thermalben

Small intermittent south swell all of next week

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 16th May)

Best Days: Mon thru' Fri: Small, intermittent long period south swells right throughout the week.

Recap: Tiny waves and fantastic weather.

This weekend (May 17-18)

Not much surf expected this weekend, just some tiny residual lines from a building trade swell that’s aimed into the SE Qld region. Winds will be out of the north and the weather will be great but surfing is firmly off the agenda.

The only thing to keep an eye out for is a possible late arrival of small, long period south swell, generated by an intense low that’s expected to clip Tasmania on Saturday. Although poorly aligned for the East Coast (with a strong ‘zonal’, or west-east flow), it’s expected to be a very powerful system (winds of 50-60kts as it passes south of the region) and we’ll see some small lines push into the South Coast during Sunday afternoon

At this stage I’m not confident that we’ll see much size north of Wollongong (the leading edge isn't due until close to dusk) but it certainly can't be ruled out - so keep an eye on the Bondi surfcam (being a south swell magnet) after 2pm for a chance that it arrives ahead of schedule. In the event it does, exposed south swell magnets will offer the best waves under the light N’ly breeze; sets could approach the 2ft mark for the late session if we're super lucky. Keep your expectations low though.

Next week (May 19-23)

Two small south swells are expected to be in the water on Monday. The primary swell will be related to some highly refracted energy originating from the intense low passing just south of Tasmania on Saturday. It’s very hard to be confident on the likely size due to the poor orientation of this system, however its sheer size and strength overrides this factor (to a degree) and I think there’s a reasonable chance that south swell magnets in the Sydney region could see inconsistent 2ft+ sets, with larger waves in the Hunter (~3ft+).

A second source of south swell for Monday is already under production at this moment, much further to the south of Tasmania. As per the image to the right, a stationary polar low has formed right off the ice shelf today, and is generating a secondary south swell that’ll fill in behind the first one (current ETA in Sydney is Monday afternoon).

Again, confidence is not high on the likely size but it’s fair to assume something in the same ballpark as the primary swell (very inconsistent 2ft+ Sydney, bigger in the Hunter). Also, this swell will favour the South Coast better than the primary swell because the axis point around Saturday’s fetch - the one positioned just south of Tasmania - will heavily attenuate refraction into the NSW coast south of about Jervis Bay. 

Unfortunately, our wave model isn't resolving this swell very well right now so we'll have to keep an eye on the MHL buoys to tracks its arrival along the NSW coast.

Anyway, conditions are looking very good on Monday with light W/NW winds so it’ll be well worth sniffing out an exposed swell magnet for some fun waves. Just expect very long breaks between the sets.

These south swells should hold into Tuesday morning but will ease slowly during the day. Similarly favourable winds are expected ahead of a late shallow S’ly change on the South Coast, that's unlikely to affect the Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra regions to any great degree.

As for the rest of the week, more south swell is expected courtesy of another reasonably strong frontal progression south of Tasmania on Monday and Tuesday. Although not as strong as Saturday’s system, this fetch will be a little better aligned and we should see intermittent pulses of S’ly swell in the 2ft to maybe 3ft range in Sydney through Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with bigger sets in the Hunter. But there will once again be long breaks between sets.

Long term (May 19 onwards)

Nothing significant standing out in the long term forecast at this stage. A broad ridge of stubborn high pressure looks set to linger across the Tasman Sea for quite some time, so our near swell window will probably remain inactive for the forseeable future. This means we’ll be reliant on flukey long range sources of swell for the next few weeks. More on this in Monday’s update. 

Comments

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Friday, 16 May 2014 at 2:18pm

I'll take it. That's all I need for a certain shallow south facing reef in the bush to be fun. :)

welcomeguest's picture
welcomeguest's picture
welcomeguest commented Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 9:47am

dreamin'

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 10:14am

Ya think so?

In any case, that's one of three seperate sources of south swell next week.

welcomeguest's picture
welcomeguest's picture
welcomeguest commented Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 4:38pm
shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 5:54pm

Hey Welcomeguest did you just post a pic of a forecast that shows Sydney will be 0.5-1m on Monday & say that that does not correlate with Bens forecast of inconsistent 2ft+ for Sydney?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Sunday, 18 May 2014 at 12:52pm

I wonder if this is the leading edge of one of the new pulses of long range south swell?

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 18 May 2014 at 3:51pm

1 foot and it's a drop in. Fuck Ben, you should be selling real estate at Bondi with enticing photos like that.

Water looks nice I suppose. Good coffee close by.....pity about the packs of thuggish billionaires roaming the streets looking to rumble.

wellymon's picture
wellymon's picture
wellymon commented Sunday, 18 May 2014 at 4:08pm

Looks like Manly with the Norfolks, still good real estate, coffee and women.
Yep and a bingle :) Had a couple there, with fuck head bouncers from the Styne Hotel.

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

welcomeguest's picture
welcomeguest's picture
welcomeguest commented Sunday, 18 May 2014 at 4:20pm
thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 19 May 2014 at 9:47am

Not much happening in Sydney this morning but with two seperate swells on the radar for today I wouldn't write off swell prospects just yet. The Sydney buoy picked up some small long period (16-19 sec) S'ly swell energy around 6am but it's a faint signal.

That being said, Newcastle - the incredible south swell magnet that it is - is picking up clean 2-3ft sets from this swell (see below).

https://www.swellnet.com/surfcams/newcastle



oiley's picture
oiley's picture
oiley commented Monday, 19 May 2014 at 9:57am

hey ben - any truth to the charts which suggest a sizable swell may hit the south coast this weekend?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 19 May 2014 at 9:58am

I'll be looking at that later in the day, oiley (got another long forecasting day ahead with Craig on leave).

welcomeguest's picture
welcomeguest's picture
welcomeguest commented Monday, 19 May 2014 at 2:24pm

happy to take on the Sydney forecast if you need me

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 19 May 2014 at 3:21pm

I wouldn't write it off just yet WG. There some small waves at Bondi breaking every so often that are nudging the 2ft mark (see this one from a few minutes ago). And the Newcastle screenies above look positively tasty.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 19 May 2014 at 4:26pm

Fun 3ft sets in Newcastle now.


welcomeguest's picture
welcomeguest's picture
welcomeguest commented Monday, 19 May 2014 at 4:31pm
thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 19 May 2014 at 4:45pm

So photographic proof isn't enough these days? Sheesh.. tough crowd.

welcomeguest's picture
welcomeguest's picture
welcomeguest commented Monday, 19 May 2014 at 5:01pm

that's 1ft
screenies are so deceptive

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 19 May 2014 at 5:17pm

1ft in Newcastle? You're kidding. Those screenies from late today are pushing shoulder-head high. Anyway, the new forecast notes are up.. would love to hear your thoughts on the upcoming week. It's a fun one again.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Monday, 19 May 2014 at 6:01pm

Not just Newcastle Ben :)

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 19 May 2014 at 6:34pm

Noice. I reckon I know where that is too! One of me fave spots under these patterns.