Small, small, small for the next week

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 25th June)

Best Days: No great days. Late Sun for a small new south swell at south facing beaches if you're desperate.

Recap: Small residual swells both days with generally light winds Thursday tending NW today and becoming fresh around lunchtime.

This weekend (July 26-27)

No major changes for the weekend: and it's not looking good for NSW surfers. Small residual energy will continue to be the dominant theme on Saturday, being a tiny influence of NE windswell and some distant, infrequent southerly swell. Offshore winds are expected for much of the day, NW in the morning trending SW around lunchtime (in the south) before extending northwards during the afternoon.

This SW change will be linked in with the passage of a broad trough across the region, and subsequently a modest S/SW fetch will develop off the South Coast in the early hours of Sunday morning, right within our immediate south swell window. This should kick up a small south swell for mid-late Sunday afternoon, but I don’t think we’ll see much more than a slow 2ft+ set at exposed south facing beaches, and probably only north of about Jervis Bay, due to the fetch's position right off the South Coast. Wave heights will remain tiny to flat elsewhere, but winds should be light offshore for the most part.

Next week (July 28 - Aug 1)

We’re in the midst of an extended flat spell, thanks to the presence of an amplifying long wave trough west of the country. This is expected to track slowly eastwards next week, but our south swell window will remain generally devoid of activity so we’re likely to see very small conditions through the first half of next week.

However it’s worth pointing out that the storm track below the continent during this time is expected to be quite significant, in fact we’re currently looking one of the biggest swells of the year for the SA/Vic/Tas coasts (next Wed/Thurs/Fri). Unfortunately the storm track is too north in latitude and will largely be positioned unfavourably for any significant East Coast action. There’s a chance that the sheer strength of these storms could override the directional problems, in fact we’d only need a minor adjustment in the alignment of the storm track to drastically change the surf forecast for next week. But right now the odds are stacked against us.

Still, that doesn’t rule out the prospects of small, but very long period (20sec) energy rounding the Tasmanian corner into our neck of the woods around Thurs/Fri - so south facing beaches are certainly on track for a some small, straight lines of groundswell during the second half of the week - I’m just not confident on the likely size range. I’ll take a closer look at the specifics on Monday.

In any case it seems that the Long Wave Trough will finally pass into our swell window around Friday, so we’re likely to see a more prominent increase in short range energy to fininsh the working week (although the weekend is a safer bet for this new south swell).

Longer term (Aug 2 onwards)

As mentioned above, the Long Wave Trough is expected to finally push into a favourable part of our swell window later next week, so the following weekend is on target for a solid round of south swell from several sources (including an associated, broad polar fetch developing during the middle of the week). Let’s take another pass at the data on Monday.


drewdrewdrew's picture
drewdrewdrew's picture
drewdrewdrew Friday, 25 Jul 2014 at 4:33pm

Ben, do you think the hunter will see more size Sunday mid-late afternoon than the northern beaches?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 25 Jul 2014 at 5:06pm

Nah, I'm not feeling particularly positive about the Sunday swell - looks to be a pretty weak event at this stage. The typical synoptic setup leading to 'bigger waves in the Hunter" is normally a Southern Ocean front pushing under Tasmania.. I wouldn't get your hopes up about this at all.

mitchvg's picture
mitchvg's picture
mitchvg Saturday, 26 Jul 2014 at 1:51pm

Praying for ACCESS G and the Cape Fear comp...

Bigdog10's picture
Bigdog10's picture
Bigdog10 Sunday, 27 Jul 2014 at 7:55am

Hey Ben
Mate we have a surf trip planned for seal rocks on the weekend of August 1st with a couple of the boys coming from interstate
Do you reckon there will be some swell

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 27 Jul 2014 at 8:30am

Absolutely, in fact it's very likely to be too big for south facing spots over the weekend (6ft+) so you'll have to sniff around for somewhere holding the size. 

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 27 Jul 2014 at 9:25am

Coupla small lines out of the south starting to show at Bondi. Will be interesting to see if we see much more than this by COB.

the-roller's picture
the-roller's picture
the-roller Sunday, 27 Jul 2014 at 11:14am

whistle you're waiting for swell, Jim Goad on the radio. Yew!