Small slow weekend, then some south swell next week

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Fri 9th Sep)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Small easing S/SE swell all weekend, plus a minor E/NE swell. Nothing special
  • Small S'ly swell Mon/Tues across Northern NSW
  • Stronger long period S'ly swell across Northern NSW Wed, easing Thurs
  • Will remain small the entire period throughout SE Qld


A solid south swell provided good waves on Thursday, and size is now slowly easing across the region. Generally light morning winds have created favourable conditions though northerlies are creating issues at some spots.

This weekend (Sep 10-11)

No major changes to the weekend forecast. 

Conditions will improve nicely as winds veer to the western quadrant on Saturday and then become light and variable on Sunday.

A front crossing Southern NSW later Saturday may freshen winds from the SW across the Mid North Coast but this will probably be most active overnight Saturday, easing into Sunday (still a risk for lingering breezes early morning here). 

However, there are no new swell sources on the charts. Easing S/SE swells across Northern NSW on Saturday morning may see some leftover 2ft sets at exposed beaches, but it'll be much smaller in SE Qld.

A minor short period E/NE swell may show up across SE Qld and Far Northern NSW from a small fetch south of New Cal, but I wouldn't expect much more than a lazy 1-2ft.

All in all, there'll be small waves all weekend but anticipate a higher proportion of grovelling than normal.

Next week (Sep 12 onwards)

Saturday's front may generate a small south swell for south facing beaches south of Byron (specifically, south of Coffs) on Monday, though no more than 2ft+ is expected at a small number of beaches. 

Across SE Qld expect very small levels of redisual E/NE swell from the weekend.

Looking forther south, and next week looks typical of Spring with a series of strong fronts transiting through our south swell window, although at somewhat low latitudes. 

This should supply a steady undercurrent of southerly groundswell for the rest of the week. Synoptic winds look to remain light throughout under a generally weak pressure pattern locally.

Tuesday will see another small south swell that should bump up south facing beaches (south of Byron) into the 2-3ft range. It won't offer much energy elsewhere and SE Qld will remain very small. 

A longer period swell originating from storm force winds around the parent low is then scheduled to arrive across Northern NSW on Wednesday. Despite the poor alignment of this system I think most south facing beaches (south of Byron) should pick up sets in the 4-5ft range - they'll be very inconsistent, mind - but once again expect much smaller surf elsewhere due to the direction.

Across SE Qld, this swell won't show very well at all though a handful of south swell magnets may pick up stray 2ft+ sets if we're lucky.

This swell should plateau into Thursday morning before easing into the Friday. Another round of south swell is due over the weekend from a weaker frontal system in the Southern Ocean below the Tasman Sea, however model guidance is suggesting a local trough may evolve into a surface low off the southern NSW coast around the same time, which throws a spanner into the works (and also brings about a northerly wind risk). 

This trough/low off Southern NSW may have potential as a swell source but it's still very early days right now.

There are a few other features in our eastern window for the long term but the broader storm track isn't favourable for any confidence right now, so check back Monday for an update. 

Have a great weekend!


scrotina's picture
scrotina's picture
scrotina Saturday, 10 Sep 2022 at 9:17pm

not perfect, but that offshore wind made some nice barrels around low tide this afternoon. what an unexpected bonus