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

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thermalben started the topic in Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 at 4:49pm

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

Best Days: Monday: small clean long range southerly swell at exposed beaches.

Recap:  Bit of a mixed bag over the last few days. Moderate but still very inconsistent southerly swell energy kept south facing beaches flush with swell on Tuesday, before falling away overnight. Late Tuesday a small NE windswell built across the coast and it’s holding steady at NE facing beaches today. However winds are now freshening from the NE so conditions are deteriorating at these locations.

This week (Feb 27-28)

Nothing of interest for the rest of the week. Swell wise we’re looking at small peaky residual energy from the south and northeast (1-2ft open beaches), however the main limiting factor will be local winds as a southerly change pushes along the southern NSW coast early Thursday morning. They’ll blow out conditions at exposed beaches however you may find a small clean peaky wave inside southern corners if you’re desperate.

On Friday, a ridge will build along the coast and this will swing the wind direction around to the south-east, then east. This ridge is also likely to prevent any possibility of an early morning offshore wind, and without any new swell trailing the change, we’re looking at another day of small bumpy beach breaks.

The only item to keep a watch out for is a new pulse of long period south swell late Friday afternoon (more likely along the South Coast than in Sydney), generated by a strong front tracking south of Tasmania today and into the lower Tasman Sea. Late 2-3ft sets are possible at exposed south swell magnets but I wouldn’t get your hopes up for anything worthwhile.

This weekend (Mar 1-2)

No great surf is expected this weekend. Friday’s late pulse of south swell will fade slowly through Saturday; other than that there’ll be a small weak signal of short range east swell in the water (from Friday’s onshores). The ridge will slowly ease over the weekend, however winds will be mainly onshore on Saturday (E’ly in Sydney, NE on the South Coast) before trending light and variable on Sunday ahead of an afternoon sea breeze. 

On the whole, expect small peaky beach breaks with mixed conditions. Keep your expectations very low and you might do OK.

Late Sunday will be worth keeping an eye out for a possible early arrival of very long period south swell (18-19 seconds) generated by an intense Southern Ocean low - in fact, the remnants of ex-TC Guito which formed near Madagascar late last week. This swell will have been generated an extremely large distance from the mainland so set waves will be very inconsistent, in fact the bulk swell energy will be trailing quite some distance behind so Monday is a much better chance of seeing this swell in the water.

Next week (Mar 1 onwards) 

The remnants of ex-TC Guito are expected to power through the Southern Ocean later this week, kicking up a fantastic long period SW groundswell for much of the southern states. Unfortunately the direction and alignment of the primary storm track won’t be favourable for southern NSW however a later incarnation of this system - through later Saturday and Sunday, well south of Tasmania - will be slightly better focussed, which should add some mid-period energy into the mix for the first half of next week. 

This swell will probably arrive around the same time as the long period energy starts to peak (throughout the middle of the day Monday) ahead of an easing trend into Tuesday. There won’t be a great deal of size on offer but very inconsistent 2-3ft sets at south facing beaches are a possibility, with tiny surf at remaining beaches. Looks like conditions will be good too with light winds under a stable high pressure system.

Looking beyond this and there’s still nothing of interest standing out in the long term. We’ve got a hive of tropical activity expected in the South Pacific - and also now the Coral Sea - but right now, none of it is expected to be of any great use to southern NSW due to a poor atmospheric setup (despite the fact that both system look like being rather intense cyclones). Check back on Friday to see if the tide has swung in our favour.

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evosurfer commented Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 at 5:15pm

I need some real waves.PLEASE

IF im not surfing im racing