Strong N'lies over the weekend as S swell eases with another round of overlapping S swells next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 18th Nov)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Plenty of S swell Fri with S’ly winds, easing during the day and tending light SE
  • S-SSE swell extends into Sat with early light winds, tending fresh NE in the a’noon
  • NE windswell Sun, extending into Mon AM with winds tending NW- W’ly Mon
  • Moderate, overlapping S swell pulses favouring south of the border from Tues, biggest Wed/Thurs with plenty of offshore winds


Plenty of strong S swell across the region which came in pulses above f/cast expectation in NENSW, a bit below in SEQLD. Yesterday saw strong surf across S facing beaches in NENSW with size in the 4-5ft range building through mid-morning, smaller 2-3ft north of the border. Fresh SW-S winds were suited to semi-exposed Points. Today has seen size level in the 3-4ft range at S exposed breaks in NENSW, smaller 2ft in SEQLD. Early light winds have now tended SE-NE as high pressure moves NE into the Tasman. 

Lines wrapping in north of the Tweed

Plenty of size in NENSW

This weekend (Nov19-20)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. We’re past the peak of the current S swell event as the large low pressure system drifts towards New Zealand, weakening as it does so and a more mobile high pressure system moves north-east into the Tasman Sea, bringing N’ly winds.

Those N’lies will kick hard through tomorrow, so get in early for a period of variable/offshore winds which are likely to persist until mid-morning at the latest. Surf-wise we’re looking at easing surf from the S-SSE with sets to 3-4ft at S facing beaches in NENSW, smaller 2-3ft in SEQLD and a slight kick in SSE swell late a’noon rebuilding sets to 4ft as NE winds begin to freshen. It’ll be backbeaches only by lunch-time.

Strong overnight N’lies Sat will see a mix of NE windswell to 2-3ft and some stray leftover SSE swell with inconsistent sets to 2-3ft across most of the region. Fresh N’lies are likely to tilt NW later in the a’noon as a strong front pushes across temperate NSW. It’ll be backbeaches only again Sun but there will be some swell to work with.

Next week (Nov21 onwards)

Next cold outbreak and frontal progression is still on track for next week with another round of over-lapping S swell pulses on the menu. 

Winds will quickly shift W’ly Mon and freshen as the next front pushes through and surf is expected to be groomed close to flat inshore with just small levels of leftover NE swell in the 1-1.5ft range on offer. Lighter winds are expected north of the border with a’noon seabreezes likely. Further south from Ballina they are likely to be stronger W’ly. 

By Tues we’ll see a small S swell in the water from the Bass Strait source with 2-3ft sets at NENSW S facing beaches becoming more widespread as multiple fetches produce multiple over-lapping S swell trains (see below). Expect tiny surf through the morning at S facing beaches in SEQLD under offshore winds to build through the a’noon, likely into the 2-3ft range, in the bigger 3-4ft range across NENSW at S exposed breaks.

These pulses continue strongly into Wed as longer period swell trains start to make landfall and these pulses are expected to continue into Thurs, although there is still some model divergence to get through.

Provisionally we are looking at stronger 3-5ft surf at NENSW S facing breaks, smaller 2-3ft in SEQLD, through Wed/Thurs with offshore mornings, tending to light S’ly breezes Thurs as weak trough moves offshore. Check back Mon and we’ll finesse timings and wind.

Easing S swells are expected to end next week and extend into the weekend before another N’ly blast tending W’ly as another approaching low enters the picture from the West. It’s a more winter style pattern than we saw in winter so make friends with your nearest S swell magnet.

Check back Mon for the latest and have a great weekend!


Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Friday, 18 Nov 2022 at 3:34pm

Thanks FR, have a great weekend!

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 18 Nov 2022 at 6:22pm

You too Sprout.

Why are you in such a good mood lately?

Still buzzing from Fiji?

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Sunday, 20 Nov 2022 at 9:40am

Hah, possibly, the memory of one wave in particular will hopefully keep me going through to Boxing Day.

brevil's picture
brevil's picture
brevil Saturday, 19 Nov 2022 at 11:02am

Fun glassy peaks round Bruns way at dawn.
Asymmetrical mal gotta good workout.