Small fun Summer surf continues, with another round of E'ly swell later next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 13th Jan)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Another slight kick later Fri, holding 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, boosting in size from Thurs
  • Late kick in S swell likely for the MNC Thurs, extending into Far North NSW and SEQLD Fri before easing
  • Low/cyclone also possible off QLD coast later next week, stay tuned for updates


Small fun waves yesterday in the 2-3ft range early, easing through the day with light morning breezes tending onshore SE-E/SE in the a’noon. Today has seen a small boost in energy from the SE with size to 3ft at swell magnets in NENSW, smaller in SEQLD apart from a few well known swell magnets and light land breezes early tending to SE-E sea breezes in the a’noon.

Fun and rippable with a bit of wind on it- been a lot of days like this over Summer 22/23

This weekend (Jan14-15)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. We’ve got a weak, blocking pattern with high pressure (1025 hPa) right smack bang in the middle of the Tasman directing an onshore flow along the Eastern Seaboard. NE across Temperate NSW and SE-E in the sub-tropics. Warm SST (sea surface temperatures) are helping morning land breeze development so conditions should be relatively clean through the early sessions.

Todays SE swell pulse (favouring NENSW) is expected to linger into Sat with some 3ft sets on offer, smaller 2ft+ at SEQLD swell magnets.Expect clean conditions early with morning land breezes before light/mod ESE-E/NE winds kick in. More S component north of the border, tending more E/NE-NE south of Yamba.

Sunday will see easing surf with small leftovers from the SE in the 2ft range in NENSW, smaller 1-2ft in SEQLD and easing through the day. Similar winds to Sat- light in the morning with E’ly breezes in the a’noon. 

Next week (Jan16 onwards)

A weak trough may reach the Sydney basin Mon bringing a S’ly change to that region. Further north we should see the ridge reset and SE winds re-establish as a new high moves in. Not much surf expected to start the new week, just small leftovers in the sub 2ft range.

Light SE-ESE winds hold Tues as high pressure moves into the Tasman-quickly sliding SE towards the South Island. We may see some small S swell Tues generated by a front and compact low racing across the Tasman Sun-Mon but keep expectations low. We’re only looking at some 1-2ft sets at S facing beaches through the a’noon. Tradewinds in the slot between New Zealand and New Caledonia and extending into the Coral Sea will see a small, slow increase in E’ly swell Tues, possibly reaching 2-3ft on the Sunshine Coast, a notch smaller further south.

Winds tend E-E/NE Wed as a trough approaches from the interior, with Tradewinds signal boosting E’ly swell into the 2-3ft range , a notch bigger on the Sunshine Coast. Nothing amazing but a fun summer surf should be on offer. 

The trough exits the coast later Wed into Thurs and intensifies rapidly through Thurs with S-SSE winds off the NSW coast strengthening as the trough forms a small surface low off the Hunter coast. That will see stiff S-SSE winds through Thurs extending up to Coffs early a’noon and the border by nightfall. We should see a mix building short range S swell across the Mid North Coast later in the a’noon and better quality E swell as E’ly tradewind swell gets a boost from an E’ly dip in the South Pacific NE of the North Island (see below). Expect inconsistent sets to 3ft+ across the region from this source.

The low looks set to move away quite quickly through Fri next week, under current modelling, which would suggest an easing trend through Fri and into next weekend. We’ll see how that pans out when we come back Mon. Winds are likely to tend SE across he region from Fri as the trough moves away and a high moves into the Tasman.

Longer term and models are still struggling to resolve the monsoon trough and here we are again with tropical lows/cyclones pushed out to the end of model runs. We’ll monitor the charts over the weekend and keep tabs on any low pressure development in the South Pacific or Coral Sea next week but at this stage we haven’t got anything definite on the cards, apart from the E’ly dip near the North Island mentioned in the previous paragraph. Models do continue to suggest tropical lows or cyclones will bud off the monsoon trough next week, with an expected SE movement if this happens not ideal for swell development.

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


Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono Friday, 13 Jan 2023 at 2:26pm

What a run, nothing epic but I've surfed nearly every day since before Xmas. Actually looking forward to a break on Sun or Mon before clocking back on for the next run of E swell.

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak Friday, 13 Jan 2023 at 5:58pm

After daddy daycare duties finished I went out at D-bar , onshore but nice banks and was surprised as was a lot bigger than what I was expecting.

conrico's picture
conrico's picture
conrico Sunday, 15 Jan 2023 at 10:19pm

2-3ft “Grovel” conditions highly underrated. Perfect for the beachies!

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Monday, 16 Jan 2023 at 6:36am

That wind really waxed and waned here over the weekend.
Bit of fun to be had.

Epic snorkelling conditions yesterday morning on the incoming tide.

spidermonkey's picture
spidermonkey's picture
spidermonkey Monday, 16 Jan 2023 at 9:59am

Not even a sneaky session to be had on the Sunny coast, garbage dawn till dusk.

SDW's picture
SDW's picture
SDW Monday, 16 Jan 2023 at 10:05am


freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Monday, 16 Jan 2023 at 10:24am

Unfortunately, with the position of the high pressure belt, synoptic onshore winds are just that notch stronger on the Sunshine Coast.