Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast (issued Friday 18th April)

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thermalben started the topic in Friday, 18 Apr 2014 at 2:46pm

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 18th April)

Best Days: Easter Sat/Sun: Large, strong E/SE groundswell with offshore winds. Late Easter Sat/Sun: strong S'ly groundswell. Mon: small leftovers with offshore winds. 

Recap: Easing SE swell to 3-4ft Thurs, with early off shores tending S’ly. Strong renewal of SE swell today in the 4-5ft range, some bigger 6ft sets reported about exposed locations. Offshore winds all day.

This weekend (Apr 20-21)

What a great run of swell we’ve had this week. And it ain’t over yet, with a very large E/SE swell due to arrive on our doorstep in the next twelve hours.

Without repeating the detailed notes of the last week surrounding the development of the responsible weather system (a merger between ex-TC Ita and last weekend’s Tasman Low), it’s worth noting that the ASCAT satellite returns - which confirm wind speeds at the ocean’s surface - on Thursday morning came back showing that the core fetch was a little stronger and broader than I had anticipated in previous notes.

What this means is that the stronger winds will have generated slightly larger waves with slightly higher swell periods than previously thought. This translates to a bigger swell at the East Coast with a slightly longer interval, and also a slightly earlier arrival time.

It now looks like the leading edge will push through southern NSW sometime in the early evening tonight, with the biggest waves expected around dawn on Saturday. Size wise, I’ve upgraded the peak of the swell by a couple of feet - we’re looking at a consistent 6-8ft at most open beaches, however various swell magnets and offshore reefs are likely to see 8-10ft surf. Couple this in with a gusty SW breeze and we’re looking at some truly epic waves for those surfers who know how to handle these kinds of conditions. Wave heights will ease by a couple of feet into the afternoon but it'll still be quite big.

It’s worth noting that there is a risk that winds will veer slightly S/SW during the day (related to the passage of a strong front through the lower Tasman) but this is more likely to affect the South Coast than the Wollongong/Sydney/Hunter regions. 

And one other point needs to be reiterated (again) - due to various local bathymetry/shoaling effects, not every location will pull in the upper end of the predicted size range. For example, during the large E/NE groundswell from TC Lusi, some regions in Southern NSW saw only half of the size compared to nearby regions. So just keep in mind that you may need to drive around to maximise the size potential (if you're not already familiar with breaks that prefer E/SE swells in the 15-16 second range).

As a side note - there'll also be a small level of SE swell in the water, generated by a reasonable fetch off the SW tip of New Zealand's South Island on Wednesday (related to the last stages of the former Tasman Low). However this energy will be well and truly overshadowed by the long range E/SE swell.

The good news for Sunday is that even though this east swell is expected to ease in size during the day, it’ll be replaced by a punchy southerly swell generated in the lee of Saturday’s frontal passage. In fact, we should start to see this south swell materialising throughout Saturday afternoon, and by late afternoon there’s likely to be a cross-swell in the 4-5ft range at south facing beaches (!).

The south swell will become the primary energy on Sunday, easing from 4-5ft+ early down to 3-4ft during the day, and it'll be a little smaller at remaining beaches which will see a combination of south and decaying east swell. Winds will swing to a light W/NW so conditions will remain smooth.

Next week (Apr 22 onwards)

Rapidly easing swells from both the east and south will pad out Monday morning, and from then onwards we’re looking at an extended period of quiet surf across the East Coast until next weekend.

Another strong front will traverse the waters well south of the Tasman Sea on Sunday, kicking up a small long period S’ly groundswell for Tuesday but at this stage it doesn’t seem that there’ll be much size in it (owing to a predominant W’ly storm track in the Southern Ocean).

Elsewhere, our swell windows are expected to remain on the quiet side for quite some time. So make the most of the Easter holiday swells as it could be back to the high volume fish from Tuesday onwards!

donweather's picture
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donweather commented Friday, 18 Apr 2014 at 7:31pm

Forerunners just hit Sydney with 17 sec period!!!

http://new.mhl.nsw.gov.au/data/realtime/wave/Station-sydney

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Friday, 18 Apr 2014 at 7:33pm

It was up around 20s before the graph picked it up, never seen that before here! Wow.

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barstardos1 commented Friday, 18 Apr 2014 at 8:39pm

Jeez I had fun today - but tomorrow is going to be something else!
As mentioned in another post, now 2 very distinct swells in the water, from 2 different fetches.
Somehow I don't think my local will be handling it for the monthly board riders scheduled for tomorrow!

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mick-free commented Friday, 18 Apr 2014 at 8:52pm

Under a full moon QC bombie is spitting reckon 8 foot. Haha I know everybody is excited but has anybody heard from Camel and WA......looked amazing today at Margies

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

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southey commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 1:08am

I believe its Camel and Smux turn tomoz . Far sth coast of WA was good ' Apparently ' ....

hhmmmm , the latest " http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDS65030.shtml "

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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thelostclimber commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 2:38pm

the tow ins plus a couple of paddlers at Narrabeen SLSC this moring were charging.
Everywhere else from Dee Why - Mona Vale was not handling at all. (well except Collaroy, but that was crowded beyond Snapper Rocks proportion)

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thermalben commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 2:59pm
Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 5:15pm

Did anyone actually get any good waves ?

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thelostclimber commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 5:47pm

its really backed off already. Fingers crossed for good banks tomorrow. My local is 1/2 the width now it was on Thursday. All that sand has to be doing something.

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stunet commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 5:55pm

Blowin wrote: Did anyone actually get any good waves ?

Sandon Point was absolutely bombing this morning. First hour or two of light was big, heavy and perfect. Halfway through the session I had a whole heap of worst case scenario land on my head. Very sore now.

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Blowin commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 6:35pm

Sore ? Hit the bottom ?
What board were you riding Stu ?

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Craig commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 6:43pm

Yeah, don't leave us hanging Stu!

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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 7:30pm

Well, Blowin, I scored fuckn epic, but not where you think..... I was the only guy in the water....

Sheepdog

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Blowin commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 7:35pm

Tell me more, Sheepdog, tell me more...

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stunet commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 7:39pm

Took a 6'4" out, which was the first of my bad decisions. Got a few nice ones from out the back just after first light but couldn't get near the mackers unless they sucked hard on the boil giving a chip shot entry. A 7'4" would've been more fitting. Spun late on one, maybe 8ft, but it totally dropped out from under me and I pulled back...but not early enough. Fortunately I wasn't in the lip but still got sucked down from behind and copped a proper stomping. Just couldn't get back up to the surface, then when I did the next wave mowed me, and the next wave etcetera etcetera through to the inside.

I've strained the muscles to the side of my stomach and around to my lower back.

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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 7:40pm

Blowin, I'll post some photo's in the tassie section soon.... I'm just gonna have a feed and check the footy... Fuckn glowin man :)

Sheepdog

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Blowin commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 7:58pm

Stu, 6'4" in 8' surf- you are keen.

Sheepy, looking forward to your photos. Still want to move back to the mainland ?

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syril500 commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 8:40pm

Definitely some 10 footers where I surfed today. The 6-8 footers were barreling from start to finish if you had the balls to sit inside and get them. The three of us out there were constantly paddling out and back in trying to avoid the mega bombs on the head.

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blindboy commented Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 at 8:34pm

Stu I had a wave perform some chiropractic manipulation on me the other day, let me recommend Voltaren Emulgel......and/or a double dose of Panadol Osteo.

thelostclimber's picture
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thelostclimber commented Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 at 7:31am

In front of Narrabeen SLSC. This is Matt Dunsmore - he paddled onto this one. Was way too big for me. Some 10ft bombs for sure (photo Isaac Burton).

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 at 7:49am

Looks like the same frame as John Clark's WOTD today!

thelostclimber's picture
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thelostclimber commented Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 at 8:40am

ben - its the same surfer, probably the same wave. There was no shortage of guys standing on shore with cameras or iphones.
Mat Dunsmore certainly put on a good show for us. He snapped 2 boards in the process. You can check his instagram account dunas95 to see the results of his session.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 at 8:42am

We've got a gallery (including a sequence of the WOTD) that'll go up later today. Looks like it was really good.. and super heavy too!