Couple of small clean days before an extended E'ly tradewind pattern kicks in
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 3rd Oct)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Nice pulse of SE swell Mon, easing through Tues with light winds
- Small, fun mix of easing swells Wed, with early light winds, persisting into Thurs
- Small pulses of S swell Wed-Fri
- Increasing NE windswell Fri on the Mid North Coast
- Increasing E’ly tradewind swell Fri, holding at sizey levels over the weekend and into next week
- Basic NE wind flow from Thurs over the weekend, becoming uncertain next week due to troughiness
Plenty of energy over the long weekend as a low drifted through the Tasman. Saturday was under-sized through the morning before size kicked around lunch-time with large and unruly with 5-6ft of surf in NENSW, smaller 3ft in SEQLD, and mod/fresh S-SSE winds confining surfing to the most protected corners. Sunday saw easing winds with a morning offshore breeze and 4-5ft of SSE-SE swell, smaller 2-4ft in SEQLD. Today has seen more light winds with strong SE-ESE swell filling in, in the 3-5ft range, smaller 3ft+ at SEQLD swell magnets. Great conditions before onshore winds kicked in.
This week (Oct 3-7)
Weak high pressure is now moving NE from Tasmania to cover the NSW Coast, leading to a couple of days of mored settled conditions. A much stronger high is moving into the classic La Niña slot- SE of Tasmania- where it will start to be squeezed by another approaching inland trough and complex low pressure system. That will see increasing E- NE winds come into play from mid-week with increasing levels of NE-E/NE windswell, especially on the Mid North Coast. Frontal progressions passing well to the south no longer have a strong surge into the Tasman but will send mid/long period pulses of S-SSE swell our way from mid week while a strong developing trade-wind flow will keep swell chugging away from the E into next week. A very active outlook for October.
In the short run and we’ll be in mop-up mode tomorrow for the current pulse of SE swell which will be on the way down from this afternoon. Get in early for some 3-4ft leftover sets, clean under early W winds before they tend to light SE to E breezes. By the a’noon it’ll be slim picking with size dropping down to 2-3ft or so. Some traces of long period refracted S swell will add 2ft sets at S facing beaches, bigger on the Hunter.
Wednesday continues the theme with a blend of small S and residual SE swell to 2-3ft through the morning, augmented by a pulse of small long period S swell adding some 2ft sets at S facing beaches in NENSW. A developing E’ly flow will add plenty of chop and bump for the a’noon session so get in early for a window of cleaner conditions under light land breezes.
By Thursday the stronger high will be dominant in the Tasman, located well to the SE of Tasmania and directing onshore E’ly winds along the NSW Coasts with a proximate fetch extending out into the Tasman. We’ll be spared the worst of the onshore wind as a large troughy area sits over the sub-tropics, leading to light winds and light E’ly breezes in the a’noon. We’ll see a small mix of leftovers in the 1-2ft range during the morning, persisting in SEQLD while NENSW sees a small spike in S swell to 2-3ft at S facing beaches in the a’noon.
By Fri the approaching inland trough and cut-off low will be tightening pressure gradients with the high in the Tasman, with freshening N to NE flow along the coast, especially south of Ballina-Yamba. North of there, we should see still see a lighter gradient flow, especially on the Sunshine Coast. Friday will be a tricky day, with a building NE windswell south of Yamba, up into the 2-3ft range. The other main factor will be a developing broad tradewind fetch extending from the South Pacific back into the Coral Sea, which will see E’ly swell build into the 3ft range, bigger 3-4ft on the Sunshine Coast. Once again in the mix will be some mid/long period S-SSE swell supplying inconsistent 2ft sets, possibly a notch bigger at well known S swell magnets.
This weekend (Oct 8-9)
A trough line is expected to push up the South Coast Sat morning, likely stalling south of Jervis Bay. That may slightly disrupt the onshore flow but we’ll still be seeing basically a NE flow across the f/cast region, stronger in the south and lighter north of the border. Tradewind swell from the E-E/NE will be the story of the weekend and there should be plenty of it both days. Expect size in the 3-5ft range Sat in SEQLD, grading a little smaller in the south.
We should see a further muscling up Sun into the 4-5ft range, bigger 6ft on the sets at exposed breaks in SEQLD and Far Northern NSW.
Check back Mon and we’ll have fresh updates on that scenario.
Next week (Oct 10 onwards)
We’ll see plenty of muscled-up E/NE tradewind style swell through the opening days of next week. The tradewind fetch is broad and extends well down into the Tasman (see below), ensuring a good coverage of swell for the Eastern Seaboard next week.
We should see an offshore flow through Mon as a small low forms in the trough line over the weekend and moves south. Size in the 4-6ft range, extending into Tues, with an uncertain wind outlook.
E/NE swell extends into Wed, possibly with some small S swell in the mix depending on the movement of the low.
The tradewind fetch does break down early next week, with a tropical low forming and tracking away to the ESE, likely not generating much significant swell for the region under current modelling although we will keep an eye on it for any signs of stalling or retrograding.
Models continue to show a lot of variability at present due to the increased troughiness and instability leading to low confidence in anything beyond the short term so check back in Wed for the latest update.