Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast (issued Monday 3rd March)

thermalben's picture
thermalben started the topic in Monday, 3 Mar 2014 at 4:18pm

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 3rd March)

Best Days: No great days

Recap:  Peaky combo of easing south swell and short range east swell on Saturday, with early light offshore winds tending moderate onshore throughout the day (better than forecast due to the morning's unexpected light winds). Smaller surf Sunday with a similar wind regime.

Similarly small, peaky surf on offer this morning with early light winds, however the Sydney buoy has picked up some long range southerly energy (17.5 seconds) throughout the day, which originated from a powerful Southern Ocean low that delivered very large waves to the southern Australian coastline on Sunday (stay tuned for images of 20ft+ Pedra Branca, off the South Coast of Tasmania). However no great size has been observed across Sydney beaches as this swell is really just glancing the region.

This week (Mar 2-5)

Today’s long range southerly groundswell wasn’t expected to produce much in the way of quality surf, and with an overall easing trend expected on Tuesday, we can anticipate another day of small peaky waves.

But, there is a chance that despite the leading edge being detected at the Sydney buoy around 11am, the ‘surfable’ part of the swell may still yet to arrive across the coast (i.e. this evening), and if wave heights push above expectations overnight, we’d have to adjust our size predictions accordingly. However in any case I think it’s unlikely that there’ll be much more than a couple of feet at south facing beaches tomorrow - they'll be your best chance for a small wave. Early light winds and NE sea breezes will occupy the southern NSW coastline for much of the day.

Wednesday looks pretty uninteresting with only small residual swells on offer across the open beaches. Winds will pick up from the NE during the day so the morning will have the cleanest conditions with a light variable flow.

On Thursday a weak trough is modelled to push along the southern NSW coast, bringing a shallow southerly change (but without any new swell). However Wednesday afternoon’s nor’easter may generate a small peaky windswell for exposed beaches. At this stage we’re unlikely to see much more than a foot or two tops, but I’ll revise this estimate on Wednesday.

Friday has a few interesting possibilities. A strong S’ly fetch off the SW tip of New Zealand’s North Island is poorly aimed for the Australian East Coast, however we may see some small sideband SE energy push through overnight on Thursday, providing small peaky waves for Friday morning at exposed beaches.

At this stage the small fetch length, unfavourable alignment and only moderate wind strengths doesn’t suggest much more than a foot or two but again - I’ll revise this outlook in Wednesday’s notes with the availability of satellite data.

This weekend (Mar 6-7) 

The weekend looks pretty poor for surf prospects at this stage, due to a lack of significant swell generating systems in our primary swell windows later this week.

The only glimmer of hope is that Thursday’s trough - which is expected to stall in the Sydney/Wollongong region - may strengthen an easterly infeed along its southern flank. Right now the models seem to keep this system due east of about Bass Strait (and without any notable strength either), meaning most parts of Southern NSW probably won’t see any swell apart from the Far South Coast. However it’s worth re-evaluating the latest data in this neck of the woods on Wednesday as there’s always potentials for it to be repositioned further north.

Otherwise, the weekend will mainly consist of small residual swell and light winds tending onshore. Not very inspiring.

Long term (Mar 6 onwards)

Nothing standing out of any interest for next week (pending the trough developments off the South Coast, as mentioned above). The trades look like they’ll kick into gear next week so we’ll see a small percentage of that filter into southern NSW but on the whole there are no major swells to look forward to at this stage.

Ray Collins's picture
Ray Collins's picture
Ray Collins commented Tuesday, 4 Mar 2014 at 11:27am
stinky_wes's picture
stinky_wes's picture
stinky_wes commented Tuesday, 4 Mar 2014 at 2:40pm

Plenty of fun options at south facing spots north of Sydney with this current pulse. 4ft sets late yesterday and perfect glassy 3-4ft all morning. Thanks Huey!

Wes Jones

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 4 Mar 2014 at 2:41pm

Unreal stinky... was only 1-2ft in Sydney this morning! The Newy south swell magnet must be in full effect.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 4 Mar 2014 at 7:56pm

Some overhead sets in nice conditions on the northern beaches this arvo before dropping off as the tide bottomed out.

batfink_and_karate's picture
batfink_and_karate's picture
batfink_and_karate commented Tuesday, 4 Mar 2014 at 9:21pm

Ben, I need you, I need you now.

Going to a south coast village, just surfing, a few mates, drinking, and probably watching the footy.

Now I know the charts aren't particularly favourable, but I'm begging ya, conjure up a little swell for us, Midday friday to midday sunday is the time I need.

Do it for the gipper!

mick-free's picture
mick-free's picture
mick-free commented Wednesday, 5 Mar 2014 at 6:42am

agree with blindboy, Curly was super fun last night, the occasional wedge if you were in the zone, hope there is some left over this morning.


shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Wednesday, 5 Mar 2014 at 10:29am

Good point B&K, Ben can you guys forecast some good south swell. Make it a four day 6-8 foot all time one. Cheers.