A strong end to the week, persisting through the weekend

Guy Dixon picture
Guy Dixon (Guy Dixon)

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Guy Dixon (issued Monday 4th July)

Best Days: Thursday, Friday morning and each morning of the weekend.


Saturday offered sets in the 3-4ft range along south facing beaches of the NSW coast with conditions remaining clean under a persistent offshore flow. Typically the Hunter offered a touch more size, but the swell has eased across all coasts since, fading to around 2ft on Sunday and further to around 1-2ft today. 

Similarly to Sunday, light seabreezes have taken the edge off wave quality following offshore breezes each morning.

This week (Tuesday 5th - Friday 8th):

Today’s small conditions will continue into Tuesday with very few prospects of fresh size. A period pulse generated by distant Southern Ocean fetches on the weekend should keep conditions from falling completely flat, but south facing beaches are only expected to offer occasional sets around 1ft.

Light northerly breezes should tend northwesterly throughout the day, allowing conditions to remain clean in the afternoon.

The situation is then looking to become very active with a deep cut-off low shifting offshore on Tuesday.

Southeasterly fetches along the southern quadrants of this low are aimed towards the far South Coast of NSW and into the Gippsland coast of Victoria on Wednesday, hindering southerly swell generation initially. These fetches should then tend southerly overnight and into Thursday morning, slingshotting up the coast with intensifications of up to 40kts. Local southerly fetches should tend more south/southwesterly and hug the coast on Thursday while easing slightly.

At this stage, Wednesday is not looking good for any fresh size in the afternoon, however the situation could be vastly different if the system was to be positioned a few hundred kilometres further east. 

Instead, we should see a fairly strong kick in size across south facing beaches into Thursday morning, with short range energy in the 3-5ft range. This initial energy should give way to better, stronger mid-range energy in the afternoon while building to around 4-6ft.

Friday should continue to see solid southeasterly energy generated by a healthy, slow moving southeasterly fetch which should remain established along the southern quadrants of this low until the end of the week.

Sets are expected to hold in the 5-6ft range throughout the day with the outside chance of a period pulse sneaking in before dark.

Gusty west/northwesterly breezes should tend west/southwesterly throughout Wednesday keeping conditions clean despite the lack of size. Thursday should see breezes persist from the southwest before tending southerly and eventually southeasterly on Friday.

This weekend (Saturday 9th - Sunday 10th):

Even though this southeasterly fetch will be breaking down by the weekend, the swell which it whipped up will continue to fill in throughout Saturday morning with strong sets in the 6ft+ range.

Meanwhile, long period underlying energy should fill in across south facing beaches generated by continued frontal activity over the Southern Ocean, but should be fairly insignificant in comparison.

Southeasterly energy will continue to fade on Sunday from around 5-6ft, although a late pulse may be on the cards generated by an intense fetch originating from Cook Strait. The timing of this swell front is looking late in the day and may fall under the cover of darkness, but at the very least, should maintain a good amount of surf into early next week.

Winds over the weekend may be dicey at times, with a light west/southwesterly breeze early on Saturday morning giving way to an east/southeasterly breeze fairly easily. Sunday holds good prospects with northwesterly breezes expected to hold out until mid-late morning.

Next week (Monday 11th onward):

Swell should gradually ease throughout Monday as the swell as the aforementioned Cook Straight fetch drifts north and loses alignment with the NSW coast. 

Plenty more energy is on the horizon however with a large and powerful front following in close pursuit providing another round of southerly energy mid-way throughout next week.


Anthony 01's picture
Anthony 01's picture
Anthony 01 Tuesday, 5 Jul 2016 at 11:17am

Hey Guy, have you downgraded the forecast swell for Thursday & Friday in your notes with 5-6ft? Thought it was 6-8ft and 8ft in arvo...