Fun beachies this week with tropical developments ahead next week
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 9th Jan)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Light winds and small surf Tues with small combo swells continuing
- Small kick in size Wed, easing quickly Thurs
- Another slight kick later Fri, easing into Sat
- Small, weak surf Sun, extending into early next week
- Tradewinds look to establish in the Coral Sea by next weekend with slow rising E'ly tradewind swell likely
- Tracking possible depression/cyclone in South Pacific with possible E swell mid next week
- Low/cyclone also possible off QLD coast later next week, stay tuned for updates
Surf came in the top end or over f/cast expectations Sat morning with E swell supplying some 4ft sets, clean under SW winds. A mix of E and S-SSE swell supplied some nice peelers to regional Points through the a’noon. Conditions were similar Sun with E swell easing in the mix to an inconsistent 2-3ft and SSE swell doing most of the heavy lifting. Cleaner conditions today have seen some fun beachbreaks in the 2-3ft range with warm, Bluewater offsetting any lack of size. Light winds and small surf are on the cards for this week. Read on for details.
This week (Jan 9-13)
We currently have a weak, troughy pattern in the Tasman Sea, with continuing instability across the tropics in the wake of an active, monsoon pattern. High pressure is expected to drift south of Tasmania this week, with a typical Summer SE wind pattern becoming established. Remnants of low pressure near New Zealand are offering up minor fetches out of Cook Strait (currently) and near the South Island which will supply a few small pulses of swell this week.
In the short run and the high pressure ridge re-sets through Tues, bringing a mod S to SE flow through the day which extends into Wed. Both mornings should see a window of lighter SW winds before the S-SE flow kicks in.
Through tomorrow we’ll see leftover, mid period SSE-SE swell hold in the 2-3ft range at open beaches, smaller elsewhere and likely easing a notch in the a’noon.
Wed is expected to see a nice little boost in SE swell from the Cook Strait fetch today with size in the 2-3ft range on the sets, slightly bigger 3ft at exposed S swell magnets. We should see winds lay down through Wed PM as the high pressure ridge weakens.
We’ll see high pressure move into the Tasman later this week with winds from the SE-E/SE Thurs and Fri. These winds are expected to remain light/mod so we should see a nice period of light/variable winds through the morning session with good odds for a land breeze.
Wednesdays pulse eases quickly through Thurs with some leftover 2ft surf in the morning, quickly easing below 2ft during the day.
We should see a small rebuild into Fri as an off-axis fetch near the South Island supplies a small amount of SE swell, pushing wave heights back into the 2-3ft range at exposed beaches from lunch-time. Nothing amazing but there should be enough energy for some fun beachbreaks to end the working week.
This weekend (Jan14-15)
Not a great deal of action expected this weekend as slow moving high pressure in the Tasman maintains a weak onshore flow, tending NE on Sunday.
Saturday morning should see a small amount of leftover SE swell, with size topping out in the 2-3ft range through the morning before easing back through the a’noon.
By Sunday we’ll be back to very small, weak windswell in the 1ft range with NE winds. A summer grovel for the very keen. Through the a’noon we may see some workable NE windswell kick up, not exceeding 2ft.
Next week (Jan16 onwards)
Weak, small and onshore surf extends into early next week, with a new high slipping SE of Tasmania on Mon. We may see a small increase in SE swell next week as a trough forms on the leading edge of the ridge, but models look very inconsistent on that outcome, so we’ll flag more weak dribble for Mon/Tues with light onshore winds at this stage. Tues may see a slight kick in tradewind swell as E’ly winds begin to establish in the Coral Sea.
The tropics does fire up again next week. A tropical depression looks to form in the South Pacific between Fiji and Vanuatu with GFS suggesting a cyclone may form and potentially spend just long enough in the swell window before racing away to the SE. Under this scenario we’ll see a nice pulse of E swell possibly as early as Wed.
EC model maintains a depression with a SE movement oblique to the circle paths in the swell window.
That suggests keeping a lid on the froth for now as we wait for further model guidance.
We may also see a low pressure system develop off the North QLD coast through the same period, with uncertain surf potential.
Weak Tradewinds will maintain at least small tradewind swell into the middle of next week, so while we wait for something more substantial there’ll be some grovel days ahead.
Check back Wed for the latest.