Plenty of wind and swell slowly easing over the weekend with heaps of action on the radar next week
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 30th Sep)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Strong S swell pulse Fri, as winds freshen from the SW-S
- Plenty of strong S-SSE swell Sat, holding Sun with winds easing, although favouring Points
- Nice pulse of SE swell Mon, easing through Tues with light winds
- Plenty of SSE swell now on the radar from Thurs next week
- Tracking a few swell sources including South Pacific/Coral Sea E swell from next weekend, check back Mon for updates
Fun waves were on offer yesterday as light morning winds tended to lighter than expected S’ly breezes in the a’noon. Leftover E swell perked up a notch into the 2ft range through the a’noon. Overnight winds freshened and this morning had a brief window of lighter SW winds before they tended S’ly and really cranked up. New S-SSE swell was in the water in NENSW, with size building from 3ft, and this building trend was in evidence north of the border by mid morning. Plenty of size ahead over the weekend as a low drifts through the Tasman Sea.
This weekend (Oct 1-2)
No great change to the weekend f/cast. Wind and swell regimens will be dominated by the low in the Tasman, which is now retreating towards the North Island with a large (1037hPa) high south of Tasmania. Pressure gradients do slowly ease over the weekend as the high relaxes over warm Tasman sea waters and the low sets up near the North Island.
Still plenty of wind and swell for most of Sat. Expect fresh/strong S’lies with a a very brief window of lighter inshore SW winds possible on the Southern Gold Coast before winds clock more SSE to SE. Size in the 6ft+ range at S exposed breaks in NENSW (massive 8ft+ on S facing river bars!) grading smaller 3-4ft at S exposed breaks in SEQLD. Expect smaller surf wrapping into more protected Points. Through the a’noon we’ll see a noticeable easing in windspeeds as the pressure gradient along the coast relaxes with protected spots cleaning up and potentially looking pretty fun as swell direction clocks around a little more SE.
Swells start to ease through Sun as the main Tasman Sea fetch fades away. Lighter S’lies are on the menu, likely SW north of Byron to the Southern Gold Coast, although residual S’ly sea state will likely leave some bump and lump to deal with. Mid period SE swell in the 4-6ft range will slowly back down further through the day. There should be plenty of fun options Sun, with better quality but smaller surf wrapping into the Points.
Next week (Oct 3 onwards)
High pressure starts to drift over NSW on Mon leading to excellent winds. Light offshore mornings and weak sea breezes through Mon and Tues. The Tasman low sets up a fetch out of Cook Strait and extending from the West Coast of the North Island over Sat/Sun so we’re still on track to get a nice pulse of SSE-SE swell through Mon. Expect size to build through the mid-morning into the 3-5ft range, holding through the a’noon under light SE’ly breezes.
Clean leftovers in the 3-4ft range Tues morning ease back to inconsistent 3ft sets through the a’noon. Light/mod winds all day should make for some great beachies through the morning with fun peelers on the Points once the wind kicks in. More of a classic Autumn pattern than Spring.
From Wed things start to look juicy again, although there is a fair spread in model guidance so it’s likely we’ll see significant revisions when we come back Mon.
The basic pattern is another strong high moving at a very southerly latitude, this time with strong frontal activity ahead of it. The fronts are expected to supply pulses of long period S swell from mid next week (see below) although local winds will likely be a problem.
The front and leading edge of the high then generate a strong S/SE surge into the Tasman, tracking NE towards Tasmania (see below). That fetch is likely to see mod/strong levels of SSE swell Thurs-Fri, although the southwards position of the high will see more onshore winds with the swell.
Once the high moves out into the Tasman an approaching cut-off low tightens the pressure gradient and we see a N’ly fetch off the NSW Coast. We’ll be watching for NE windswell late next week. Models are really flip-flopping on this outcome so make sure you check back Mon for updates.
Finally, we’ll be watching a developing broad tradewind flow through the South Pacific slot later next week, possibly extending into the Coral Sea. This fetch is better aimed at sub-tropical targets and will be broad enough and persistent enough to generate some useful E’ly tradewind swell for the region from next weekend or early in the week 10/10.
Lots of action to keep track of so check back Mon for the latest, and have a great weekend!