Deep low in the Tasman brings days of S-S/SE swell with a tradewind swell filling in behind it

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri Mar1st)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Tiny over the weekend in SEQLD with mostly light winds
  • Possible small S swells for Sun in NENSW at S facing beaches
  • S/SE winds freshen into Mon with a late kick in new S swell
  • Strong S swells through Tues, extending into Wed with winds slowly easing
  • S/SE swell pulse Thurs with easing winds
  • Should see rebuilding trade swells by Fri, extending over the weekend and into next week


Small swells yesterday, although a sneaky S swell showed some 2-3ft surf (bigger sets) mostly on the Tweed and Byron coasts under light morning winds which tended NE in the a’noon. Back to tiny today across the region with some glassy beachies in the 1-2ft range and some small, fun backbeaches once the NE wind got up. Nothing amazing but at least it has stayed surfable.

A few small, glassy beachbreaks on offer this morning

This weekend (Mar 2-3)

A trough has weakened and is dissipating in the Tasman with a modest precursor front sweeping past Tasmania, in advance of a much stronger winter-calibre system. Not much change to the weekend f/cast. Tiny for both days. We should see light morning winds both days so at least you might find a rideable peak across the beachies. 

Sunday sees a trough moving northwards that looks to stall across the MNC, so we may see variable winds about the Ballina-Byron to Tweed region, a brief period of SE winds south of there and continuing N’lies in SEQLD.

We may see some small S’ly swells about the Northern Rivers at S facing beaches across Sun- topping out with a few 2ft sets if we are lucky. Otherwise, remaining tiny 1-1.5ft on open beachies.

 By later Sun we’ll be seeing gales to strong gales sweeping up past Tasmania into the Tasman Sea. Which will see strong pulses of S-S/SE swell next week. 

Next week (Mar 4 onwards)

Models are holding steady on a winter calibre low tracking well to the south- south-east of Tasmania during Sun and traversing the far Southern Tasman through Mon. That will send a strong, long period S swell up the pipe making landfall through late Mon across the MNC. Early swell trains should be mid period and relatively modest in the 3-4ft range by late Mon across the MNC to North Coast right on dark. We’ll see a strong S-SE surge up the coast during Mon as a high pressure ridge builds up the coast in the wake of the front, so some short range swell from that direction will likely be in the mix by close of play.

 A serious muscle up Tues  as much longer period swell trains make landfall across the region That should see size jump into the 6ft range at NENSW S exposed breaks (bigger 6-8ft at S facing rivermouth bars) with some 3-5ft surf at S exposed breaks in SEQLD. Winds will be a problem, with mod/fresh S tending S/SE winds through the day. Requiring some wind protection with a sacrifice in size apart from a few choice locations.

Winds ease through Wed as high pressure moves off the Gippsland coast. A lingering S’ly flow should tend SW inshore early across the North Coast and Southern Gold Coast before tending light/mod SE. Size will come off the boil as periods drop but there’ll still be plenty of size with 6ft surf on offer at NSW S exposed breaks, smaller 3-5ft at S facing beaches in SEQLD, grading much smaller in the Points.

Thurs looks fun with a light winds early tending SE in the a’noon and plenty of swell still around. The fetch lingers in NZ longitudes so we’ll see a slightly better aligned S/SE pulse on Thurs. Expect 4-5ft surf Wed, with a broader spread in size into SEQLD due to the better swell direction.

Easing swells but still plenty of fun Fri and a light E’ly flow and potential morning land breezes. Still some 3-4ft S/SE angled swell through Fri, slowly easing and becoming inconsistent through the day.

Into next weekend and we’ll see E-E/NE surf on offer. Tradewinds start to thicken up from the Coral Sea into the Northern Tasman so we should see some E/NE swell start to build, possibly as early as Fri. By the weekend we should see 2-3ft tradewind swell across most of the region.

That pattern looks to persist medium term with the downstream blocking high shunting fronts to the south so only small/flukey S swells if any on the radar.

Otherwise, back to small summer tradewind swells into the second week of March.

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


Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Saturday, 2 Mar 2024 at 1:50pm

Geez Thursday with Healey on his 5'2" twin would be pumping.

dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope Monday, 4 Mar 2024 at 11:06am

Anyone surf Kingscliff this morning?

dazzler's picture
dazzler's picture
dazzler Monday, 4 Mar 2024 at 11:57am

Saw a photo.. Bowlo surprisingly empty!

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono Monday, 4 Mar 2024 at 12:48pm

Went down for a look, was a good sized fish.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Monday, 4 Mar 2024 at 12:01pm

4Mt Shark Spotted in the Gutter around 7am ...

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 Monday, 4 Mar 2024 at 12:03pm
udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Monday, 4 Mar 2024 at 12:26pm

Yes i think so.

dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope Monday, 4 Mar 2024 at 12:46pm

As you say Udo was hanging in close early morning and seemed to get trapped in the gutter on the run out tide. Beautiful but terrifying creature, just massive.
Lot's of chat about help being on its way... WTF were they going to do with a distressed great white?
Couple of giant horse needles gave her the green dream.