S'ly swell this weekend; new S/SE swell late Monday; then a NE swell Wed

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 12th June)

Best DaysSat/Sun: fun pulsey S’ly swells with light winds. Late Mon/Tues: new pulse of S/SE swell, with generally light winds Mon. Late Wed: peaky NE swell with a late NW wind change.

Recap: Thursday came in much below forecast expectations, for reasons I’ve been unable to research properly (due to being on the road all of this week, with limited forecasting time). Conditions were clean in some areas but others picked up a fresh S/SW flow. Today saw smaller 2-3ft waves at south facing beaches and clean conditions under a light offshore breeze.

*sorry for the late forecast - today’s forecast notes will be short because of my travelling. Regular programming will resume next week*

This weekend (June 13 - 14)

Despite Thursday’s disappointing size outcome, I’m not too perturbed by the results and as such have no changes to make for the weekend forecast.

Another strong front in the current progression (positioned below Tasmania Thursday) has generated a new pulse that’ll push across the region Saturday morning. Although the leading edge is due to arrive around dawn, we may not see a peak in size until mid-late morning. Sydney’s south facing beaches should reach 3ft+ and the Hunter coast is likely to push 4-5ft at times. Clean conditions are expected everywhere with light variable winds thanks to a slow eastward tracking high pressure system. Surf size will be smaller at beaches not open to the south.

Surf size is expected to slowly ease throughout Sunday but we should see another great day conditions-wise with light variable winds persisting about the coast. Expect 2-3ft sets at south facing beaches in Sydney early morning (smaller later) but still around 4ft across the Hunter ahead of the easing trend.

Next week (June 15 onwards)

Monday morning is looking at a further small drop in size out of the south, with inconsistent 2ft+ waves at south facing beaches (bigger in the Hunter) and light variable winds keeping conditions nice and clean again. 

A new pulse of long-period S/SE swell originating from an intense polar low forming well south of New Zealand this afternoon is still on track, however model guidance has marginally eased surface wind strengths. This has slightly pulled back size estimates and also the arrival time of the new swell - the leading edge is now not due into the Sydney region until early/mid afternoon (with a peak in size expected overnight). As such, my confidence has decreased a little on this swell event as there is a risk that the best waves may occur under the cover of darkness. 

That being said, locations well south of Sydney will see this new swell arrive earlier (from late morning onwards) and I think the late session in all regions up to Newcastle should produce some good waves in the 3-4ft range at their respective south facing beaches (maybe a few bigger sets at reliabvle swell magnets).

Monday’s winds are looking good for the most part however we are expecting freshening NE winds to develop through Tuesday and these may start to encroach the coastal margin late Monday as a new trough develops across the eastern seaboard. So, there’s also a risk that Monday afternoon’s conditions may end up being compromised. I’ll add in more information to the comments section below over the weekend as the latest data becomes available.

Monday’s late new swell should hold into Tuesday morning but will ease steadily throughout the day. A more dominating feature on Tuesday will be freshening NE winds across the coast as the coastal trough continues to develop. At this stage I don’t think we’ll see any appreciable NE windswell until Wednesday, however the trough is expected to push offshore during the day and this will be the best time to maximise the swell potential - late afternoon is currently forecast to see the most size (3-4ft+ NE facing beaches, bigger up to 4-5ft+ on the South Coast) with early N/NE winds swinging NW at some point during the day. So it’s well worth flagging Wednesday afternoon for a paddle.

Beyond this there is some wild speculation about how this trough may redevelop off the coast, however with considerable divergence across the models we’ll have to wait and see how the output pans out next week. Right now there’s a chance for a significant SE groundswell event later next week or during the weekend but it’s too far away to consider seriously at this point in time.

‘Till then, have a great weekend.


thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Monday, 15 Jun 2015 at 12:37pm

Looks like the new swell has arrived a few hours early. Looking good on the MHL buoy and on the Bondi surfcam.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Monday, 15 Jun 2015 at 12:44pm