Summer style tradewind surf extends through the week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 7th Nov)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Last pulse of longer period S swell Mon
  • Plenty of E/SE tradewind-style surf this week, favouring Sunshine Coast for most size with mod/fresh SE winds until Fri
  • Offshore mornings likely in NENSW and Southern Gold Coast
  • E/SE fading out into Sat, with a new pulse of SE swell expected Sun, easing into Mon, with N’ly winds
  • A few days of N’ly winds and small surf expected early next week


A wide range of wave heights were reported across the region, as expected, as a series of overlapping south pulses made landfall. Sat saw some 3ft surf across S facing magnets in NENSW, smaller 2ft in SEQLD with light SW winds south of the border, more S-SE north of the border. Winds remained similar Sun, with light SE winds most of the day, stronger on the Sunshine Coast. There was more energy in the ocean Sun, with both longer period S swell and developing E’ly tradewind swell boosting surf to 3ft+. Today has seen similar sized surf across the region, bigger 4ft on the Sunshine Coast,  with conditions marred by an earlier onshore wind, although there’s some cleanish options around at semi-protected locations. 

Solid sets from the S across NENSW this weekend

This week (Nov 7-11)

We’re looking at a fairly static, summer-style blocking pattern this week with semi-stationary high pressure in the Tasman, and a ridge up along the Eastern seaboard with SE winds in the North, E/NE to NE winds from the Mid North Coast down to Southern NSW. A long trough line extending from the Solomon Islands to the North Island spins off some small low pressure areas this week. Although not quite as spectacular as model runs suggested last week we’re still in for some fun E swell this week with a juicier pulse expected late this weekend.

In the short run we’ve got a couple of smaller, summer-style days ahead as SE/ESE winds in the Northern Tasman supply E’ly swell in the 3ft range through Tues, bigger 4ft on the Sunshine Coast. There’ll be a modest synoptic onshore flow from the SE through the day with potential for land breezes south of the border and on the Southern Gold Coast. Expect a mod/fresh SE flow north of Cape Moreton.

We should see a small increase in size Wed as a result of a fetch today just on top of the North Island as a small low pressure area briefly flares up. The fetch quickly dissipates and drops behind the North Island but a few 4ft sets are on offer through Wed, as well as more ESE tradewind swell in behind it.

Surf ratchets up another notch Thursday as the fetch thickens up through the Northern Tasman this week. It’s all mid period E/SE tradewind-style swell, but with enough E in it to get into Points. By Thurs size will be lifting up into the 4ft+ range, possibly 3-5ft by the a’noon. Expect more of the same winds, mod SE with a chance of a land breeze through the morning in NENSW and the Southern Gold Coast.

We’ll likely see the peak in size of the “tradewind style” E swell Fri with sets to 3-4ft. Nice and chunky and with winds tending SE then light E to E/NE after a morning land breeze in NENSW and the Southern Gold Coast. 

This weekend (Nov12-13)

Under current modelling Fridays swell peak should roll down in size through Sat as that Tasman Sea fetch matures and breaks down. Expect 3-4ft of E/SE swell, easing during the day. Winds will likely be tending light N’ly after a morning land breeze as the high cell drift away and the blocking pattern breaks down.

Sunday looks a little juicier. As we noted Friday a low centre intensifies and approaches the North Island Fri/Sat with a fetch of gales pushing down the west side of the North Island into the Tasman Sea (see below) before dissipating. This is on track to supply a more muscular pulse of E-E/SE swell Sun in the 3-5ft range in NENSW, slightly smaller into SEQLD. We’re likely to see a N’ly flow continue as a trough moves offshore and a weak high pressure ridge establishes. 

Next week (Nov14 onwards)

A few things to watch out for next week. N’lies should increase Mon as a cut-off low approaches NSW, with reasonable odds for NE windswell to overlap easing E/SE swell to begin the new week, more likely on the Mid North Coast.

The low then approaches Tasmania Tues, driving NW’ly winds across the region.

The low looks to ease quickly as it tracks SE of Tasmania into the Tasman Sea swell window proper. Wednesday will likely be tiny with a Bass Strait fetch and fetch SE of Tasmania supplying some small S swell towards the end of next week. A weak S change is possible on Wed as a small, troughy feature forms off the North Coast. 

Models are showing tropical low pressure forming in the South Pacific Convergence Zone near Fiji early next week, which we will keep an eye on. At this stage any low-pressure in the South Pacific looks to slide SE away from the East Coast so swell potential is limited. 

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


JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance Tuesday, 8 Nov 2022 at 9:21am

The fella that does the Ballina report, in my view, does a great job. I really appreciate the holistic comments he adds to it.

burleigh's picture
burleigh's picture
burleigh Tuesday, 8 Nov 2022 at 11:01am

Another super fun morning on the beachies. Crystal clear water and punchy high tide peaks.

Let’s wipe spring off the calendar every year.

Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67 Wednesday, 9 Nov 2022 at 9:00am

Definite pulse Tuesday arvo at Cooly. Super fun, if a bit wobbly around the rain and squalls. Jack Robbo and Jay Phillips shredding. Seems to have pulled back a touch this morning but might just be the tide

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Wednesday, 9 Nov 2022 at 9:02am

Morning high tides are definitely swallowing up the energy.