Workable S swell pulses favouring south of the border with plenty of fun E swell expected next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued 2nd Nov)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • 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 mod SE winds developing, another pulse later that day
  • S swell favouring NENSW extends into Sat, easing into Sun with mostly light winds tending SE
  • Last pulse of longer period S swell later Sun, easing through Mon
  • Still tracking potential E swell next week, should be some fun days from Tues next week, possibly juicier options later in the week and into next weekend- check back Fri for updates


Nothing much to recap since Mon. Yesterday’s NE windswell came in small, with a few sets to 2ft+ under NW wind conditions and it quickly backed down through the late a'noon. Today is seeing fresh W’ly winds and a tiny signal of leftover NE swell, close to flat in some places. 

Excellent day to scope the sandbanks with close to flat conditions

This week (Nov2-Nov 4)

We’re in the middle of a winter-style pattern more common in August than November with a small low formed in along a front/trough line off the Gippsland Coast accelerating W’ly winds across most of the Eastern seaboard.  A series of deeper fronts and lows are also transiting the lower Tasman as part of this cold outbreak.  While they are not ideally positioned for maximal S swell production up the East Coast we are still looking at some useful S swell pulses over the rest of the week and into the weekend. Following that we are back to a typical summer pattern with plenty of fun E swell expected next week.

In the short run and W’ly winds are expected to tend SW and quickly ease through Thursday as the front passes through and a troughy area and approaching high bring a weak SE flow through the a’noon. Surf-wise we’ll have a small blend of S swells refracting back into the coast. This will top out with 3ft surf at NENSW S facing beaches, grading smaller 1-2ft on the Gold Coast at S facing beaches and staying tiny on the Sunshine Coast.

Friday is looking OK but with mod SE winds becoming established as a high pressure ridge builds in along the sub-tropical coast. We’re still expecting a morning land breeze and that will be the time to hit S facing beaches for 2-3ft of S swell. Stronger S swell is expected to fill in during the a’noon which will push surf up into the 3-4ft range in NENSW, smaller 2ft at SEQLD S facing beaches but expect low quality surf at S swell spots due to the SE winds. Nothing amazing is expected but there should be enough surf for a fun way to end the week. 

This weekend (Nov5-6)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. We’re looking at generally light/mod SE winds both days as high pressure ridge maintains across the region, with a good chance of morning land breezes both days.

Fridays S swell increase will persist into Sat with the morning still seeing plenty of 3-4ft sets at S facing beaches in NENSW, smaller 2ft at S facing beaches in SEQLD. 

Sunday sees a dip in size through the morning with sets to 2-3ft at S facing beaches in NENSW on an easing trend, smaller 2ft or less in SEQLD. The final stage of the frontal progression was very zonal in the wind alignment (see below) but a long period pulse from this source is expected Sun. Don’t expect this pulse to show everywhere but some 15 second period S swell should provide 3-4ft sets at select S swell magnets through Sun after lunch. The high pressure ridge will also see building SE winds through the Coral Sea and this is likely to see building SE-ESE tradewind-style swell to 2ft+, possibly a notch bigger on the Sunshine Coast. 

Next week (Nov7 onwards)

By Monday we’ll be moving straight from a winter pattern to a classic summer pattern. High pressure in the Central Tasman sets up a nice blocking pattern with SE to E’ly winds establishing through the Northern Tasman to Coral Sea and a light/mod SE wind flow through the f/cast region. Squeezing down onto this blocking pattern will be a low pressure area forming at the end of a long, angled trough reaching from the Solomon Islands down towards the North Island. 

We’ll see a couple of smaller days to start the week with Mon seeing a mix of leftover S swell to 2-3ft, easing through the day and small E/SE swell to 2ft. E swell extends into Tues and Wed at similar sizes, likely just starting to muscle up a notch later Wed, under light/mod E to NE winds.

By Thurs the E’ly fetch extending from the North Island back into the Northern Tasman early next week will see E swell muscle up a notch into the 3ft range, possibly building a notch further into Fri.

The better news is a low forming off the North Island is now modelled to retrograde back inside New Zealand and into the Tasman Sea (see below. Increased wind speeds around the low will be working on an already active sea state as the fetch moves into a very favourable area of our swell window. 

It’s still a long way off so we’ll keep expectations in check for now but a nice pulse of E/SE swell is on track for next weekend with potential for good winds as a mid-latitude low brings offshores. 

Check back Fri and we’ll see how it’s shaping up and take a last look at the weekend.


Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Wednesday, 2 Nov 2022 at 4:15pm

Blowin banned again lol, bets on next username?
Unrelated, having recently returned from scoring actual good waves overseas for the first time since Covid, it's really emphasized how bad the surf here is and how I need to book more trips.

NickT's picture
NickT's picture
NickT Thursday, 3 Nov 2022 at 9:08am

Yep I had a two week trip in Java, we got great waves, the second week we were thinking it was going to be too big most of the week but both swellnet and surfline were overcooking the forecast predictions and we got really good waves the whole time. I now realise you would rather have a report with too much swell than a report where your getting excited about the biggest day. It's always either side of the peak that you push yourself and score some memories. October was pretty bloody good for SEQ area, looks like the trade swell machine fires back up next week

Rusty Forest's picture
Rusty Forest's picture
Rusty Forest Thursday, 3 Nov 2022 at 5:10pm

Friar Tuck

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Thursday, 3 Nov 2022 at 7:17pm

I'm betting OldManYellsAtCloud

FriarTuck's picture
FriarTuck's picture
FriarTuck Friday, 4 Nov 2022 at 2:10pm


freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Wednesday, 2 Nov 2022 at 5:02pm

Where did you go Sprout?

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Wednesday, 2 Nov 2022 at 9:20pm

Coral Coast FR. It was great to get that scared feeling on some solid reef swell again, though it's funny how quickly you acclimatise. Still no-one around, all at CB I guess, fools, don't tell anyone lol.

Distracted's picture
Distracted's picture
Distracted Wednesday, 2 Nov 2022 at 7:26pm

Looks like October really was autumn and we’re now into early winter with strong westerlies, cold water and a flat ocean!
Poor mullet will be totally confused after all this rain and might start running up the coast 6 months early.

Andrew P's picture
Andrew P's picture
Andrew P Thursday, 3 Nov 2022 at 7:50pm

Hardgut run!