South swell, north winds
Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 3rd October)
Best Days: Saturday: large, easing S'ly swell with (briefly) NW tending N'ly then NE winds. Sunday: moderate, easing S'ly swell with NW winds and sea breezes.
Recap: Fun leftover south swell on Thursday (3-4ft, bigger in the Hunter) with early offshores and afternoon sea breezes. Slightly smaller this morning but building slowly during the day with early light offshores now moderate onshore. No sign of the expected large swell in Sydney yet however wave buoys in the south of the state have picked it up, and Victoria delivered some impressive surf today from the same source (which qualifies the model data to date).
This weekend (Oct 4-5)
So, the south swell is on the way. The Eden buoy is looking rather strong at the moment (and more recently Batemans Bay), so we should start to see an upwards trend across the Sydney region during the early evening.
At this stage there’s no evidence to warrant upgrading or downgrading Saturday's projected surf size, so I'm going to stick with the same predictions I've had all week. However winds are now looking a little less favourable for the morning session with a reduced chance of a morning nor’wester.
I think we’ll still see it for a few hours around dawn but the current E’ly regime is likely to swing NE overnight, and then only briefly NW in the morning - which may not be enough to iron out the lumps and bumps. And winds will probably swing to the north by mid-morning and then north-east so you’ll need to find a location that can (1) handle the size, and (2) cope with the northerly airstream.
Size wise, most open Sydney beaches should manage 3-5ft surf but it’ll be a lot bigger at exposed south facing beaches, somewhere between 6ft and very occasionally 8ft in the early morning. The Hunter region will cope with this northerly airstream a little better than Sydney and the South Coast, and we could see set waves pushing upwards of 8ft to almost 10ft at times at exposed swell magnets. An easing trend is however expected into the afternoon.
Sunday looks like the pick of the weekend at this stage, with a fun sized leftover south swell in the morning and a general NW airstream across the coast (which will probably swing NE into the afternoon). South facing beaches in Sydney should manage somewhere in the 4ft range early (but only 2-3ft at remaining open beaches, and inconsistent) however the Hunter should again see some bigger bombs. Expect smaller surf into the afternoon with the accompanying sea breeze.
Next week (Oct 6-10)
Monday will see a further continuation of easing south swell and early light winds tending moderate to fresh NE in the afternoon - exclusively favouring south facing beaches. Don't expect much size (inconsistent 2ft+ bombs) but there should be a few small peelers at swell magnets for the early session.
A couple of quick fronts skirting the lower Tasman Sea on Sunday and early Monday should produce some small new southerly energy for the first half of next week. Nothing sizeable is expected - just a weak foot or two at south facing beaches from late Monday thru' Tuesday.
Strengthening N’ly winds overnight Monday are also likely to whip up an average NE windswell for Tuesday; but beyond that it looks like another strong frontal passage is expected from Tuesday through Wednesday and Thursday, which should kick up a couple of days of medium sized south swell for south facing beaches from Wednesday thru’ Friday. At this stage winds and weather for this period are looking pretty typical of this time of year, early light offshores with moderate to fresh nor'easters in the afternoon.
Long term (Oct 11 onwards)
Another frontal passage similar to what we’ve seen in the last few weeks (and are expecting next week) is lining up for next weekend. So, a continuation of the same mixed pattern seems in store for the coming weeks. More on this in Monday’s notes.