A hazardous surf warning was in place stretching from Byron Bay down to the Eden coast all weekend, and NSW Police Force, Marine Area Command urged people to be cautious. Image: Brad Cain, contributed
A hazardous surf warning was in place stretching from Byron Bay down to the Eden coast all weekend, and NSW Police Force, Marine Area Command urged people to be cautious. Image: Brad Cain, contributed

Huge swell pummels Northern NSW coast

THERE were more spectators than swimmers on the Northern NSW coast over the past few days as huge swell kept everyone apart from keen surfers out of the water.

A deep and complex low-pressure system moving up the coast saw the swell top close to 4m at beaches including in Byron Bay and Ballina.

A hazardous surf warning was in place stretching from Byron Bay down to the Eden coast all weekend, and NSW Police Force, Marine Area Command urged people to be cautious.

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But this didn't stop surfers braving the chill to make the most of the enormous waves, with Ballina and Byron beaches drawing a decent crowd of surfers.

Down south, Sydney had some of it's biggest surf in years with professional Kelly Slater spotted at a Sydney beach with a snapped board after a surf.

Huge surf captured at Avoca Beach on May 24. Picture: Sue Graham
Huge surf captured at Avoca Beach on May 24. Picture: Sue Graham

The system over the western Tasman Sea was responsible for bringing up large surf as well as windy, cool and showery conditions to parts of the east.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the low was expected to linger offshore for the next few days, while a high pressure ridge moves across the state's west.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 24: Teenagers chain-surf at South Curl Curl ocean pool as a large southerly swell hits the Sydney coastline on May 24, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 24: Teenagers chain-surf at South Curl Curl ocean pool as a large southerly swell hits the Sydney coastline on May 24, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

BOM forecaster Helen Reid said the conditions had been generated by a low over the Tasman since Friday, and it hasn't really moved from that period of time bringing southerly winds and sizeable surf.

"Given the wind direction the previous couple of days haven't seen many showers onshore and it's not likely to get much shower activity in the coming days," she said.

Although the waves still might be a little intimidating, Ms Reid said the surf will probably not be such a dominant feature by mid week when conditions ease as a ridge of high pressure extends across the state.

Byron Bay today is recording wave heights of about 3.5m.

As for the cooler change, which has seen Northern Rivers residents pulling out all the winter woollies, these are temperatures we may have to get used to soon.

"It's not going to warm up very quickly, it's looking stable temperature wise," Ms Reid said.

"We're looking at daytime temperatures of 21-22C over the week and overnight temperatures will stay a little bit cooler."