Leftovers for breakfast this weekend
Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Guy Dixon (issued Friday 8th January)
Best Days: Saturday morning, then south facing beaches for the afternoon session. Sunday morning for left overs.
Thursday morning started off nicely, with a southeasterly swell providing 5-6ft sets across the Sydney and Illawarra stretch, slightly larger across the Hunter. Southwesterly breezes helped clean things up, but as the afternoon progressed, the better, smaller options were found at the protected south ends of the open beaches.
The real pick of the bunch came this morning, and what a morning it was! It's been absolutely pumping across the coast today, with offshore breezes grooming the lineup perfectly. Open beaches woke to velvetty 4-5ft+ sets, with exposed south facing beaches offering solid 6ft+ bombs.
This weekend (Saturday 9th - Sunday 10th):
Residual energy from today's southeasterly swell should still be in the mix for the early session on Saturday, with around 3-4ft breaking across south facing beaches, fading fairly steadily.
The southern swell window then becomes the main focus as we see the effects of a frontal progression which moved over the Southern Ocean over the past few days.
A broad fetch of 35-45kt west/southwesterly winds in the wake of a frontal progression moved to the south and east of Tasmania overnight, the effects of which are due to move up the NSW coast in the form of a long period groundswell on Saturday. South facing beaches are expected to build throughout the day to a peak of around 4-5ft by the late afternoon, larger across the Hunter.
The early session will be the best bet for scoring a clean wave, with light/variable-offshore winds on the forecast. A northeasterly seabreeze is likely to develop in the afternoon, which will then limit options to south facing beaches which offer good protection from the north. This works well, as selected spots should be offering solid long period groundswell once the quality deteriorates elsewhere.
Winds look to be light and variable for your Sunday morning paddle, although we will be relying on residual southerly groundswell from the 3-4ft range, fading throughout the day. Open beaches should be picking up a small amount of easterly energy generated by Tropical Cyclone Ula, however inconsistent and undersized with occasional sets in the 2-3ft range. This swell has been hanging in the backgound over the past few days, but barely discernable due to the more dominant swells.
Again, hit it early as an east/northeasterly seabreeze looks to spoil the fun by the afternoon.
Next week (Monday 11th onward):
Moving into next week, a fresh southerly groundswell is on the cards for Monday morning, however the system responsible is much smaller than the one preceding it. Conversely, core fetches look to be stronger, albeit a touch too late in the swell window. All these factors taken into consideration, south facing beaches can expect 2-3ft sets in the morning, larger across the Hunter.
Meanwhile, a local northerly fetch developing close to the coast late on Sunday, persisting for around 24 hours. This system is expected to provide a small northeasterly windswell to around 2ft by the afternoon, although lacking quality due to the gusty north/northeasterly winds accompanying it.
This short range swell is expected to fade from the 2ft+ range throughout Tuesday, with hints of long range easterly energy from TC Ula and residual southerly groundswell being the only other significant swell source in the water.
On the bright side however, breezes look to tend northwesterly by this stage, allowing what little surf left over to be clean and nicely groomed.
Wednesday is looking pretty dormant with inconsistent energy in the 2-3ft range off Ula, before long range indiactions show a fresh southerly groundswell for Thursday.
More details next week.