Fun southerly pulse Sunday; building NE swells later next week
Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 20th April)
Best Days: Fun pulse of S'ly swell Sunday. NE swells building later next week from about Thurs onwards, possibly becoming large Fri/Sat/Sun.
Recap: Thursday started of a little undersized, as the leading edge of the new S’ly groundswell had yet to arrive; sets were in the 3-4ft range however as the swell front pushed through around 9am we saw a jump into the 4-6ft range at south facing beaches. Winds were light all day so conditions were clean. Today we’ve seen a rapid drop in size with south facing beaches down to about 3ft, and early light W’ly winds are now around to a moderate S’ly.
This weekend (Mar 21st - 22nd)
Only small surf is expected on Saturday, residual energy from today around an inconsistent 2ft at south facing beaches (smaller elsewhere, though bigger across the Hunter) however conditions should be clean with mainly light variable winds. Size will ease during the day
Sunday will see an inconsistent new southerly swell push up the coast generated by a polar low at the tail end of the South Ocean progression responsible for this weekend’s persistent southerly swells.
Only south facing beaches will pick up any appreciable size and there’ll be long breaks between the sets, but we should see somewhere around the 3ft mark, possibly 3-4ft at reliable south swell magnets such as the Hunter coast. Again, expect smaller surf at beaches not facing south.
Next week (Mat 23rd onwards)
So, since last Monday I’ve been discussing the possibility of an ‘unstable troughy pattern across the eastern Tasman Sea next week’, which could lead to a ‘sizeable’, ‘short range E’ly through NE swell’.
And the good news if that the models are slowly locking into this event, though there’s still plenty of divergence between 'em, so confidence isn’t high as to where this system will be focused - and that is a crucial ingredient, as it’ll determine where the biggest and best waves are, and where the most favourable conditions will be found.
Right now, the first half of the week looks relatively benign with small pulses of south swells from transient Southern Ocean fronts (including a small, inconsistent S/SE groundswell on Tuesday from a brief polar low adjacent the ice shelf south of New Zealand today). Winds will be light and variable each day so there’ll be fun waves at beaches exposed to the south. It won't be worth rearranging your diary for though.
From Wednesday onwards, the outlook is less clear though an upwards trend is very likely, probably from the NE as the trough across the Eastern Tasman Sea takes shape and forms a broad fetch stretching into the South Pacific.
The most likely scenario is for building swells from the NE tending E’ly from either late Wednesday or early Thursday through Friday ahead of a peak in size on the weekend. However, the European solution actually deepens the low more quickly, forming a Tasman Low off the Southern NSW coast by Thursday, which would create an earlier peak in NE swell and then generate a large secondary short range S’ly tending SE swell from Friday through the weekend.
It’s way too early for any confidence on size and timing, but the short story is that the end of next week and next weekend is looking very dynamic, and likely very large.
Have a great weekend, see you Monday!