Multiple S swell pulses ahead with potential from the E/NE next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 26th June)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Long range, pulsey E-E/SE swell lingers next week- a notch stronger Tues into Wed
  • S swell pulse filling in Tues, peaking Wed with mostly offshore winds
  • Another S swell pulse Thurs PM, peaking Fri with light winds
  • Stronger S swell pulses expected Sat and Sun
  • More long period S to S/SE swell next week, at least until Wed
  • Tracking possible E/NE swell Tues/Wed as deep trough/possible surface low moves down from QLD
  • More active phase for first week in July


Long range E swell supplied inconsistent but fun sized sets topping out on Sat with a few 2ft+ sets at open beaches groomed by offshore winds. Sunday was down a notch with size in the 1-2ft range and very slow. Today has seen even less swell energy with just a tiny signal of S swell joining very very inconsistent 1.5ft sets, groomed by fresh W’ly winds. 

Sunny coast beachies had a few nice lines

This week (Jun 26-30)

High pressure sitting up at sub-tropical latitudes is allowing a very active series of fronts to penetrate NE into the Tasman Sea. A very slow moving monster high tracking into WA longitudes is anchoring a sustained SW flow as the fronts ride up it’s extended flank from the Southern Ocean into the Tasman.  We’ll see multiple S swell pulses from this set-up, becoming stronger over the weekend.

In the short run and W’ly tending SW’ly winds continue through tomorrow with a front and trough moving across the Tasman. We’ll see S’ly swell trains from both W’ly winds out of Bass Strait and the SW fetch in the Tasman. Expect an under-sized start with some inconsistent 1-2ft sets out of the E/SE  with mid period S swell filling into 2-3ft at S facing beaches during the a’noon, smaller 1-2ft on the Gold Coast. Expect light S’lies in the a’noon.

W’ly winds will tend W/NW-NW through Wed as another front pushes into the Tasman. Through the a’noon winds will tend more SW from the MNC, extending up to the border by nightfall. S swell peaks at 3ft in NENSW, smaller 1-2ft in SEQLD through the morning, easing during the a’noon. Long range E/SE swell will perk up a notch Wed with some inconsistent 2-3ft sets, favouring the Sunshine Coast for size and consistency.

We’ll see a mixed bag Thurs morning with long range E/SE swell to 2ft+ and easing S swells to 2-3ft in NENSW at S facing beaches. Thursday a’noon sees the power dial turned up a few notches, as the front pushes into the Tasman and a proximate fetch of strong winds develops on the NSW coastline. That will see S swell build later in the day across the MNC to Byron-Tweed from 2ft in the morning to 3-4ft. Expect winds to freshen from the SW to SSW in the a’noon.

Early W to W/SW winds Fri shift NW in advance of the next front. We’ll see solid 3-4ft surf in NENSW Fri, smaller 2-3ft at SEQLD S facing beaches, with an easing trend in the a’noon. 

This weekend (July 1-2)

A fetch of a different magnitude working on an already active sea state Fri should see a much more substantial series of S swell pulses beginning this weekend.

First stages of this series build through Sat with light morning SW’ly winds, tending light S to SE through the day. Early size to 2ft,  should slowly build to 4ft at S facing beaches in NENSW, smaller 2-3ft in SEQLD.

As swell trains from a deeper fetch arrive we’ll see size ratchet up further Sun, up into the 3-5ft range at S facing beaches, 3ft at S facing beaches in SEQLD. Early SW’lies will tend S-SE as the leading edge of the high pressure ridge builds in. Should be plenty of swell to utilise if you need to get out of the wind.

Next week (Jul 3 onwards)

Still a bit of model divergence to get through but as we noted on Fri a large low pressure gyre sets up in NZ longitudes over the weekend with potential for multiple gale to severe gale force fetches around the Islands. These fetches aren’t perfectly aligned for the East Coast of Australia but their sheer strength and size should see plenty of long period S-S/SE swell make landfall next week.

Plenty of size expected Mon with S facing beaches in the 4-6ft range in NENSW, 3-4ft at SEQLD S facing beaches. High pressure approaches Central NSW with a ridge up the sub-tropical coast and winds likely tending to mod S/SE-SE through the day.

Under current modelling we’re expecting more long period S swell Tues, tending to S/SE swell Wed with size provisionally in the 3-5ft range. Winds look tricky but should tend NW-N Tues as high pressure moves out into the Tasman.

By Wed we’ll be looking out for an approaching trough from QLD, dragging down moisture from the Indian Ocean/Arafura Sea. Still lots of model divergence but we can’t rule out a surface trough or even ECL forming off the QLD Coast and moving southwards although recent model runs have cooled right down on that scenario. Under that scenario we would expect sizey E/NE swell to start building Tuesday.

Potential is there for solid S/SE groundswell with offshore winds for Wed, so check back through the week and we’ll see how it’s shaping up. 

Looks like we’ll kick off July with a much more more active outlook. 


simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Monday, 26 Jun 2023 at 2:07pm

finally some swell coming.....just in time for the school holidays .....haha ..

Fr could be due to old age but have the tides been particularly low of a morning this year as in super low tides and low high tides.......plenty of in close banks forming up now but need reasonable high tides to work is it unusual to have tides as low as they have been or am i losing it?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Monday, 26 Jun 2023 at 2:12pm

Morning low tides here have been around 50cm which is standard and wouldn't classify as super low lows.
Spring-time tides tend to have lower lows (20-30cm lows).

It may be the inshore sand build-ups making water depths on the sand bars appear lower than usual?

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Monday, 26 Jun 2023 at 2:29pm

Probably so as there is a lot of sand in close now

adsi's picture
adsi's picture
adsi Monday, 26 Jun 2023 at 2:38pm

Thanks Steve for bringing such joyfull news. Can now book friday off and i might pick a day next week to do the same once models are firmed up more.

tiger's picture
tiger's picture
tiger Monday, 26 Jun 2023 at 3:55pm

Yes the potential for a rain and swell event from that trough drifting across have diminished by the model run. For those of us on the southern end of the forecast zone anyway. Qld might get some decent rain. Really need it down here at the moment, and some waves wouldn't go astray either!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Monday, 26 Jun 2023 at 4:23pm

Seems to be a smidge more energy this afternoon, than earlier, though still hanging around the one foot mark. Just a little more defined.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Monday, 26 Jun 2023 at 5:37pm

Definitely more energy on dark.
Still looked tiny on the beachies but I tried to rockfish an exposed ledge and there were definitely sets.

pjbyron's picture
pjbyron's picture
pjbyron Monday, 26 Jun 2023 at 6:00pm

Yep agree, my kid and mate found a couple of late ones just before dark on out going tide (just N of Byron).