Lots of action ahead as active monsoon trough supplies low pressure to Coral Sea
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 30th Nov)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Mix of S swells Wed, with building short range SSE-SE swell later in the day as low pressure trough forms off CQ/Fraser Coast
- More building SE-ESE swell Thurs, peaking Fri/Sat with chunky surf favouring the Points
- Strong ESE swell gradually fades out Sun into Mon, and Tues with winds becoming light and beachies opening up
- Looking like a second low forms off CQ Coast early next week, with another pulse of E swell Tues or Wed- possibly sizey
- Possible large low pressure area in Tasman later next week with plenty of S swell
- Possible fetch near North Island later next week
- Check back Fri for updates- lots of action to keep tabs on!
Not much on offer since Mon with early offshore winds yesterday tending fresh S-SSE through the day, with a small late increase in SSE swell. Today is seeing increasing SE winds as a low pressure trough starts to deepen off the CQ coast. That is seeing some increased short range SE swell, along with a few S-SSE swell trains which are topping out around 2-3ft at NENSW S exposed breaks. We’ll see a much bigger increase in size over the remainder of the week as the low meanders SE and strong SE winds occupy a large area of the Southern Coral Sea.
This week (Nov 30- Dec 2)
We are seeing the “schizoid” pattern now develop whereby a monsoonal trough is splitting off a low pressure trough along the CQ coast, supported by a high pressure belt from the Bight to the Tasman Sea, while fronts and a parent low are entering the lower Tasman. That is seeing a regime where both S swells and a developing E’ly swell event are both in play across most of the Eastern Seaboard. S’ly swells are dominating the temperate coast while the more sub-tropical areas are under the influence of developing short range swells as the low pressure trough winds up through today.
In the short run and it’s not a complicated outlook. The trend in wave heights will be up.The developing low pressure trough and supporting high will see a fetch of SE-ESE winds start to build off the SEQLD coast bringing fresh SE winds onto the coast and building short-range SE-ESE swell through tomorrow. You’ll need to tuck in behind the headlands for wind protection and through the day we should see outer Points build into the 3-4ft range, with bigger messier surf on open beaches.
The building trend continues into Fri with size getting up into the 5-6ft range bigger 6ft+ on the beaches, grading smaller into more sheltered Inner Points and Bays. With the fetch so close to the coast but also beginning to elongate out into the Coral Sea there will be that typical mix of longer wavelength ESE swells and shorter period SE windswell in the mix. That will keep a steady conveyer belt of waves rolling down the Points, of varying quality, depending on how exposed they are to continuing fresh SE winds.
This weekend (Dec 3-4)
No great change to the weekend f/cast. The trough of low pressure off the QLD coast will supply plenty of size to the sub-tropics although an easing trend is expected as the trough weakens and either dissipates or moves slowly out towards New Zealand. Either scenario will see a slow easing in size over the weekend with coastal winds expected to moderate.
Expect lighter SSE-SE winds Sat with a small chance of a brief morning SW’er around Coolangatta. Size in the 3-5ft range should back down a notch during the day, and expect smaller surf into more sheltered Points.
Sun offers a better chance of a morning offshore breeze, more likely on the Southern Gold Coast and NENSW, before mod SE winds kick in again, likely tending more ESE-E through the a’noon. Size in the 3ft+ range is expected with semi-protected beachie and break walls coming on line.
Next week (Dec 5 onwards)
Models are really struggling to resolve the remnants of the low pressure trough next week , so revisions are likely on Fri.
The remnants of the old trough and a potential new trough budding off the monsoon trough line off the CQ coast are likely to impact sub-tropical regions possibly as early as Tues, with Mon seeing fun ESE swell in the 2-3ft range and light ESE winds.
We’re likely to see the secondary low track S through Tues, possibly bringing an increase in new E swell. GFS has a later movement south and a bigger increase, up into the 6-8ft range through Wed.
EC has a more modest increase on Tues, back into the 4ft range. So far, the more conservative estimates have been more accurate so we’ll maintain a cool bias and see how it’s shaping up on Fri.
This low then moves south and washes out in the Northern Tasman, holding fun sized surf through Thurs.
There’s broad model consensus the trough and washed out low will form a large, cut-off low in the lower Tasman later next week (see below), with GFS suggesting a much more bullish outlook which would see strong S swell developing from late Fri into the 6ft range.
EC has a more modest system but would still see some significant S swell develop during the same time frame.
We also may see remnants of a low pressure system reform near the North Island later next week with potential for some longer range E swell so we’ll keep tabs on that and report back on Fri.
There’s a lot to keep an eye on, so check back in then.