Spring-like conditions return this weekend with some swell to work with

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 11th Nov)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • E/SE swell 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
  • Small S swell pulses favouring NENSW from Wed-Fri next week
  • Small round of E/SE swell expected Thurs/Fri, easing into next weekend from retreating low pressure in South Pacific
  • Surf becoming tiny into next weekend


Peaky, E’ly quadrant tradewind style swell has maintained a basic 2-3ft size range across the region, with a slight bump in size observed across most beaches yesterday. Lighter winds through the morning tended SE in the a’noon. Today has maintained similar size, with a little more inconsistency, offset by morning offshore breezes which are now tending N to NE. Nothing amazing this week, but plenty of fun, surfable waves for a week in November. 

Morning land breezes were a welcome addition to fun, peaky tradewind swell

This weekend (Nov12-13)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. A weak S’ly change will stall on the Hunter coast, with our region seeing a light W/NW to NW flow early before N’lies kick in and freshen through the a’noon.

Surf will be easing through tomorrow with leftover sets to 2ft+ with the odd bigger one. Expect clean and soft surf early before the N’lies kick in and restrict surfing to backbeaches.

SE swell is still on track for Sun, albeit a bit downgraded compared to earlier predictions. Expect mid period SE swell to supply some 3ft sets, likely with a few bigger bombs from time to time especially at NENSW S facing beaches. N’lies will kick in early Sun and really ramp up through the day, likely exceeding 20 knots by late morning. 

Bit of a funky weekend but there will be a few waves on hand if you can work with the N’lies.

Next week (Nov14 onwards)

We’re still looking at a a mix of easing SE swell to 2-3ft and NE windswell Mon morning, with size in the 2ft range, bigger 2-3ft on the Mid North Coast and conditions improving as a cut-off low and advancing trough bring NW winds through the morning. Expect size to rapidly ease through the a’noon as the fetch gets shunted eastwards. Winds may tend more W’ly later on the Mid North Coast, less likely from Yamba northwards.

Small surf is expected Tues as NW’ly winds blow, tending more N’ly in the a’noon and freshening. Likely small NE windswell in the 1-2ft range, slightly bigger on the Mid North Coast.

We’re looking at a complicated synoptic set-up from Wed next week with multiple small low pressure troughs off the NSW Coast and the remnants of a cut-off low which tracks SE into the Tasman as it weakens. This cut-off low remant with a compact fetch of gales and a Bass Strait fetch should see a small pulse of S swell Wed with some sets to 2ft at S facing beaches under a NW flow that is likely to tend SSW-S as one of the troughy areas winds up through Wed. 

With an advancing high tightening the pressure gradient with the Tasman Sea troughs (possibly amalgamating into a single low pressure) we’re likely to see increasing S’lies through Thurs and increasing S’ly swell, mostly of a local, and scrappy variety. Pencil in size in the 3-4ft range through the a’noon through NENSW, smaller in SEQLD, with size increasing into Fri under current modelling.

The trough of low pressure is expected to rapidly move East with a weak high pressure ridge setting in Fri into next weekend with easing swells expected.

We will see some small E’ly swell later next week in the mix from a retreating trough of low pressure in the South Pacific next week (see below). Under current modelling we’ll expect some 2-3ft E/SE swell possibly building Thurs, holding Fri and easing into next weekend. 

Longer term we see another mid-latitude cut-off low approaching with N’ly winds expected to freshen in advance of this system.

The recent pattern has been for these cut-off lows to track SE and weaken rapidly as they enter the Tasman Sea swell window, reducing S swell potential. 

We’ll flag that as the most likely outcome and see how it’s shaping up on Mon.

Seeya then and have a great weekend!


Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Friday, 11 Nov 2022 at 4:04pm

Thanks FR, you have a great weekend too.

brevil's picture
brevil's picture
brevil Saturday, 12 Nov 2022 at 2:47pm

Caba was fun before the wind picked up. Might have to make the 20 minute drive north more often