Tradewind swell slowly backs down from tomorrow, with a N'ly flow to work around
South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 18th Sep)
Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)
- Quality E-E/NE swell holds Mon/Tues with N’ly winds (lighter NW in the morning)
- Tradewind swells slowly back down Wed/Thurs with a S’ly change Thurs
- Strong SE surge Fri with developing short range S/SE swell
- S/SE swell holds over the weekend, slowly easing through Sun with S-SE winds
- Small mixed bag of S and SE swells early next week
- Tending to another round of small, fun tradewind swell next week with SE winds tending N’ly in NENSW
Plenty of surf over the weekend as E/NE tradewind swell came to the party. Sat saw the best conditions with clean 3-4ft surf across most of the region, under light winds, which tended E/NE in the a’noon. Sun was similar size or a smidge bigger but N’ly winds were a problem in NENSW after a brief calm spell early. Lighter winds in SEQLD were suitable for all day surfing with a spread of surf across beaches and Points. Today has seen surf level down a half notch this morning (although more is expected through the day) with calm conditions early, tending to mod/fresh N’ly winds, stronger in NENSW. All in all, some really fun surf to be had if you could dodge the N’lies.
This week (Sep 18-22)
We’ve got another slow moving pattern on our hands to start the week with a high pressure belt at sub-tropical latitudes directing a N’ly flow across the state and a very zonal (W-E) storm track tracking through the far southern Tasman Sea. A tradewind band has slowly weakened and contracted eastwards but is expected to remain slow moving this week, maintaining a fun signal of E-E/NE swell. The next change will be Thurs, with some S swell pulses following the SE surge behind the change . Another slow moving high then moves NE into the Tasman over the weekend. There’ll be some fun waves around if you can work around or with the N’lies.
In the short run we’ll see N’ly winds continue across the region. Expect a brief period of NW winds before fresh N’lies kick in, lighter and more NE in SEQLD. E/NE tradewind swell looks to perk up a notch this a’noon into tomorrow before easing through the a’noon. So, a few 4ft sets in the morning, backing down in the a’noon.
SEQLD continues the theme of better winds into Wed, with a lighter NW flow in the morning, tending N-NE during the day. Stronger N’lies will be in effect in NENSW, especially south of Yamba. Tradewind swell will be down a notch but holding 2-3ft surf, so expect some fun backbeach options.
Tricky winds for Thurs morning as a trough stalls about the Central Coast with a S’ly change working it’s way north. Likely W/NW-NW early before fresh S’lies then tend S/SE through the day. The S’ly change looks to hit Coffs mid morning, Byron-Ballina early a’noon and the border by late a’noon. We’ll see the tradewind swell ease back to the 2ft range, just enough for a fun grovel.
A mix of S swell trains for Fri is likely to have some size as the SE surge pushes in hard and winds broaden through the Northern Tasman but quality is likely pretty low. Fresh S-SE winds will extend right through the region, so you’ll be forced to surf sheltered points where size will be much smaller. Likely 3-5ft on the open beaches, trending down to 2-3ft or less into the Points where the leftover tradewind swell will see a few small peelers.
This weekend (Sep 23-24)
The high pressure ridge in behind the SE surge will hold winds from the S-SE all weekend. They’ll be fresh through Sat, easing a notch through Sun but any windows of SW wind will be brief and limited to NENSW and the Southern Gold Coast.
Mod S-S/SE swell should hold size in the 3-4ft range Sat, smaller into more protected Points and Bays. There’ll be some raggedy options for this not too fussy about wave quality.
S/SE swell then eases a notch through Sun as winds relax in the Northern Tasman. We’ll see some better quality S swell show through Sun in NENSW, arriving in SEQLD after lunch, but it’ll be hard to pull that signal out of the noise from the SE sea state.
Next week (Sep 25 onwards)
Back to a slow moving high in the Tasman, early next week with a light SE flow becoming N’ly through the week (earlier in NENSW, later in SEQLD).
The high does look to block and deflect fronts under the Tasman sea but we may see some small S swells wrap in mid week from activity below the continent.
S swell over the weekend should linger into Mon with SE swell mixed in up to 2-3ft.
EC does suggest the remnant of Fri/Sat’s low reforming near New Zealand and generating a SE fetch out of Cook Strait and adjacent to the North Island which would generate some useful E/SE swell next week. It’s an outlier though, so we’ll just flag it and see how it looks Wed.
Other than that, small amounts of E/NE swell continue to filter down from tradewinds into next week. There’s a distant tradewind fetch adding some background energy and a Coral Sea fetch supplying closer range energy. Size should linger in the 2 occ. 3ft range from Tues. Nothing amazing but fun for spring.
Let’s see how it looks Wed.