Small and average for the short term; next week looks great

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 24th June)

Best Days: Mon onwards: series of strong south swells with good winds. 

Recap: Easing S’ly swell Tuesday and into today with light winds out of the northern quadrant. Exposed NE facing beaches also picked up a small NE windswell this morning from a moderate flow that developed off the coast yesterday (no real size to it however).

This week (June 25 - 26)

Nothing great expected to round off the working week. Thursday is looking at another day of small residual energy, and a fresh southerly change is due to push along the coast, probably reaching Sydney by about lunchtime. We may see a late increase in low quality southerly windswell in the wake of the change, but the only locations picking up any size will be bumpy due to the accompanying southerly wind.

Friday looks pretty average, as the fetch trailing the southerly change isn’t expected to be very large nor very strong so we’re not looking at much size (2-3ft south facing beaches early, smaller elsewhere, easing during the day). A lingering fresh southerly flow across the coast will gradually weaken throughout the day, and we may see pockets of early light SW winds across several locations but on the whole don’t expect a great deal of action.

As a side note, Wednesday’s forecast mentioned the outside possibility of a small east swell on Friday. We didn’t get a favourable ASCAT (satellite) pass over that part of the ocean expected to responsible for any possible energy, so my confidence is still very low that we’ll see an appreciable kick in new E’ly swell. I certainly wouldn’t rule it out altogether but there’s nothing to warrant too much attention, especially given the overarching southerly wind regime. 

This weekend (June 27 - 28)

Nothing major expected this weekend. Friday’s small, easing swell will ease through Saturday leaving us with tiny waves at exposed south facing beaches. Conditions will be nice and clean under a light westerly wind. 

On Sunday, we may start to see some small, but very inconsistent long period south swell originating from an incredible storm track below the continent over the coming days. No major size is expected however in the absence of any other swell - which there won’t be any - exposed south facing beaches may pick up a few stray 1.5ft waves. The Hunter region often performs quite well under these swells so it’s possible that we may see some occasional 2ft+ sets here. However I’d rate this as a pretty outside chance for now. 

As for Sunday’s winds, a shallow southerly change is expected to advance along the southern NSW coast during the afternoon but I don’t think it’ll impact the Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra regions to any meaningful degree. So expect light winds to accompany this tiny south swell. 

Next week (June 29 onwards)

The incredible storm track below the continent this week will finally enter our southern swell window late Saturday, with a vigorous front pushing south-east of Tasmania that should generate a healthy new southerly swell for Monday (not especially big, but well defined). 

A series of strong follow up front/low combos behind this will then maintain strong, albeit small to moderate sized south swell for the rest of the week, spaced a couple of days apart. And the good news is that with the storm belt remaining generally south of Tasmania, local winds should be favourable.

At this stage the broad trend looks like Monday’s south swell should provide 3-4ft waves at south facing beaches, easing a little into Tuesday before back up into a similar size range on Wednesday. Another small dip is expected through Thursday before a possible bigger south swell (than Mon/Wed) arrives on Friday. And, as per usual; the Hunter always does very well from these patterns so you can add a couple of feet on Sydney’s estimates. However, beaches not open to the south will be much smaller. 

Let’s check back Friday to see how we’re tracking.