More small S swells on the radar as La Niña says good-bye
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 26th May)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Smaller/raggedy S swell event expected Sat, easing Sun as front/low moves into Tasman
- More small S swell pulses next week favouring NENSW and mostly tiny/flat in SEQLD
- Small, low energy E swells keep surf above flat in SEQLD next week
- More S swells as we head into first week of Winter- check back Mon for the latest
Still some nice clean lines yesterday from the S which generated 3ft surf in NENSW at S exposed breaks, although NW winds blew out most spots. Smaller 1-1.5ft surf in SEQLD. Not much at all today with just a scrappy little signal of NE windswell and traces of S swell to 1ft with N’ly winds as we wait for a weakening front to arrive. It’s expected to reach the Coffs area mid a’noon, Byron-border by dark.
This weekend (May 27-28)
The expected Tasman low forming in the wake of todays front really falls apart, forming instead a raggedy low pressure trough which moves away quickly to the NE overnight and into Sat. That leaves us with a scrappy, bog standard S swell for Sat pushing up into the 4ft range at S facing beaches in NENSW, mostly small and scrappy elsewhere (2ft at SEQLD S facing beaches). Surface conditions should be only fair under fresh SW winds, tending S’ly through the day.
S swells continue into Sun, initially in the 3ft range at NENSW S exposed breaks (1-2ft at SEQLD S swell magnets), but away from S swell magnets surf will become tiny through Sun, although groomed by W’ly winds. Probably a better day for fishing/diving apart from a few reliable S swell magnets in NENSW.
Next week (May 29 onwards)
Not much change to the outlook for next week. Large high pressure moves across the continent bringing settled weather with light winds while a series of fronts traverse the Tasman generating small S swell pulses- a typical El Niño pattern for the Winter. For our sub-tropical region it’s going to be a very low energy week.
Winds will be basically offshore to start the week with a W’ly bias expected for most of the week, likely tending N’ly through the latter stages of next week.
The monster low expected to send pumping surf to Vicco this weekend generates some extra long period S swell wrap for late Mon but it’ll be tiny for most areas, with some 2-3ft sets for S swell magnets in NENSW. Not much at all in SEQLD where a small amount of residual E swell from the South Pacific should hold a 1-1.5ft signal.
More small S swell Tues, with a flukey fetch on the edge of the ice shelf today likely to supply some inconsistent 2ft SSE swell sets to the region. Models tend to resolve these swells poorly (if at all) so keep expectations pegged appropriately.
Looks like Wed/Thurs will be the low points of the week, although traces of S and E swell are likely to maintain surfable waves at S facing beaches- tiny/flat elsewhere.
A stronger front Thurs may supply S swell a notch bigger for Fri into next weekend to kick off Winter, under current modelling.
Following that we may see another front or even low in the Tasman develop late in the weekend bring a bigger payload of S swell to kick off the week 5/6.
That's a fair way away but the confidence is reasonable the pattern of small S swells will extend into that time frame as we transition into an El Niño pattern for Winter 2023.
Looking to the East and a trough looks to form in Fijian latitudes with a low forming even further away well to the SE of Tahiti. Both of these systems move away as they form, suggesting only minor amounts of background E swell into the second week of Winter.
Check back Mon to see how it’s shaping up and in the mean-time, have a great weekend!