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Southerly change is surfers' next big hope

Wave of the day at Moffat Beach.
Wave of the day at Moffat Beach. Warren Lynam

A BRIEF NE swell lit up the coast (mainly further south) during the week.

It was rare as these are usually cyclonic in origin.

Not this one, though.

Sadly, the winds offshore that generated it were stronger down that way and we didn't get as much fun.

The next big hope is for this weekend's southerly change. It will be a strong one and swell from it could come as early as Sunday.

Agnes Water to Coolangatta, Saturday: Pale morning winds will freshen from the easterly quarter, getting up to 15 knots by noon. The afternoon will see a switch to the SE and a rise to 20 knots. A morning surf will be best with fun, small waves in the 1m range on the open beaches. It'll be a hot day with high temps hitting 31 degrees and a 60 per cent chance of showers, mostly associated with the afternoon SE change. Thunderstorms are a possibility then, too.

On the Gold Coast, morning winds will be N to NW at 15-20 knots and the only clean breaks will be up the north end. Wave size will be around a metre and the quality should be good up there. We're expecting a 20 knot southerly change to hit before noon or later. Expect an associated thunderstorm with that.

High temperature on the Goldy will be 30 degrees and the chance of rain is sitting on 60 per cent.

Sunday: Fresh to strong south winds will have been up all night and they'll get even stronger (25 knots-plus) from the SE early. The open beaches will be badly wind-affected and getting bigger. Go to the points where it will be a metre, possibly bigger in the arvy. There's a 40 per cent chance of rain or showers and the high temp will hit 27 degrees.

Down the Goldy, S to SE winds will be 20 to 35 knots and the beaches will be blown out. Head to the points (clean and 1m-plus), rising in the afternoon. Crowds at most points have been nuts. Be careful!

Rain is a 40 per cent chance while the high temperature will hit 29.

Tweed Heads to Coffs Harbour, Saturday: The Byron crew will have fresh and rising N to NW winds early with a weakening east swell of a metre or so. Only a couple of places can handle that wind. A southerly change will hit, up to 25 knots, and that's "game over” for the beaches. The points will have clean afternoon waves, but only small: 1m or less. A thunderstorm may accompany that wind change and there's an 80 per cent chance of rain at that time. The high temp will be 28C.

Coffs surfers will have a similar wind scenario: N to NW at 15 knots early, turning SE and getting up to 25 knots. The 1m E/NE swell will be fun early, but then run for the protected points and coves.

Rain odds are high: 70%, and the high temperature will be 27.

Sunday: Fresh to strong SE to SW winds will slowly bring up the swell at the points. Surf size will be 1m-plus, rising in the arvy. Point surf only as the winds will make a mess of the beaches. A 70% chance of rain and a high temperature of 27 degrees will make for a sultry day.

The Coffs region will have S to SW winds of 15 knots early, turning S to SE in the afternoon and rising to 25 knots. Finding a protected corner may be an all-day job with those wind changes, but the surf will be fun there at 1-1.5m.

The predicted high is 26C and rain or showers is given a 40 per cent chance.

While the weekend shows promise, early next week may be even better. Fingers crossed!

Disclaimer: This forecast is prepared the previous Thursday in order to satisfy newspaper production requirements. As conditions may change, it is always recommended that you take a good, long look before ever entering a surf zone.


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