Small S swells and light winds over the weekend and into next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

South-east Queensland and Northern NSW Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri May 24th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Light S-SE winds over the weekend with S/SE swell and some S’ly groundswell favouring NENSW for size
  • Stronger S/SE groundswell Mon into Tues with light winds
  • Light SW- S-SE winds continue into next week with surfable days on tap but nothing sizey  
  • Fun E/NE trade swell likely to develop into next weekend
  • Potential trough deepening off Fraser/SEQLD coast next weekend could generate large swells- low confidence check back Mon for latest updates


S to SE swells have been persistent with size to 3-4ft yesterday in NENSW, smaller 2ft in SEQLD, easing back into today with a few 3ft sets at NENSW S exposed breaks and 2ft surf in SEQLD. Clean conditions yesterday morning before S’ly winds and similar winds today.

A few nice beachies around this morning with lightest winds in NENSW

This weekend (May25-26)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. High pressure is approaching Tasmania with a weak trough expected to linger in the Tasman and across the North Coast over the weekend and lead to mostly light breezes, especially Sun. A complex polar low is approaching the NZ corridor and although the frontal progression looks a notch less favourable for swell production up the East Coast we’ll still see S’ly groundswell pulses over the weekend. We’ve also got an off-axis fetch adjacent to New Zealand which will send some small, workable SE swell our way over the weekend.

Light W-SW  winds Sat morning  will eventually clock around to light/mod S-SE breezes so there’ll be a nice window of clean conditions. Small mix of S/SE-SE and longer period S swells should hold 2-3ft surf at S exposed breaks. Biggest at NENSW S facing beaches. SEQLD should hold surf in the 2ft range at open beaches.

Saturdays S swell eases into Sun morning with leftover 2ft surf across the region. Sun a’noon should be a notch bigger as the next pulse fills in with 3ft sets across NENSW, smaller in SEQLD. Winds should be dreamy with light offshores lingering well into the day before tending to light/variable breezes. Small SE-E swell should pad out surf to 2ft in SEQLD. 

Next week (May 27 onwards)

High pressure finally moves into the Tasman early next week with some frontal activity tracking NE from Tasmania so we will see offshore winds to start the week. S-S/SE groundswell from the slowed forward movement of a polar low gyre as it enters the New Zealand corridor should send some nice 3 occ. 4 ft sets to S facing beaches later Mon, albeit with a wait for sets. Expect some small S swell to 2-3ft in the morning at S facing beaches in NENSW, smaller in SEQLD.

The frontal activity isn’t very robust with compact fetches but the track into the Tasman should supply some small S swell Tues/Wed next week, with easing S/SE swell to 3ft Tues in the mix. We’re not looking at anything significant but S exposed breaks should continue to see 2-3ft surf Tues a’noon, holding into Wed with favourable W winds and light a’noon SE seabreezes. Definitely some fun at S swell magnets and open beaches.

With high pressure moving NE into the Tasman we’re expecting surf to go quiet Thurs with minor swells in the 1-2ft range at best, most likely a continuation of side band S-S/SE energy.

By Fri we should start seeing some E/NE tradeswell from a fetch developing next week in the Coral Sea.

Expect that to go into next weekend.

Further ahead GFS has become interested in a potential trough deepening off the Fraser or SEQLD coast  next weekend. With a strong high in the Tasman that does offer basic building blocks of a “black nor-easter” event. It’s very early days and other weather models aren’t really interested so we’ll just mention it as a general heads up. If it were to occur we would expect to see building levels of E/NE swell later next weekend, potentially becoming very sizey into the week 3/6. Let’s see how it looks on Mon.

Until then, have a great weekend!


SDW's picture
SDW's picture
SDW Friday, 24 May 2024 at 9:52pm

Well this afternoon was pretty fun down here in the Northern Rivers.

spidermonkey's picture
spidermonkey's picture
spidermonkey Saturday, 25 May 2024 at 9:23am

This pattern of slow moving big highs has not been good for the Sunshine Coast surfer

Luke02's picture
Luke02's picture
Luke02 Saturday, 25 May 2024 at 9:49am

Constant south winds, not getting a real window of offshores

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Saturday, 25 May 2024 at 9:55am

I feel you gents.

You grow old waiting for a true offshore in the morning.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Saturday, 25 May 2024 at 11:56am

Pretty much 2 weeks of clean morning offshores and fun waves, worth a sniff around.

spidermonkey's picture
spidermonkey's picture
spidermonkey Saturday, 25 May 2024 at 1:18pm

South of Coolum I'm guessing Sprout. Yeah should get out a bit more!

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Saturday, 25 May 2024 at 3:10pm

Yeah mate, home's been S junk but a bit further afield...

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather Saturday, 25 May 2024 at 6:55pm

Was pretty average this morning. Mid-high tide didn’t help the woeful bank situation either.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Saturday, 25 May 2024 at 7:26pm

Few small clean peelers here on low tide.
Some nice period on some of the sets.