Very un-Spring-like pattern with swell from across the compass on the radar

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 5th Oct)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • 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
  • Stronger mid period E swell fills in from Wed-Fri next week, with winds mostly favouring the Points
  • S-SSE swell Mon-Wed from low forming in Tasman Sea
  • Basic NE wind flow from Thurs over the weekend, becoming uncertain Sun due to troughiness and low forming in Tasman


Plenty of fun leftover SE-ESE swell yesterday which hovered at the top end of f/cast expectations in the 3-4ft range, clean early under light W winds, which tended E/NE in the a’noon. Today has seen a light E’ly flow develop as a new high pressure ridge sets up along the coast. Leftover 2-3ft surf in NENSW, smaller 2ft in SEQLD was on the menu, clean early under light winds.

Red Sky at morning with some fun peaks

This week (Oct 5-7)

Another huge Indian Ocean cloud band is drifting across inland Australia, anchored by troughs, while a strong (1036hPa) high shifts into position SE of Tasmania. Strong fronts have already transited the Tasman Sea with some long period S-SSE swell pulses incoming. Those pulses will be concurrent in a more dominant building E/NE-NE windswell episode, through the rest of the week and into the weekend. Lots of action next week as both our Eastern and near Southern swell windows fire up. Read on for details.

Moderate E to Nor-east winds kick in tomorrow as the ridge resets from todays high pressure surge into Southern NSW.  There should be light winds through the morning, across most of the region. Expect a small mixed bag with size in the 2ft range and we’ll see mid/long period S swell in the 2-3ft range at S facing beaches through the a’noon at S facing beaches in NENSW. 

The E to NE pattern remains entrenched for Friday (more E’ly in SEQLD, NE in NSW), as the inland trough system approaches and pressure gradients tighten. Mid-long period S-SSE swell will produce some 3ft sets at S facing beaches in NENSW, with energy a notch above Thursday. Expect smaller surf in SEQLD, with a small signal of E’ly tradewind swell starting to fill in Fri a’noon up into the 2-3ft range.

This weekend (Oct 8-9)

We’re getting more clarity on the weekend outlook but winds still look tricky as a trough line emerges on the South Coast and migrates north during Sat/Sun. That will affect winds during Sun but for Sat we should see a straight N to NE flow, stronger south of the border.

Developing E’ly tradewind swell will push up from 2-3ft into the 3ft+ range during the day, offering fun options at backbeaches.

Sunday is still looking a bit of a mystery bag, depending on the position of the trough and what looks to now be quite an intense surface low developing just off the coast. For our sub-tropical region we should be far enough north of the system to see early N-NW winds possibly tending more NW-WNW through the day and a late S’ly change can’t be ruled out either. Plenty of E’ly tradewind swell is expected through Sun up around the 4ft range with an even spread across the region for the most part. We’ll finesse the wind outlook Friday.

Next week (Oct 10 onwards)

Not much change to next weeks outlook. As Craig outlined, a serious E’ly fetch is setting up through the South Pacific and Coral Sea slot. It’s broad enough to spray the entire Eastern Seaboard with swell for the majority of next week.

In addition the low which formed in the trough line over the weekend is expected to supply S/SSE swell through the first couple of days of next week. 

Fresh S to SSE winds are likely to set in through Mon-Wed next week as a high moves into the Tasman and long trough lingers across NSW and up into QLD. 

Depending on the movement of the weekends low we’re looking at a mix of SSE and E/NE swell for Mon, with SSE swell dominant in the 3-4ft range and E/NE swell holding into the 3ft range.

Mod SSE winds through Tues/Wed as the ridge sets up will see slowly increasing E/NE swell as period increases, likely up into the 4-5ft range. Pencil these days in, especially if you have designs on the Points. Tuesday will also see decreasing SSE swell in the mix.

From Mid next week we should see E/NE swell muscle up reflecting an increase in windspeeds in the fetch as a tropical derived low drifts south into the tradewind flow. We’ll have more revisions available as the system progresses but for now, we’re looking at a chunky 5-6ft of E/NE swell, with light winds Thurs tending NE Fri as the high moves out into the Tasman. Giddy up.

Longer term and the next dominant high is also moving at a very southerly latitude suggesting more E’ly quarter swell, with fronts in advance of offering up potential for some S swell possibly late next weekend or early week of 17/10.

Lots of action to look forwards to so check back in Fri for the latest update.


Rockethut's picture
Rockethut's picture
Rockethut Wednesday, 5 Oct 2022 at 7:23pm

2022 continues to deliver! Wow

burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Wednesday, 5 Oct 2022 at 7:53pm

Spring is my new favourite season.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 8:29am

This is the 6th morning in a row of offshore winds.

Most of those have had some kind of groundswell running through them.

I can't recall a similar spring run before especially October.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 1:13pm

Was wobbly as fck up here this morning Steve. Gurgle town.

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 8:30am

Excellent, I leave to Mexico on the 11th so should miss all the nice swell. Hope it's pumping down Puerto/Salina Cruz way

burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 9:54am

Small waves this morning, however the water was the warmest i've felt in months and it was crystal clear.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 1:16pm

Lucky bugger. Cold and green here.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 1:30pm

been really variable here, got a nice chunky GT off the rocks Wed, which suggests warm current close by.

looks cold and green today.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 1:40pm

Well done.
fish have been off here for weeks around broken, thought it might have been just me, but checked in with 2 old fisho mates and they said the same.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 1:54pm

It's been a really weird year with so much fresh coming out of the Richmond.

I've got tailor in the fridge now, happy.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Friday, 7 Oct 2022 at 1:59pm

I heard lads have been smashing the jewys at Ballina rivery, but I dunno about the water quality cos I also heard the Lismore sewage works is still broken and pumping it out raw. have you heard anything about that?

I guess it's probably ok given the amount of water in the ocean..