Small mix of swells, small window of light winds each morning

Guy Dixon picture
Guy Dixon (Guy Dixon)

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Guy Dixon (issued Wednesday 2rd March)

Best Days: Saturday and Sunday morning.


The first day of Autumn wasn’t such a bad day, with light offshore breezes only giving way to a weak seabreeze by mid-late morning. A 2-3ft southerly swell faded slowly throughout the day, before a second pulse filled in throughout the afternoon. Today, south facing beaches offered options in the 2ft+ range off the back of the second pulse, although soon becoming bumpy due to an early northeasterly seabreeze.

This week (Thursday 3rd - Friday 4th):

As the weekend draws near, we can expect small options off a mix of multiple insignificant swell sources.

The first and most significant of these swells looks to peak on Thursday morning across south facing beaches, with a small pulse generated by poorly aligned fetches trailing a broad front earlier in the week. The magnets should see sets in the 2ft range early, fading thereafter.

The remaining swell sources can largely be put down to various fetches steered by a blocking ridge which is situated over the Tasman.

A weak east/southeasterly fetch has been blowing over eastern parts of the Tasman Sea over the past few days, just north and west of New Zealand’s North Island. The energy generated by these fairly benign breezes are expected to fill in later this afternoon and into Thursday morning, providing lacklustre peaks in the 1-2ft range.

More locally, a north/northeasterly fetch which has been increasing today should remain established and hug the coast, although not overly intense.

This fetch looks to be at its broadest and strongest this afternoon and throughout this evening, leading to a peak on Thursday with peaks in the 2ft range.

It looks as though this northerly component airflow will be with us for a while, with little to no indications of a southerly change in the next week or so.

As a result, open beaches can expect a steady stream of low quality, short range windswell ebbing and pulsing between 1-2ft each day thereafter, although impacted by the accompanying north/northeasterly local breezes.

The next most significant pulse is due on Friday afternoon as a result of east/southeasterly fetches circulating the backside of a low which developed within a strong frontal progression south of New Zealand earlier in the week.

South facing beaches should see sets beginning to show by the late afternoon, although still undersized.

Similarly to today, there is the potential for a small window of opportunity early under light northwesterly breezes, but expect it to be short lived with a northeasterly breeze becoming established soon after.

This weekend (Saturday 5th - Sunday 6th):

Saturday morning has much better prospects of a decent wave with Friday afternoon's groundswell increasing further with sets in the 2ft to occasionally 3ft range across south facing beaches.

Due to the long range nature of this swell source, be prepared for some lengthy waits between sets.

Easterly trade-swell also looks to build throughout Saturday afternoon whipped up by a small eastern fetch which pushes towards the NSW coast briefly from behind the swell shadow of New Zealand.

Open beaches should pick up around 2ft off this particular fetch, easing slowly throughout Sunday.

Due to a slight weakening of the broader north/northeasterly airflow, each morning of the weekend has a slightly better chance of early offshore breezes, while also holding for slightly long, especially Sunday.

Next week (Monday 7th onward):

Further ahead, small amounts of trade energy generated by broader easterly fetches north of New Zealand will accompany the aforementioned northeasterly windswell across the open beaches. In terms, of size, keep your expectations limited as we should only see inconsistent options in the 2ft range.

Meanwhile, frontal activity has the potential to add a small amount of background energy into the mix for south swell magnets, but again, undersized.


thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 3 Mar 2016 at 11:28am

Still a few clean 2ft sets at Bondi.