LIFEGUARDS are on high alert with the turn of the weather today after performing several minor rescues in the area yesterday in less severe surf.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging surf for the Byron, Ballina and Evans Head coastline today.
Surf and swell conditions are hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, boating, and swimming and Surf Life Saving Far North Coast duty officer Jimmy Keough said beaches were a no-go today.
"At the moment along the coast wind gusts are reaching up to 40km/h from the south - making it very uncomfortable to be there,” Mr Keough said.
"There were some minor rescues performed yesterday but conditions are worse today.”
BoM warns wind speeds could reach 60 km/h.
He said the forecast swell for today was 3.7m minimum, but could reach up to 5.6m wave height.
"We will see some very unstable beach conditions today and over the next few days,” he said.
"Lifeguards and lifesavers will be on duty but we highly recommend people stay out of water while these conditions continue.”
Several beaches are closed right along the Tweed and NSW coastline including: Brunswick Heads beach, Byron Bay Tallows beach, Suffolk Park beach, Broken Head beach, Lennox Head beach, Sharpes and Shelly beaches in Ballina, Lighthouse Beach Ballina, Evans Head beach.
Mr Keough warned beachgoers to heed the signage or verbal advice by lifeguards and lifesavers on duty.
"We are asking people to take care for the next couple of days, especially today so we advise to seek other activities during this period,” he said.
BoM advised a deep, slow-moving low pressure system over the central Tasman Sea was directing persistent southerly winds along the New South Wales coast and generating the large swells.
Very heavy surf which may lead to localised damage and coastal erosion is likely from around midday in the north.
The worst effects are more likely on the more southerly-facing sections of the coast.
For any aquatic emergency dial 000 and ask for police.
For all updated beach conditions visit beachsafe.org.au.