Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 12th February)
Best Days: No great days, really. Sat morning looks the best right now with a peaky NE windswell in the water.
Recap: Tiny waves over the last few days with generally average to poor conditions.
This week (Feb 13-14)
Nothing of any interest expected for the remainder of the working week. Tiny waves will pad out Thursday morning, the only possible source of new swell is a small front that tracked through the lower Tasman Sea on Tuesday. It was poorly aimed for the East Coast and wasn’t very strong either, so at most we’ll see a foot or so of weak sideband energy glancing the coast, probably in the afternoon. But it’s really not worth getting too excited about.
Friday will see a small building NE windswell, thanks to a developing fetch off the coast as a high strengthens in the Tasman Sea and a trough approaches from the west. Model guidance has this fetch strengthening throughout the day so the biggest waves will likely occur in the afternoon (maybe some 2ft+ sets at NE facing beaches). In any case it’ll be weak, low period stuff and will be accompanied by freshening NE winds.
This weekend (Feb 15-16)
Still some divergence between the models on the weekend’s outlook but they are starting to come into line a little. We’re looking at a small low forming off the South Coast on Saturday afternoon as the trough pushes offshore, but winds will remain N’ly in Sydney for much of the day ahead of a return southerly flow on Sunday.
Surf wise, we should see a generally low quality, short range NE swell in the 2-3ft range at open NE facing beaches for most of Saturday, and with some luck winds will veer more to the NW as the low starts to spin up.
Sunday should see small levels of easing NE windswell, and a building short range southerly swell as a reasonable fetch winds up off the South Coast around the low. Unfortunately it appears that this fetch will reach a peak late in the day, so the likely peak in swell size will probably occur overnight - but there should be plenty of surf around for the late session (maybe a choppy 3-4ft at south facing beaches if we’re lucky).
Next week (Feb 17 onwards)
The computer models have the same broad synoptic pattern for the Tasman Sea early next week, but with vastly different scales and strengths. However, there’s a reasonably good case for a solid but easing south swell to be in the water early Monday morning, with moderating SW tending S/SE winds.
From Tuesday onwards, there’s simply too much divergence in the models to have any confidence on the specifics however it’s likely that we’ll see easing swell energy into the middle of the week. More on this in Friday’s update.