Slow fade out of E swell over the weekend with light winds

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

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

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Stronger mid period E swell pulses fill in from Tue-Fri next week, with winds mostly favouring the Points
  • Plenty of fun-sized E swell slowly easing over the weekend with light winds
  • Small pulses of E-ESE swell continue into early next week
  • Tracking NE windswell and rain event for later next week- more likely to affect the Mid North Coast, stay tuned for updates


Plenty of E swell and S’ly winds have created conditions ripe for the SEQLD and NENSW Pointbreaks, with sets hovering in the 4ft range. Winds today have freshened a notch from the SE, with more waves on the Points at a roughly similar size. Not what you would expect during October. 

Rock-tober on the Points

This week (Oct 12-14)

E’ly swell keeps chugging along this week. Despite some slow periods between pulses the ASCAT (satellite windspeed) passes shows a long, broad fetch of strong winds with gales embedded around a tropical depression. That leads to high confidence in continuing pulsey swell from that South Pacific source fetch. Closer to home a strong high between Tasmania and the South Island is now being squeezed by an approaching trough series, front and cut-off low, which will see a N’ly flow develop Fri before the change brings offshore winds overnight Fri into Sat. Light winds are expected for the weekend in the wake of the change.

In the short run and the high pressure ridge and small trough in the Northern Tasman maintains a SE flow through Thurs, although at lighter levels and with better odds for a morning land breeze, especially south of the border. Stronger E swell is expected to supply surf in the 4ft range with the odd 5 footer- wave models seem to be slightly over-cooking the size and failing to account for swell decay. 

Continuing mid/long period E’ly swell shows inconsistent 4ft sets with the odd bigger one through Fri. Expect a brief period of NW winds Fri morning before they kick in from the NE to N and freshen. Expect winds to tend more N-NW on the Mid North Coast up to Yamba through the a’noon as a front sweeps through Southern NSW. 

This weekend (Oct 15-16)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. The change fizzes out, leaving a weak, troughy pattern in the Tasman Sea. There should be a light W to WSW flow Sat morning with light a’noon SE breezes.

Sunday sees a light morning land breeze with an a’noon E to Nor-easter that should stay in the light/moderate range.

Surf-wise we’ll see a slow winding down of E swell over the weekend. Saturday should still see plenty of size through the morning with sets to 4ft, although they will become increasingly inconsistent and slowly wind down in size through the day. An uncrowded bank will be worth it’s weight in gold.

By Sunday we’ll be expecting longer waits for the 3 footers which will tend more to 2ft with the very odd 3footer as the day goes on. There should be enough energy for a fun surf, especially if you can get away from the crowd. 

Next week (Oct 17 onwards)

As mentioned on Mon, the Tasman Sea develops a “soupy”, troughy pattern for early next week with light winds expected for Mon and Tues at a minimum, although a freshening NE flow is likely south from Yamba on Tues.

 Expect just a small, lingering E swell signal in the 2ft range Mon, easing back further into Tues. A following tropical low forming near Fiji we discussed on Mon now races south and behind the North Island before it can generate any useful swell but we'll continue to monitor for any signs of stalling.

A compact but intense front/low races across the Lower Tasman Sun/Mon and this may provide a few traces of longer period S swell from late Mon into Tues, but nothing more than 2ft at the most reliable S swell magnets.

From Mid next week we see another dynamic weather system unfold, as (yet another!) inland low approaches from the West. This system looks to be sandwiched by twin high pressure systems in the Bight and Tasman Sea, with potential for a  strong E to NE fetch to develop proximate to the NSW Central and Mid North Coast (see below). Models are still divergent over outcomes with some runs placing the locus of the winds further north. 

It’s likely to come with severe weather so stay tuned for updates but pencil in increasing E to NE swell for the Mid North Coast, with less size further north, and potentially strong onshore winds later next week. 

Check back Fri for updates.


burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Wednesday, 12 Oct 2022 at 9:26pm

Spring is broken and I couldn’t be happier

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Thursday, 13 Oct 2022 at 8:19am


freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 13 Oct 2022 at 8:18am

Much stronger sets down here this morning. Thicker, longer period.

Spearman's picture
Spearman's picture
Spearman Thursday, 13 Oct 2022 at 7:59pm

Paddled of a back beach to drift down to the point this morning and some meaty sets were coming through and overhead, thick swell.