Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast (issued Wednesday 26th March)

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thermalben started the topic in Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 3:48pm

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 26th March)

Best Days: Sat: peaky NE swell with early W/SW winds. Sun: Small mix of S'ly and NE swell with early light winds. 

Recap: Light winds between the Hunter and Wollongong regions on Tuesday, along with a strong but easing E’ly swell. Smaller surf today with generally light winds tending NE and freshening.

This week (Mar 27-28 onwards)

Not a lot to get excited about for the rest of the working week. We’ll see a building E/NE swell from a broad trade flow across the Northern Tasman Sea that’s somewhat bent in direction thanks to an inland trough of low pressure across the eastern states. 

Unfortunately winds will also be from this direction (more NE in general Thursday, tending N'ly during Friday) so conditions will generally be average at most beaches. I still think our model guidance is slightly undercalling wave heights from this source, so by later Thursday and into Friday we should see 2-3ft sets at exposed NE swell magnets, with smaller surf elsewhere.

We’ll also see a small signal of long range S’ly groundswell later Thursday and into Friday but it won’t have much size and will hardly be worth working around. In general keep your expectations low. 

This weekend (Mar 29-30)

Saturday’s still looking OK for us. A small low is expected to form off the South Coast overnight Friday, and will drive a fresh southerly change about most areas during the day. However, most of the morning - especially north of Wollongong - should see an early W/SW outflow around the low, creating clean conditions. With the E/NE swell (and some NE windswell) reaching a peak in the 2-3ft range it’ll be well worth an early surf.

This low won’t be particularly strong, but should still kick up a small southerly short range event during the day, exclusive to south swell magnets. This should provide peaky 2ft to almost 3ft waves late on Saturday afternoon (albeit blown out with the southerly breeze) that’ll improve on Sunday as local winds ease under a relaxing pressure gradient as the low draws away from the coast. Surf size will fade during the day from both sources though, so expect only small waves.

So in short - aim for an early surf Saturday before the southerly kicks in, ahead of a potentially all day bag of peaky mixed swells from the NE and S/SE on Sunday, with generally light variable winds ahead of a sea breeze.

Next week (Mar 31 onwards)

Nothing particularly noteworthy standing out in the long term forecast at this stage, with the main swell contributor to the region being a steady trade flow south of New Caledonia that’ll provide small residual energy to most southern NSW coasts throughout much of next week.

The weekend’s low off the South Coast has some interesting progs for early next week at this stage, although I’m not particularly confident of any notable surf. In short, we may see a broad trough occupy the central Tasman Sea, with a return S/SE flow developing on Monday that could maintain a secondary swell train from the SE into the middle of the week. However no great size is likely right now. Check back on Friday for more details around this.