Easing surf into the weekend with a few small bits and pieces next week
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 26th Oct)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Slowly easing E swell through Tues-Thurs with NW-N winds expected
- Surf becoming tiny from Fri into next weekend
- Small S swell pulses Sat PM and Sun, only showing at NENSW S facing beaches, tiny elsewhere
- NE windswell Mon PM, building a notch Tues and easing off from Wed AM
- Small S swell pulses from Wed PM into later next week, details still uncertain, check back Fri for updates
Plenty of swell in the water through yesterday and t today as a sub-tropical low drifted down the NSW Coast from it’s Coral Sea origins. Size yesterday was in the 4-5ft range with reports of bigger 6ft sets, mostly south of the border. Quality was mostly primo with widespread offshore winds which tended NE through the a’noon. Today is seeing easing surf with some 3-4ft sets in the morning now slowly fading away. Conditions were clean early under slack or light NW-N conditions, with winds now tending N to NE’ly and freshening.
This week (Oct 26-28)
Our Coral Sea low is now sitting just NE of Tasmania where it has merged with an exiting interior low to form a large, slow moving low-pressure gyre. Troughs are still snaking across Australia with a long trough line extending from the low pressure gyre through inland NSW up towards QLD and then into the Northern Territory, expected to move offshore through today. More inland troughs approach the coast during the rest of this week, driving an unstable but basically NW’ly to W’ly biased wind flow across the f/cast region through the end of the week with easing swells.
No great changes to the f/cast this week. The peak of the swell came in pretty hot and today has left plenty of energy in the tail but we’ll be well and truly on the downslope through the rest of the week.
Conditions should be clean through tomorrow morning on the beachies with a mostly WNW’ly to NW wind, that will have periods of NW/N running through it, before tending N’ly again through the a’noon. Clean 3footers with the odd 4ft set will be on the menu with size and consistency both dipping down through the day.
By Friday conditions will be glorious under an all day W’ly flow as the trough moves offshore and the low pressure gyre starts to move E, driving a W’ly flow across the state. Not much surf on offer, just clean 2footers early with a rare bigger set, dropping right back to the 1-2ft babyfood range through the day.
This weekend (Oct 29-30)
Westerly winds will make Sat feel more like August but will provide groomed conditions through the morning before a trough line located off the North Coast up to Fraser brings a mod N’ly flow through the a’noon. Still not much swell expected. Gales do exit Bass Strait overnight and into Sat morning with a weaker fetch of SW winds south of Tasmania. That should see small amounts of refracted S swell show through the a’noon, more likely on the Mid North to North Coast where these swells do tend to over-achieve. Keep expectations low, it’s likely to be in the 2ft range, possibly some 2-3ft sets at the most reliable S swell magnets. Tiny to flat elsewhere.
Not much more on Sun, with a few 2ft sets on offer at S swell magnets in NENSW. Tiny to flat away from S exposed breaks. Clean conditions early under W’ly winds will tend to light/mod onshore NE breezes, stronger on the Mid North Coast as a high moves into the Tasman with a trough expected just inland and parallel to the coast.
There should be a few small options on the weekend if you’ve got the right board and can find a S swell magnet accepting what meagre swell there is in the water.
Next week (Oct 31 onwards)
High pressure in the Tasman next week quickly establishes a N’ly flow as the next mid-latitude low complex approaches and squeezes the pressure gradient. This fetch is expected to be very transitory compared to recent ones so it’s swell generating potential is more limited, although this fetch is located a more N’ly latitude than previous fetches so we should get a more even spread of wave heights across NENSW, with smaller surf into SEQLD.
Mon should see a N’ly flow establish with some small S swell on offer initially - not much more than 1-2ft at S facing beaches with some small NE windswell being generated in the a’noon. Again, not more than 2-3ft. Winds should be mod/fresh N’ly across NENSW, a little lighter into SEQLD. A cut-off low may see winds switch to NW on the Mid North Coast.
We should see a return to a W’ly flow through Tues with a small blend of S and NE windswell on offer both less than 2-3ft and peaking during the a’noon.
By Wed part of the cut-off low complex will be in the Tasman, with a more northern part driving through Victoria, maintaining a W’ly flow. A more northerly located NE fetch in the Tasman should see a perk up in NE windswell and gales S of Tasmania are expected to send some S’ly swell arriving in the a’noon to 2-3ft.
This series of fronts and lows passing into the Tasman now looks a bit weaker than it did on Mon, with the fetches all weakening as they enter our Southern swell window but there’s still a chance we may see some S swell pulses from Wed next week.
As it stands we should see offshore winds continue through to the end of next week as troughs and fronts connected to the mid latitude low continue to drive a W’ly flow across the region in what would be considered a classic August pattern.
Check back Fri and we’ll see how it’s shaping up and take a last look at the weekend f/cast.