Mostly tiny this week in SEQLD with a few workable pulses of S swell South of the border

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Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 31st Oct)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Small NE windswell Mon PM, peaking Tues and easing off quickly through Tues PM with winds tending NW through the a’noon
  • Tiny on Wed with a possible late increase in small S swell on the Mid North Coast under W’ly winds
  • Pulse of small S swell Thurs with light winds, favouring NENSW, kick in size during the a’noon
  • Size holds into Fri AM with light winds, another pulse later that day
  • S swell favouring NENSW extends into Sat, easing into Sun with mostly light winds tending SE
  • Tracking potential E swell next week, should be some fun days from Tues next week, possibly juicier options later in the week- check back Wed for updates


Mostly tiny surf north of the border over the weekend with a few 2ft leftover sets from the E Sat, dipping into the 1-1.5ft range Sun. Winds were light through the morning with NE winds Sat and Sun. South of the border there were a few small S swell trains making landfall with Sat in the 2ft range and a few bigger 2-3ft sets Sun at S facing beaches. That size has held into today with increasing NE winds now making a mess of all but the most protected backbeaches. A winter-style frontal progression will bring a few small S swell pulses favouring south of the border this week. Read on for details. 

Not much action today- just a few small lines of S swell and N'ly winds

This week (Oct31-Nov 4)

All the action is in the Southern states right now, with a deep dual-centred low pressure gyre backed up by a strong high moving in from the Indian Ocean generating a powerful fetch which is just behind Tasmania with respect to our swell window. A front linked to this winter-style configuration links up with troughs extending through Northern Australia and the movement of that large scale system will drive W’ly winds across the region for the majority of the week. While we won’t get the full payload of S’ly swell from this system as the system gets shunted SW as it enters the swell window (NE would be ideal!) we’re still on track for a few usable S swell pulses this week mostly south of the border, with a trailing frontal system providing bigger S swell into and over the weekend.

In the short run and  the rapid pre-frontal escalation of N’ly winds proximate to the coast today and overnight up to the Fraser Coast  should some workable NE windswell through tomorrow in the 2-3ft range easing through the day. Winds quickly shift N, then NW’ly as the trough and front push through, opening up a good window for rapidly improving conditions at backbeaches and open stretches. 

By Wed, the front will be pushing through at full strength with W’ly winds on offer.  A small amount of NE windswell is likely left-over Wed morning depending on how much of the fetch through the Northern Tasman gets displaced and how quickly but nothing more than 1-2ft. It looks flukey so keep expectations low, strong W’lies are likely to iron out surf to tiny/flat during the day. We may see a slight bump in S swell through the a’noon on the Mid North Coast but nothing more than a few stray 2ft sets at the most reliable S swell magnets in the hour or two before dark.

Winds should slacken quite quickly Thurs as the front passes into the Tasman, with a lighter WSW to SW flow becoming established by mid-morning before a trough brings a light SE flow through the a’noon across most of NENSW and the Gold Coast, possibly remaining SW on the Sunshine Coast. Close range swell will hold some 3ft sets at S swell magnets in NENSW before backing off through the day, remaining tiny in SEQLD, apart from a few stray 1-2ft sets at the most reliable S swell magnets on the Gold Coast.

Friday is looking juicier with multiple S swell trains in the water from the procession of fronts pushing through Bass Strait and S of Tasmania into the Tasman Sea. A continuation of Thursdays pulse holds 3ft sets at NENSW S facing beaches, 1-2ft at SEQLD S swell magnets. We should see a kick in size to 3ft+ as slightly longer period S swell from the parent low kicks in. This longer period swell should provide a few 2ft sets at SEQLD swell magnets.  Early light winds are likely to tend to SSE-SE breezes as a high pressure ridge starts to build in. 

This weekend (Nov5-6)

A final stage of the frontal progression pushes into the Tasman Thurs/Fri and this will top up S swell nicely over Sat with sets to 3-4ft across NENSW S facing beaches, smaller 2-3ft at SEQLD S swell magnets, likely easing a notch through the a’noon. With high pressure moving just off the NSW Central/South Coast we should see a continuation of light/mod SSE winds. Morning land breezes are on the menu at this stage.

Light winds continue through Sun, with small levels of leftover S swell, topping out with a few 2ft sets at S swell magnets at NENSW S facing beaches, tiny north of the QLD border. There should be just enough energy leftover for a grovel at your nearest S facing beach. 

Next week (Nov7 onwards)

After our interlude from the South, eyes will be back on the Eastern swell window next week. A strong high moves in south of Tasmania early next week, anchoring a more E’ly flow through the Tasman and up into the Coral Sea. We mentioned troughs and low pressure development in the Coral Sea in last weeks notes and odds are firming we’ll get a surf producer out out of this pattern.

Models are still a bit divergent but a large trough of low pressure through the Coral Sea looks to move south next week and tighten the pressure gradient with the large high moving into the lower Tasman. This may form a closed, surface low later next week but in the early stages the development of SE-E winds through the Northern Tasman and Southern Coral Sea is expected to see a slow build in fun SE-E swell early next week.

We’re looking at a couple of small days Mon and Tues with minor levels of E swell below 2ft. A few leftovers from the S should hold some 2ft sets Mon AM. Winds should remain light/mod SSE-SE as the high pressure ridge holds shape.

By Wed that size should start to ratchet up into the 2-3ft range, under a general E’ly flow. 

If a closed low does form off the North Island as modelled we’ll be looking at another round of juicy E swell late next week and into the weekend 12-13/11.  We’ll give it a heads up for now and dial in details through this week as model guidance comes on line.

Check back Wed and we’ll see how it’s shaping up.