Very tiny in SEQLD, with small S swell pulses south of the border to round off autumn

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Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 29th May)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • More small S swell pulses this week favouring NENSW and mostly tiny/flat in SEQLD
  • Small, low energy E swells keep surf above flat in SEQLD 
  • Slightly stronger S swell Sat
  • Developing E’ly tradewind swell later Sat, into Sun
  • More S swell next week, tending to stronger SSE swell by mid week
  • Possible trough/low forming off North Coast next week with potential for E’ly swell event, check back Wed for updates


A few fun options over the weekend- biggest in NENSW- with Sat seeing some 3-4ft surf at most S facing spots in NENSW, smaller 2ft at SEQLD S facing beaches with clean morning conditions and fresh a’noon S’lies. Sun eased back with some 3ft sets through the morning in NENSW, smaller 1-2ft in SEQLD with a W’ly flow and a’noon seabreezes. Clean S swell this morning with long lined sets to 3ft across most of NENSW, smaller 1-2ft at SEQLD S facing beaches.

This week (May 29- June 2)

Very wintry looking synoptic chart as we exit Autumn with a large high moving in over the continent with active cold fronts tied to low pressure systems tracking into the Tasman Sea. That pattern will extend through most of the week before a high cell drops into the Tasman Friday, with stronger frontal activity expected over the weekend and into next week.

In the short run and we’re looking at another clean day brushed by W’ly winds with small S swell trains in the water. We’ll see a few small 2ft waves at S swell magnets in NENSW, tiny/flat in SQLD. A small pulse of S swell heading up toe coast may show across the MNC in the a’noon with a few 2-3ft sets at reliable swell magnets. Expect winds to tend N’ly in the a’noon.

Tuesdays small pulse extends into Wed morning before easing through the day, and we’ll see winds tend more pre-frontal W/NW-NW through the day. Maintaining clean conditions at S facing beaches where there’ll be some 2ft surf in NENSW early, easing in the a’noon. Just a few 1-2ft waves at SEQLD S swell magnets, tiny/flat elsewhere.

Similar winds for Thurs morning - W/NW-NW before a front and leading edge of a high pressure cell bring a SSW-S flow in the a’noon extending about as far north as Coffs. North of Coffs we’re likely to see weak NE seabreezes Not much in the way of surf is expected. Small S swell leftovers to 1-2ft through the morning at S facing beaches in NENSW. Tiny/flat.

Friday should see winds tend SE’ly as a small high cell rapidly moves into the Tasman off the Central/South Coast of NSW. Early SW winds will tend mod SE through the a’noon. Thursday’s front is notch stronger than today’s and should see S swell rebuild to modest levels, likely just reaching the Mid North Coast during the a’noon, Byron-Ballina region late in the a’noon with some 2-3ft sets.

This weekend (June 3-4)

It depends on how quickly the high moves away into the Tasman but there are good odds we’ll see morning land breezes Sat, tending to light onshore E’ly breezes during the day. Longer period S swell from the passage of a deeper fetch Thurs should provide some 3ft sets across NENSW, smaller 1-2ft at S swell magnets north of the border.

A S’ly change pushes up the coast Sun, bringing S-SSE winds through Sun, at least as far as Yamba, with a high cell moving SE of Tasmania during the day and a strong front pushing NE into the Tasman. Models are divergent with EC suggesting a stronger S’ly fetch and increasing short range S swell during Sun. GFS has a weaker front, with smaller S swell (2-3ft) and winds tending NE through the a’noon as the high pressure ridges up the coast. We’ll see how it looks Wed. There should be some E’ly tradewind swell develop later Sat and persisting into Sunday with peaky 2-3ft surf across the region, biggest in SEQLD.

Next week (June 5 onwards)

The front is expected to spawn a small surface low centre in the Eastern Tasman near New Zealand (west coast of the South Island) on Sunday and this low broadens to a broad gyre which remains slow moving around New Zealand for at least the first half of next week while a high remains well SE of Tasmania. The initial SSE-SE swell push will be associated with onshore SE-E/SE winds Mon with size likely in the 3ft range.

Onshore winds will persist through Tues and into Wed as the high remain slow moving. There’ll be no shortage of swell with the slow moving fetch supplying pulses of S-SSE swell as it remains anchored off the South Island, aimed back into the Tasman.

Expect size in the 3-4ft range through Tues, likely extending into Wed. 

We’ll be watching during this time frame a potential low pressure trough off the North Coast/Mid North Coast. This may generate E’ly swells for Central NSW and it certainly has the potential to develop into a major swell producing system if it winds up.

We’ll also be tracking some late season convective activity around Fiji which has the potential to deepen and form a tropical depression, although a lot of things would have to go right for it to become a swell source for our region. We’ll just flag it as a source of interest for now.

Thats all a fair way off so for now, it’s back to small S swells as we round off Autumn.

Check back Wed for the latest.