NE windswell building this week with size favouring NENSW, quality better north of the border
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 21st Sep)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- NE swell increasing Thurs, peaking Fri, favouring Mid North Coast for most size, smaller in the north of the f/cast region
- Winds turning offshore Fri north of Byron Bay, staying NE down to MNC
- Small NE leftovers Sat
- Small E/SE swell Sun PM, persisting into Mon at low levels
- Quiet period next week as troughy Spring pattern continues- monitoring a few small swell sources
Nothing much to recap since Monday’s notes. Small S swell yesterday topped out at around 2ft at NENSW swell magnets, smaller north of the border. Early light winds quickly freshened from the SE to ESE. Today is seeing continuing onshore winds, now tending NE, with a small signal of SE-E swell, in the 1-2ft range. Very ordinary.
This week (Sep 21-23)
A few tweaks to the upcoming NE swell event. The complex low and huge trough line (extending across most of Australia!) are still tracking across the interior as forecast, with a high in the Tasman generating a NE flow across the majority of the Eastern Seaboard. The pressure gradient is tightened as the low approaches with an increase in NE winds and swell expected through the end of the week. A small low exits the coast north of Coffs Harbour, which delays the offshore flow and maintains a N’ly wind across the region through Friday. The return S’ly flow as another small low and front develop near Tasmania late Fri/Early Sat is expected to kick in over the weekend.
In the short run and NE windswell quickly builds overnight and into tomorrow. Expect size in the 4ft range, building into the 4-5ft range during the morning on the Mid North Coast, where the strongest winds are aimed at. Further north, size will grade smaller, down into the 2-3ft range on the Sunshine Coast. Winds will be unruly. With the position of the inland low being further north than indicated on Mon there’ll plenty of E component in the NE. Possibly even E/NE at times. If you can deal with less than perfect surface conditions there’ll be heaps of chunky peaks-favouring NENSW for size- with a left-hand bias at most open beaches.
Tricky day on Friday as the inland low crosses the North Coast splitting wind directions across the f/fast region. The focus of the fetch is now located further north, so Nor-east winds will be persistent,south of Ballina, although easing in strength during the day and possibly tending more N’ly through the a’noon. North of a line likely around Byron Bay we’ll see offshore winds develop through Fri as the low clears the coast. Still uncertainty over this call, so check back Fri or in the comments for updates.
Plenty of size across the Mid North Coast up to Yamba, with size in the 4-6ft range, grading smaller 3-4ft in NENSW, 3ft up on the Sunshine Coast. In short, there will still be plenty of waves on offer favouring NENSW for size and Far North NSW and SEQLD for quality.
This weekend (Sep 24-25)
Saturday looks great, wind-wise, with offshore winds for most of the day, tending to light NE sea breezes before an a’noon S’ly change makes it’s way up the coast. Likely reaching the QLD border around dark. Plenty of fun size NE-E/NE swell is expected in the 3ft range in SEQLD, 3-4ft south of Yamba and easing through the day.
Winds should quickly lay down through Sun as the Tasman Sea retreats into what seems to be it’s current residual state- a weak, troughy mess of ill formed low pressure areas. That should see a morning land breeze, with a S’ly component, before weak E’ly to NE’ly breezes kick in. Small S’ly and E’ly swells in the 2-3ft range, ease back through the day. We’ll just flag that EC has a slightly stronger and more persistent flank of S winds around the weak low moving NE from near Tasmania on Sat/Sun. That may boost wave heights an extra foot or so Sun, especially on the Mid North to North Coast. We’re also expecting a small pulse of E/SE swell generated by a Cook Strait fetch Fri- that should add some 2-3ft energy through the a’noon (see below). We’ll review that on Fri. Pencil in a few fun beachies for Sun.
Next week (Sep 26 onwards)
Troughy pattern persists into next week. Monday sees a small blend of E/SE swell easing and small E/NE swell from a broad but poorly organised wind field in the South Pacific corridor NW of New Zealand. Expect some continuing clean 2ft surf with the odd 3footer.
A front pushing through Tues is expected to bring a S’ly change late in the day, with light winds preceding it. Small background swells hold surf not exceeding 2-3ft.
From Wed next week there are quite a few bits of the troughy Tasman we’ll be monitoring. A low may form off the NSW South Coast, generating S swell for Thurs/Fri, although no great size is expected at this stage.
Another broad low pressure area is expected to linger around the top of the North Island, with a weak, but well aimed fetch of E/SE winds. That should hold a small signal of E’ly component swell late next week, in the 2ft range.
SE winds through the lower Tasman should also supply some small SE swell into the mix late next week.
Another mid-latitude low may push through NSW late next week, bringing instability but no real surf potential at this stage.
As mentioned before, all these troughy systems will need constant revision as weather models struggle to resolve them. Check back in Fri and we’ll update all the potential scenarios next week and take a last look at the weekend.