Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 7th April)
Best Days: Tues/Wed: Good SE swell with mainly light variable winds. Thurs: small but generally clean.
Recap: Small building S’ly swell all weekend with mainly S’ly winds, although W/SW winds were reported in some areas early mornings, mainly north of Sydney Harbour.
This week (Apr 9-11)
We’ve got one notable swell event in the forecast window this week and you should try your best to make the most of it, as the remainder of the period looks somewhat uninspiring.
The low responsible for the weekend’s swell has retreated into the central Tasman Sea, but it began winding up again overnight and is generating a new round of good quality SE groundswell that’ll fill in on Tuesday morning ahead of a peak in the afternoon.
Surf size won’t be especially large, but we should see good set waves approaching the 3-5ft range at exposed beaches (I think we'll see a shade more size than our automated forecast graphs are indicating).
Surf size may be slightly smaller south of about the Illawarra region, due to the position of the low and its unfavourable alignment towards the South Coast. But we should still see some fun waves here regardless.
Local conditions should be pretty good. The pressure gradient is weakening across the coastal margin, and by tomorrow morning should be quite relaxed so winds should fall under the influence of the local topography (which means light offshores in most areas). This will swing variable from mid-late morning onwards, and probably some form of light to moderate NE in the afternoon, but without much strength.
Surf size will trend downwards through Wednesday with similarly light variable winds in most regions. Wave heights are then expected to level out into Thursday and Friday in the 2ft range, courtesy of a broad trough of low pressure - albeit weak in strength - across the central and southern Tasman Sea. This is expected to maintain a moderate E’ly fetch aimed into southern NSW which will restrict the surf from becoming completely flat.
Winds on Thursday look like they’ll be generally light and variable however we’ll probably see a freshening N/NE on Friday as a broad, slow moving trough approaches from the west. I’ll revise this outlook in more detail on Wednesday.
This weekend (Apr 12-13)
No major surf expected this weekend. In general, all of our primary swell windows are expected remain inactive through the end of this week, however there is one area on the charts to keep an eye on and that’s a broad trough across inland NSW.
Right now the models are quite divergent in their outlooks - and seem to focus most of the trough's swell potential well south of Bass Strait (courtesy of an indeed E’ly aistream around the bottom of the trough).
However there is a very real chance that we could see the models slide this up into the southern Tasman Sea over future runs, which would give us a chance at a solid (albeit wet and windy) round of SE swell in southern NSW sometime this weekend or early next week. Let’s see how Wednesday’s models pan out.