Big, windy and sweepy for Sun with plenty of strong surf as low sits in Tasman next week

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Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri May 17th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Small mix of S and E swells for SEQLD Sat
  • Small S swell for NENSW Sat with a late kick in new windy S swell
  • Solid windy S swell for Sun with fresh SW-S winds
  • Slightly better angled smaller S/SE swell Mon
  • Plenty more S/SE-SE swell Tues/Wed with SW-S winds
  • Likely easing swells later next week with lighter S winds


Small SE swells yesterday to 2 occ. 3ft with SE winds, lighter and SW in the morning. Winds are easing off through today and we’ve got small 2ft surf across open stretches from the SE with a possibility of some S’ly groundswell showing across NENSW laster this a’noon.

Rainy, small and clean this morning, much more swell energy incoming Sun

This weekend (May18-19)

An angled trough of low pressure forms off the NSW Coast o/night and quickly moves out into the Tasman Sea. Compared to Wed’s notes windspeeds look a smidge weaker, the timing has been put back 6 hrs or so but the fetch forms a better aligned SE arm around the trough line through Sat. That will see tiny surf all day in SEQLD with minor E swell and traces of S swell to 2ft at the best S swell magnets. We will see a late kick in size across the North Coast after an undersized start (some small S swell to 2-3ft on offer at S facing beaches) with an increase in S swell for the MNC showing after mid a’noon and a very late kick north of Ballina. Morning SW winds will eventually clock S’ly at strong wind strength (there is a gale warning so expect stronger gusts). 

Big and windy for Sun with fresh to strong SW-S winds early, tending strong S’ly all day. Expect a big, sweepy S swell in the 6-8ft range at regional Points with 8-10ft or bigger surf on river bars and smaller 3-4ft surf into the protected North facing points and into SEQLD. A wild and windy day with most surfing happening in sheltered corners away from winds and swell but expect plenty of wind up the face at those sheltered  north facing points.

Next week (May 20 onwards)

As mentioned Wed, it now looks likely a cold front pushing into the Tasman Mon will reinforce the weekend low pressure trough and form a broad low in the Tasman (see below), backed by another massive high in the Bight,  with several pulses of swell from this system.

The front itself should generate another pulse of S swell late Mon as winds freshen from the SW-S/SW and surf rebuilds to 4-5ft at S facing beaches late in the day, smaller elsewhere. Monday should see slightly better angled S-S/SE swell which will favour regional Points compared to Sundays straight S blast.

S’ly winds persist Tues and Wed, although we should see morning sou-westers develop as the low in the Tasman drifts away and pressure gradients ease enough for seasonal land breeze effects to take hold. Plenty of swell both day with Tues in the 4-5ft range occ. bigger set and swell direction tending more S/SE through the day as swell trains from winds around the Tasman low make landfall.

Wed should bump a notch with SE swells to 4-6ft occ. bigger set on tap.

There’s still some model divergence around the strength and positioning of the low so we might need to finesse wave heights up or down on Mon but it won’t be anything too significant- we’re now in medium/high confidence territory for these outcomes. There’ll be plenty of swell for the front half of the week at least. 

We’ll see easing swells for the back half of next week as the low moves away and high pressure ever so slowly inches towards and then past Tasmania. 

We may see some local S swell later next week from a small trough.
More likely we’ll see lighter S’ly winds next weekend and some S’ly groundswell from intense polar lows which look to be steered SE of New Zealand into the prime Tahitian swell window during that time frame.

We’ll check it all out again on Mon, as per usual.

Until then, have a great weekend. 


NoUseforaName's picture
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NoUseforaName Saturday, 18 May 2024 at 11:35pm

Sunny Coast reporter calling today the best day of the week has dam got ammmmnesia. Monday and Tuesday pumping to even contemplate calling today the best day is ridiculous. Give thyself thy uppercut sir

NoUseforaName's picture
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NoUseforaName Saturday, 18 May 2024 at 11:38pm

Worse than the bunker


NoUseforaName's picture
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NoUseforaName Saturday, 18 May 2024 at 11:38pm

Rip bowls are fun…


spookypt's picture
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spookypt Sunday, 19 May 2024 at 1:11pm

Art Intel Lol

NoUseforaName's picture
NoUseforaName's picture
NoUseforaName Saturday, 18 May 2024 at 11:39pm

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
Good night

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Sunday, 19 May 2024 at 12:00pm

Filling in nicely now. Out there!

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Surfalot67 Monday, 20 May 2024 at 8:15am

Postscript. Was super inconsistent and the sweep was nuclear. Got 4 good ones in 2 hours.

greg-n.williams's picture
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greg-n.williams Sunday, 19 May 2024 at 2:13pm

Going past where I am & direct South facing beaches/points aren't handling it! Spewing!!!

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freeride76 Monday, 20 May 2024 at 8:26am

Was pumping this morning.