S'ly pulses favouring south of the border, with a quiet period ahead into the weekend and beyond

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Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 12th Sep)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Small S'ly swell Mon/Tues across Northern NSW
  • Stronger long period S'ly swell across Northern NSW Wed, with a reinforcing pulse Thurs as winds tend N’ly
  • Small NE windswell late Thurs on the MNC, extending throughout on Fri
  • Will remain small the entire period throughout SE Qld
  • Small leftovers and offshore winds expected this weekend
  • Remaining small into next week


A weekend of small but surfably fun waves, that came in at the top end of the f/cast range. Saturday saw the biggest waves with some leftover S/SE swell in the 2-3ft range in NENSW, smaller 2ft in SEQLD, clean under NW to W winds. Size dipped a notch Sunday, with small fun 2footers in NENSW, and smaller 1-2ft surf in SEQLD, clean with light winds. A small S swell signal has seen some fun 2ft surf today across NENSW S facing beaches, tiny in SEQLD.  Another mixed bag is on the radar for this week. Read on for details.

Great day for dredging 

This week (Sep 12-16)

A strong, but decaying cold front tied to a mid-latitude low is pushing gales through a wide swathe of the lower Tasman, with a handy S swell now being generated for the region. A relatively weak high (1025hPa) is pushing though the Bight with a transitory ridge, quickly breaking down and tending N’ly mid week , before another mid-latitude low pushes through and brings a NW to W’ly flow across the weekend. It’s quite a similar pattern to last week, albeit a bit weaker and we’ll get some reasonable  surf windows out of it, although winds look a bit troublesome.

In the short run and S’ly winds will be with us through tomorrow, likely in the mod/fresh range after  a brief window of variable winds in the morning. Don’t expect much size just a weak signal of what is left from todays small pulse and some small short period S’ly swell trains, maxing out around 2ft+ at NENSW S swell magnets. Tiny in SEQLD.

S’ly winds ease establish through Wed, and as high pressure passes into the Tasman, we’ll see winds tend S/SE before SE in the a’noon. A light morning land breeze is on the cards. A mix of S swell trains generated by the current fetch pushing through the Tasman will see S swell building through the day with the morning in the 2-3ft range in NENSW, building to 3-4ft at S exposed breaks , smaller 2-3ft at SEQLD S swell magnets. 

Thursday is looking OK early, for S facing beaches. The high will be out in the Tasman, with a N’ly flow developing, and leftover S swell should hold surf in the 3-4ft range in NENSW, smaller 2-3ft on the Hunter. Expect a slightly larger pulse in the a’noon as a last pulse of SSE swell makes landfall, although winds will likely cruel it at most spots.Early NW winds will tend N’ly and freshen through the a’noon, with a small amount of NE windswell starting to show in the 1-2ft range across the Mid North Coast.

That NE windswell thickens up Fri as the fetch off the NSW Coast strengthens and extends Northwards up off the Fraser Coast. It’s not quite as well aligned as last weeks fetch, but being further offshore, the approaching mid-latitude low should bring about a NW tilt to winds for most of the day, offering semi-clean to clean conditions across the beachbreaks. 2ft of NE windswell is on the cards, bigger on the Mid North Coast.  Looks like a fun way to end the working week.

This weekend (Sep 17-18)

Not a great deal of action on the radar for this weekend. Conditions should be mostly clean under a W’ly synoptic flow generated by a stalled , mid-latitude low complex hovering SW of Tasmania.

Those winds should tend more NW through W on Sat but with no swell sources on tap we’re looking at just tiny leftovers from the NE in the 1-2ft range, probably smaller in the a’noon.

We may see a small S swell signal Sun, from a Bass Strait fetch of W to WSW winds on Sat, but it looks very flukey at this stage and not worth much more than 1-2ft at the most reliable S swell magnets in NENSW. Let’s see how it looks on Wed, but it probably won’t be worth much more than a splash and giggle across S facing magnets. Tiny to flat in SEQLD.

Next week (Sep 19 onwards)

Looking very quiet as we move into the Spring Equinox. Unfortunately the stalled mid-latitude low looks to fizzle out as it enters the Tasman early next week, leaving a weak, troughy pattern and light pressure gradients.

Small traces of S swell for Mon, under an offshore flow, with a’noon sea breezes are expected.

Following that looks like we will see a few days of tiny surf, probably the closest to flat we’ve seen for a long time.

Expect that to last Tues-Thurs at this stage, with weak NW to W winds, tending to light S’lies later in the week as a very tepid high pressure ridge sets up along the coast.

Looks better for fishing or other activities than surfing. 

We may see a N’ly flow develop later Thurs into Fri, with a round of NE windswell, but it’s way too early to have any confidence in that scenario.

Check back Wed and we’ll see how it’s shaping up. 

For now, we’ve got a little bit to keep us occupied in the short term.


Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67 Monday, 12 Sep 2022 at 6:40pm

Spring. Face palm