Good southerly swell, with tricky winds
Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 17th November)
Best Days: Tues/Wed/Thurs: Good southerly swell but with tricky winds. Thurs may also have some fun NE windswell in the mix.
This week (Nov 18-22)
*Forecaster notes will be very brief this week as Craig’s away, which has increased my forecast workload. Sorry for any inconvenience*
We’ve seen some nice southerly lines across the region today with south facing beaches picking up 3ft+ sets, courtesy of the first front in an active storm track across the SE corner of the continent.
And the good news is that we’re expecting a slew of fronts to push through the southern Tasman Sea over the next few days, which will maintain varying degrees of south swell from Tuesday thru' Thursday morning. Surf size should pulse in and around the 3ft range each day (at south facing beaches, smaller elsewhere), with Wednesday possibly seeing a few bigger waves around 3-4ft. The Hunter should pick up another foot or possibly two on top of this.
Additionally, a moderate NE fetch associated with a persistent coastal trough will deliver very small levels of NE windswell right throughout the forecast period: nothing huge but perhaps a foot or two every so often (there’s no confidence in the timing of this energy, but Tuesday may see some small energy, and Thursday looks like seeing a stronger pulse with sets to 2ft+).
The only thing I’m worried about is the local airstream. This persistent troughy pattern will maintain light to moderate onshores across most regions, which is sometimes hard to dislodge by way of local land effects (as is common under stable high pressure scenarios). So, there is a chance for brief periods of variable winds for a few hours around dawn but in general we can expect funky winds to put a fly in the ointment for much of the week.
By Friday we’ll be back to small local sources of windswell - mainly from the north-east - with tricky winds. In fact this erratic wind pattern is likely all the way through into the weekend. I’ll see if there are any windows of opportunity to pin down in Wednesday’s update but for now it’s difficult to have confidence.
This weekend (Nov 23 onwards)
As mentioned above, the coastal trough’s influence on the local winds is making it hard to pin down specifics for the weekend forecast.
However, a little more more certain is the surf forecast - and it ain't good - there won’t be much in the way of groundswell.
A lack of major storm activity in the Tasman Sea later this week, in addition to an unfavourable Southern Ocean storm track, look set to pin our reliance on local windswell sources throughout much of the weekend. I’ll have more on this in Wednesday’s update.
The fly was definitely stuck in the ointment this arvo Ben. Funky doesn't do it justice!
Wasn't too shabby this morning though! Looked a treat.
No Ground swell over 5ft forget it.
I'll surf perfect 3-4ft waves while u wait for the swell to bump up to 5ft
Jeez, watching the surfcams this morning you'd think it were almost flat - there are very long waits for the sets and surf size has backed off since yesterday. But there are 2-3ft waves at south swell magnets if you have a lot of patience and don't mind the bumpy conditions (the early high tide seems to be swallowing up a lot of the energy - we should see an improvement from mid-morning onwards).
yesterday was pumping all day at my local on Northern beaches, there was even paparazzi.