Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 28th February)
Best Days: Monday: small, inconsistent south swell with light winds.
Recap: Small junky waves with poor conditions.
This weekend (Mar 1-2)
Not a great weekend for Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra surfers, with mainly small swells and moderate onshore winds Saturday that’ll become light throughout Sunday.
A small southerly swell moving up the coast later today will glance the region overnight and provide some early energy at south facing beaches on Saturday, mixed in with a small local E/SE windswell. But, mainly moderate E/SE winds will create very ordinary conditions.
Local winds will ease into Sunday as a trough across the North Coast weakens, relaxing the pressure gradient to the south. However for the most part we’re looking at a small local E’ly swell across the open beaches. Onshore winds will freshen again into the afternoon so aim for the morning for the best waves.
Slightly better conditions will be found along the South Coast this weekend (due to lighter wind strengths) but wave heights will probably be a little smaller here, so don’t get your hopes up for anything amazing.
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 1-5)
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 few days of the new week.
This mid-period energy 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 smaller surf at remaining beaches. Looks like conditions will be good too with light winds under a stable high pressure system. So, Monday is worth a sniff around at your favourite south-friendly beach.
Tuesday's easing south swell will be accompanied by light winds in the morning, that'll swing NE into the afternoon, so aim for an early session for the most size and the best conditions.
Beyond this, and the rest of the week will remain small across southern NSW thanks to a large blocking high in the Tasman Sea, and an absence of significant swell generating systems in either of our long range swell windows. A Tropical Cyclone is expected to form close to Fiji this evening, however it’s likely to track steadily to the south east and won’t generate any notable swell for the Australian East Coast.
Another Tropical Cyclone is expected to form in the Northern Coral Sea early next week, but it’ll remain well and truly out of our swell window. In fact even the SE Qld region probably won’t see any true ‘cyclone swell’ from this system, let alone Southern NSW.
The Tasman high will mainly deflect frontal systems from pushing up into our swell window next week, so we’ll see small residual energy from this neck of the woods. A small low passing south of Tasmania around Wednesday will kick up a small southerly swell for the following Friday (with a possible local windswell preceding this, on the Thursday) but nothing overly special is on target at this stage.
Long term (Mar 6 onwards)
Nothing standing out beyond next weekend at this stage. Tune in on Monday for more details.