Weather News

Tropical low to bring good swell into Southeast QLD and northern NSW

Felix Levesque, Saturday March 14, 2020 - 14:19 EDT

As an intensifying tropical low continues to march across the Coral Sea, over 700 km away from Mackay, surfers across QLD and NSW await to see what kind of swell is produced by this somewhat unpredictable system.


While mainland Australia seems to be in the clear concerning significant impact due to this system, other places such as New Caledonia and potentially Norfolk Island will see an increase in wind strength, rainfall and large waves as this system skirts between the two. Norfolk Island is currently in the Watch Zone for this system, and looks to experience gale force winds on Monday.


Tropical cyclone season is an exciting time for surfers across QLD and northern NSW as it signals an increase in easterly swell events of significant size. With pumping surf brought earlier in the season by Tropical Cyclone Uesi, what sort of potential does this system provide in terms of surf?


While this system will pass through the region to the north of New Zealand, an optimal area for generation of swell for the region, it looks to do so too rapidly. For an excellent swell, this system would need to be slower moving over these waters to allow intense winds to build up wave size over a longer period of time and area. While this is not ideal, this system will generate some swell, which will be welcomed by many, however it may lack the energy and size compared to many previous swell events brought to the region by Tropical Cyclones.


In terms of surf conditions, a gusty southerly wind change is currently marching up the NSW coast with a broad region of high pressure across the south settling in behind it. Southeastern QLD and northern NSW can expect strong southerly winds over the next few days, which should limit surf conditions to southern corners and the many points around the region. Swell from this tropical low will begin filling in on Monday, bringing waves into the 3-4 foot range for the start of the week, with a gradual decrease in size, and easing winds. While this may not be double overhead pumping Snapper Rocks, it should be easy for the crowds at the many points of southeast Queensland to surpass the recent ban on gatherings of 500 or more people.

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