 2022 at 8:43pm

Yep. Wait until a strong south east wind. It’s perfect for Strad

Plasticspastic's picture
Plasticspastic's picture
Plasticspastic Wednesday, 3 Aug 2022 at 9:30am

and it needs heaps of swell, so wait till the points are good, and kirra is breaking.. perfect timing