Easing surf over the weekend with a period of small surf ahead next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 6th Jan)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • S’ly change extending later Thurs into Fri and the weekend, winds favouring Points
  • Small mix of leftover E and S swell provides some workable options over the weekend
  • S'ly winds slowly moderating over the weekend with morning SW breezes more likely in NENSW/Southern Gold Coast
  • A few days of light winds and small surf early/mid next week with small combo swells continuing
  • Surf becoming small and weak across the region later next week
  • Tradewinds look to establish in the Coral Sea by next weekend with slow rising E'ly tradewind swell likely, stay tuned for updates


Leftover E swell still managed to supply some 3-4ft surf yesterday dependent on tide with light winds swirling around a trough line maintaing generally clean conditions before a robust S’ly change arrived with a series of storms later in the a’noon. Today is seeing smaller surf with E swell still throwing up some 3ft sets and a building short range S swell, more prevalent south of the Border. Fresh S’ly winds are confining clean surf to sheltered N facing Points, with a few options at more exposed spots for those not too fussy abut wave quality.

Still a few Point grinders around on low tide yesterday

This weekend (Jan7-Jan8)

No change expected for the weekend f/cast.

A large, moderate strength high (1025hPa) moves south of Tasmania tomorrow and in conjunction with a trough of low pressure in the Tasman maintains a firm S’ly flow along the coast. Expect mod/fresh S’ly winds all day with only a brief period of lighter SW-SSW winds likely in NENSW and the Southern Gold Coast. Surf-wise we’re looking at moderate amounts of S-SSE swell in the 3-4ft range, smaller 2ft in SEQLD with some small residual E swell in the 2-3ft range helping bulk out the mix. 

Generally speaking the leftover E’ly flow in the South Pacific looks weaker and less persistent and thus residual E’ly swell will likely fade in the mix faster than Wed’s notes suggested.

Pressure gradients ease a notch Sun with a window of lighter SW winds more widespread across the region before light/mod S’ly winds kick in, tend SE and then moderate through the a’noon. The fetch we were expecting to develop near the South Island now looks weaker and more diffuse so we’ll be relying on mid period SSE swell through Sun in the 3ft+ range initially at S facing beaches and easing through the a’noon. There will be small amounts of E swell left in the mix but don’t expect much more than the odd 2-3ft set. 

Next week (Jan9 onwards)

Pressure gradients finally ease right off for Mon with a true land breeze expected for the morning across NENSW and the Gold Coast (less likely on the Sunshine Coast) before a light/lingering SE flow puffs up as the remnants of a trough off low pressure sit in the Central Tasman. 

Clean surf in the 2-3ft range is expected from the SE, easing during the day.

Light winds continue into Tues with a trough and new high maintaining a light/mod SE flow across the region.  Plan for the early for some small beachies in the 2ft range with a few swell magnets offering up 2-3ft surf. This will be mid period SSE swell generated from the lower Tasman.

A Cook Strait fetch early next week (see below) delivers a small pulse of SE swell likely filling in through Wed in the 2-3ft range. A weak ridge will maintain light/mod SE winds.

That weak ridge persists through most of next week under current modelling suggesting light onshore winds, with potential early morning land breezes. Surf is expected to ease as our E and S swell windows go quiet. ESE swell fades through Thurs and we’re looking at small surf in the 2ft range to pad out the end of next week and extend into the weekend.

A weak tradewind pattern looks to set up in the Coral Sea later next week and into the weekend 14/15 Jan which suggests we’ll start to see a slow rising tradewind swell start to build over that weekend. Models are starting to hint at more action in the tropics after that time but it’s too far out to have any confidence in specifics at this stage. 

Looks like it’ll be time for a summer grovel.

Check back Mon for a fresh look at the new week and have a great weekend!


dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope Saturday, 7 Jan 2023 at 8:48am

The high east of NZ early next week seems to be pushing further north with each model update.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Saturday, 7 Jan 2023 at 1:20pm

Some pretty chunky 4ft sets on the Tweed this morning, inconsistent though and a lotta wind on it.

brevil's picture
brevil's picture
brevil Monday, 9 Jan 2023 at 11:52am

Yeah Saturday at a northern rivers hot spot was very very good . Bigger than expected and consistent.