Great waves most days
Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 11th June)
Best Days: Thurs: clean but easing SE swell. Fri: fun clean E/SE early, with a strong E/SE groundswell arriving after lunch. Sat: easing E/SE swell with offshore winds. Mon: strong, windy S’ly swell. Tues: easing S’ly swell with light offshores.
Recap: Peaky mix of SE swells on Tuesday with early offshores swinging onshore during the day. Similar round of peaky SE today with a new groundswell starting to fill in this afternoon. Early light offshore winds tending S’ly during the a’noon.
This week (June 10-13)
Looking like a good finish to the week. Today’s new SE groundswell will peak overnight and trend downwards through Thursday however conditions will be nice and clean with light variable winds. The dawn patrol may see some lingering sets between 3ft and maybe 5ft at exposed beaches (upper end of this more likely in the Hunter), however it’ll lose a foot or two by lunchtime. Light to moderate N’ly winds are expected in the afternoon but they shouldn’t be to strong.
Friday is still shaping up to be quite a dynamic surf day. The morning will see a mix of swells from the SE and E/SE; the former fading from Thursday but the latter being some new energy from a fresh fetch that developed within a broad trough off the West Coast of New Zealand yesterday.
In fact, this source has produced two seperate fetches that have generated two individual pulses that’ll arrive during the day. The initial E/SE energy will arrive overnight on Thursday and should be worthy of inconsistent 3ft sets at open beaches for Friday morning. However a stronger, long period E/SE swell will arrive around lunchtime, generated by the primary E’ly fetch which was picked up by the ASCAT satellite this morning displaying a healthy 40kts (see image below). In fact, this fetch is still strengthening and broadening, and should reach full maturity this afternoon. This swell is expected to show most prominently from about early afternoon onwards.
However, model guidance has slightly pulled back expectations for this system, mainly due to a minor downgrading of the strength of the fetch, its width and also its westerly trajectory. This may also affect the consistency of the swell (which was already expected to be somewhat inconsistent anyway). As such, I’m going to pull slightly back wave height expectations for this swell to 4-5ft+ across most open beaches, with an outside chance for a handful of 6ft bombs at exposed swell magnets in the few hours before dusk.
Winds are looking generally good for most of Friday, light to moderate NW tending N’ly during the day but probably without any major strength into the afternoon (maybe 10-15kts worst case scenario). Exposed southern ends and offshore reefs may pick up a few wobbles into the afternoon but northern corners and the Hunter region should remain generally clean for much of the day.
This weekend (June 14/15)
Friday’s strong E/SE swell will ease steadily throughout Saturday. Early morning should see occasional 3-5ft sets at most open beaches (again, upper end of this size range more likely in the Hunter), but by late morning it’ll probably be down into a less consistent 3ft range with slightly smaller surf by late afternoon. Conditions should be good with light variable winds tending W’ly during the morning and freshening into the afternoon.
The new low pressure system expected to develop off the South Coast this weekend has been pulled back in size, scope and also timing. We’re still looking at a large south swell however the peak is now expected to occur on Monday. There’s still a chance for a strong increase late Sunday afternoon out of the south, but based on the existing model guidance, the most likely trend for Sunday will be a small easing E/SE swell with strengthening W/SW winds.
Next week (June 16-20)
The weather system developing off the coast this weekend looks to be a fairly routine winter Tasman Low, which is likely to translate to a large windy south swell on Monday, easing steadily from Tuesday onwards with abating offshore winds. At its peak, set waves should reach 6ft at south facing beaches and current expectations are for fresh SW winds tending W'ly during the day and easing (expect much smaller surf away from exposed locations). Tuesday and even Wednesday should produce fun clean waves off the backside of this event with moderate W/SW winds keeping conditions clean at most beaches.
Looking further ahead and there’s nothing significant on the charts beyond the middle of next week at this stage, but I’ll take a closer look at this on Friday.