SWELL: Big surf is on the way for the Sunshine and Cooloola Coast.
SWELL: Big surf is on the way for the Sunshine and Cooloola Coast. Che Chapman

Rainbow Beach pick of the spots as big swell hits

ALMOST flat conditions along Sunshine Coast beaches may be about to transform with the surf expected to get a lot bigger with the potential to reach massive proportions early in the new week if a combination of factors play out.

The first influence will come from strong south-easterly winds with Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Sean Fitzgerald predicting they would continue in the 20-30kmh range for the next seven days.

A low pressure system off Vanuatu yesterday developed into category one Cyclone Donna, which has swell-generating potential for this region, but which won't otherwise impact on Queensland.

The US Navy Weather Service is monitoring a series of four low pressure systems which could begin producing waves to 24 feet (7.3 metres) at its centre north of New Zealand and pushing 9-12 feet (2.7-3.6m) surf on to Sunshine Coast beaches by next Tuesday.

The forecasting has a certainty of around 35% at this point and will either firm or weaken over the coming days.

The developing weather systems have a series of implications.

Beaches here survived the 2016-17 summer cyclone season in almost pristine condition with sand banks along many open locations the best they have been in a long time.

Surf of the size that may be generated by the Pacific systems has the potential to cause serious erosion with next Tuesday's high tide of 1.79m increasing to 1.83m on Wednesday and 1.85m at 8.43pm on Thursday.

If the conditions persist the 16th annual Island Charity Swim on May 13 with around 80 swimmers set to hit the water may be impacted.

Sunshine Coast lifeguard and big wave surfer Shane Bevan said if the conditions eventuate the point breaks of Noosa and Rainbow Beach shape as the best options for surfers. Those in the know, however, will be fuelling up jetskis and heading to closely guarded big wave locations where tow-in surfing will be on the agenda.

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