Solid S'ly swell for the weekend

Guy Dixon picture
Guy Dixon (Guy Dixon)

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Guy Dixon (issued Friday 11th December)

Best Days: Sunday at south facing beaches, Monday morning and Tuesday morning.


A small mix of residual easterly swell and fresh southerly swell provided options in the 2ft range along the NSW coast yesterday, with conditions remaining peaky, clean and workable for most of the day under light winds.

The energy in the water has eased today, with most coasts only seeing options in the 1-2ft range. On the plus side, gusty, hot west/northwesterly breezes have groomed the surf beautifully, keeping conditions clean. The recent low tide also helped high light what little size there was.

This weekend (Saturday 12th - Sunday 13th):

A gusty southerly change is due to move up the coast this evening, providing a much needed kick in swell for the weekend.

The strong southerly change itself is expected to generate short period southerly swell building to the 3-4ft range at south facing beaches on Saturday, however winds are likely to limit the quality of the surf, prevailing from the south early, swinging through to the east by the afternoon, becoming gusty at times.

A second pulse of slightly longer period southerly swell generated by core fetches located further south will maintain surf in the 4ft range throughout Sunday morning, easing slowly throughout the afternoon.

The wind scenario for Sunday is by no means perfect, with a northeasterly breeze increasing throughout the day, however selected south facing beaches with protection from the north should offer some workable options. The morning session looks to have the lightest winds, so conditions should be at their cleanest then.

Next week (Monday 5th onward):

The northeasterly breeze which is due to increase throughout Sunday is part of a larger scale north/northeasterly fetch stretching along the length of the NSW coast. This fetch should continue to hug the coast on Monday and is likely to whip a short range northeasterly local swell which should provide peaky options in the 2ft range across the open beaches.

Again, early morning holds the best chance of a clean waves as winds will be at their lightest, prevailing from the north/northwest before increasing from the northeast in the afternoon.

Interestingly, this fetch will persist throughout Tuesday, strengthening marginally, allowing a short range northeasterly swell to build further to the 2-3ft range at open beaches.

The wind outlook for Tuesday is virtually identical to Monday, lightest in the morning under a north/northwesterly airflow, increasing from the northeast.

We often look forward to the southerly change moving through after a few days of northeasterly wind swells as they can provide a period of light/offshore breezes where the conditions will clean up and peaky options will turn on.

However, in this instance, it looks as though the timing of the change will come through during the overnight hours of Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Hopefully models will speed up or slow down so we can get a window of opportunity for a good surf.

Residual northeasterly swell should still be in the water on Wednesday, with options in the 2ft range under a southerly airflow. Open beaches look to offer the cleanest conditions, with a short range southerly windswell also building to a similar size.


thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 13 Dec 2015 at 6:46am

Still some solid waves at Sydney's south facing beaches this morning. This set's gotta be 3ft+. Not many of 'em though, it's dropping steadily.