Bust out the grovel boards, lots of small surf ahead
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 11th Jan)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Small kick in size Wed, easing quickly Thurs with lighter SE winds
- Another slight kick later Fri, easing into Sat with light SE-ESE winds
- Small, weak surf Sun, extending into early next week
- Weak tradewinds look to establish in the Coral Sea by the weekend with small E'ly tradewind swell likely next week
- Low/cyclone also possible off QLD coast later next week, stay tuned for updates
Fun sized SE swell in the 2-3ft range was on offer yesterday with clean conditions early favouring beachbreaks before S-SSE winds kicked in. Today is seeing similar conditions with a kick in size to 3ft+ (some 4ft sets on the Tweed) with a window of clean-ish conditions under lighter SW winds (Coffs to Coolangatta) before S’lies have resumed.
This week (Jan 11-13)
An insipid Summer blocking pattern is now setting up as a weak high (1019 hPa) moves East of Tasmania and becomes semi-stationary in the Central/Lower Tasman. That will see a short/medium term pattern of onshore winds and small summer surf becoming established.
In the short run we’ll see a light/mod SE flow through tomorrow with lighter SW winds inshore early, likely extending further into the morning as pressure gradients ease. Todays small uptick in SE swell will be on the way down through tomorrow with a few 2-3ft sets through the morning, dropping back to 2ft or less in the a’noon.
As we mentioned in Mondays notes a last, off-axis fetch near the South Island through today and early tomorrow delivers a small payload of SE Fri, boosting wave heights back into the 2ft+ range at exposed swell magnets in NENSW, smaller in SEQLD. Don’t expect too much juice out of this swell but there should be some workable beachies around with light SE winds on hand, lighter SW inshore early.
This weekend (Jan14-15)
Typical small Summer surf weekend upcoming with light SE-E winds and no major swell sources on hand.
Sat looks the biggest with some leftover SE swell from the South Island fetch and some lingering winds near the North Island holding a few 2-3ft sets in NENSW, smaller 2ft in SEQLD. Clean conditions early before onshore SE winds kick in, with babyfood peelers on the Points through the low tides.
Sunday looks even smaller with weak surf in the 1-2ft range (bigger 2ft+ at NENSW swell magnets) maintaining just rideable conditions on a continuing light SE flow with clean conditions expected early.
Next week (Jan16 onwards)
Not much swell to report on as we start the new week. A weak, troughy change looks to stall around the Sydney Basin, while a new high maintains a ridge with continuing SSE-ESE winds along the sub-tropical coasts with winds tending more E/NE on the Mid North Coast.
Small surf in the 1-2ft range is expected through Mon, mostly weak leftovers from the SE.
High pressure quickly moves across the Tasman on Tues with winds expected to tend SE-ESE across SEQLD and into Far Northern NSW, tending more E-E/NE south of Yamba. We’ll see some small E swell through Tues and Wed under a weak tradewind flow.
Winds start to clock around E/NE-NE across the entire region through Wed as a trough approaches, likely to stall on the Coffs Coast late next week.
Through the end of next week and a stronger trough and high pressure cell moving south of the Bight look to generate another round of weak S-SSE swell.
Under current modelling we should see small S swell build into the 2ft range later Thurs, holding Fri with winds from the E-NE.
Compared to Mondays notes the tropics is looking a bit flukey. A tradewind flow remains weak and only supplies small E’ly swell through next week (see below). Low pressure in the South Pacific now looks unlikely to form a cyclone or even strong depression and dips below the North Island with a possible pulse of E swell later next weekend in the f/cast region, although we’ll keep tabs on it. On it’s way through the slot next week it will supply some small E swell to the mix.
We’ll keep eyes on a potential low or TC off the QLD coast later next week, although models have been all over the place with any potential system and keep pushing it to end of model runs.
For now, we’ve got a period of small surf with plenty of grovel days ahead.
Check back Fri for the latest.