Small workable surf short-term, building next week

Guy Dixon picture
Guy Dixon (Guy Dixon)

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Guy Dixon (issued Friday 23rd October)

Best Days: Saturday morning, Sunday at south swell magnets, Monday morning


Fun glassy leftovers to 2ft+ from the east-northeast yesterday morning with light variable winds before a strengthening southerly wind pushed up the coast, along with a building southerly windswell.

This morning the swell was coming more out of the south-southeast with 4-5ft sets across south facing breaks, but poor conditions with a fresh southerly wind. Protected spots were better, but conditions have improved across all locations this afternoon with easing southerly winds and fun peaky options across the coast.

This weekend (Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th):

Today's short-range southerly swell will fade throughout this evening. As we wake on Saturday morning, a southeasterly swell generated by trailing fetches off the back side of this yesterday’s low will provide 3ft peaks across south facing beaches, larger across the Hunter.

As the day progresses the southeasterly component of this swell will fade, however a smaller southerly groundswell generated by a weak front which crossed the Tasman overnight will fill in, slowing the easing trend.

The early session is still on track for light west/northwesterly breezes right along the coast leading to clean conditions, gradually swinging around to the north by mid-late morning and eventually increasing from the northeast by early afternoon.

This southerly swell is expected to have faded to the 2ft range by Sunday morning, easing gradually throughout the midday hours. A second southerly groundswell is looking to fill in late afternoon however providing fresh energy back up to the 2ft range at south facing beaches.

The northerly airflow which is likely to increase on Saturday afternoon will persist throughout the night and throughout Sunday adding an element of short range northeasterly windswell into the mix. The quality isn’t likely to be anything special, but open beaches have the potential to see wind affected peaks in the 1-2ft range.

South facing beaches will be the pick up the bunch for much of the day offering the cleanest and biggest options.

Next week (Monday 26th – Friday 30th):

The aforementioned southerly groundswell arriving late on Sunday will peak on Monday morning, providing 2-3ft peaks at south facing beaches, larger on the Hunter with options in the 3-4ft range.

Make the most of Monday morning’s northwesterly breezes, as the outlook is pretty grim from here on in.

A gusty southerly change is looking to move through in the afternoon heavily limiting options to protected southern corners.

Tuesday will see the surf increase steadily from the junky 2-3ft range as a short range southeasterly swell builds in the wake of Monday’s change. A stronger southerly groundswell is also set build late in the day generated by more substantial southwesterly fetches associated with this frontal progression moving over the southern Tasman on Sunday evening.

By afternoon, south facing beaches should be picking up sets in the 4ft range, bigger across the Hunter.

Unfortunately there won’t be any decent opportunities for a wave as a fresh southeasterly breeze dominates all coasts. It’ll be near impossible to find shelter with only choppy surf on offer.

The synoptic set up for later in the week is looking particularly variable. Models are extremely divergent and pinning down the most likely scenario at this stage is virtually impossible. Some models indicate a low developing off the coast on Thursday which would lead to an intensifying easterly fetch, however plenty of trust worthy models disagree. Infact, EC, the same model which first picked the delay of this week’s change doesn’t want a bar of it, so there is a fair chance that it may not happen.

I’ll go as far as to saying we are likely to see a building trend late in the week under a poor wind pattern.

More detail next week.


thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Saturday, 24 Oct 2015 at 6:45am

Coupla solid sets across the Bondi stretch this AM.

alexsmith1's picture
alexsmith1's picture
alexsmith1 Saturday, 24 Oct 2015 at 8:07pm

That swell was nice n punchy let hope tomorrow delivers