Small, uninteresting surf ahead for Southern NSW; Mon and Tues look good though

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 26th October)

Best DaysMon: early window of peaky NE swell and SW winds. Late pulse in new S'ly swell too. Tues: solid S'ly swell. 

Recap: Well, Tuesday was pretty incredible, hey? Very large S/SE swell persisted across Sydney beaches with easy 6-8ft sets at exposed spots, and bigger waves through the Hunter, with light offshore winds keeping conditions clean. Size has eased dramatically overnight but early morning still managed 3-4ft sets across Sydney’s south facing beaches ahead of a slow drop into the afternoon (though its still looking pretty good). Early light offshore winds are now onshore with the sea breeze.

Bondi still showing good lines this afternoon, and a stack of seaweed

This week (Oct 27th - 28th)

The second half of this week looks pretty lacklustre. There’s no new swell on the way for most of Thursday, so we’ll see a brief period of early NW winds across the Sydney and Hunter coasts ahead of a shallow S’ly change pushing up the Southern NSW coast in the morning (it will have already reached the South Coast by dawn).

The only surfable energy will be leftover south swell from today that’ll probably holding 1ft to maybe 1-2ft across Sydney’s south facing beaches, and a little bigger across the Hunter but it’ll be very slow and inconsistent. Other beaches will be tiny to flat.

The afternoon should see a small increase in short range windswell across south facing beaches, unlikely to be much more than a late kick to 2ft at best and quality will be hard to find.

A small south swell generated by the trailing fetch will then provide average waves for Friday morning. The models have 2ft+ sets which seems reasonable however it won’t have a lot strength and only south facing beaches will pick up any notable energy. 

Early light variable winds - probably some form of easterly, though select regions such as the Northern Beaches may see a brief westerly - will swing E/NE and freshen throughout the day. Surf size will also ease back throughout the afternoon.

This weekend (Oct 29th - 30th)

Nothing great is expected this weekend. 

Saturday is shaping up to be pretty small, with Friday’s south swell easing rapidly and no other sources of new swell expected to contribute any energy for the Saturday morning session.

Freshening NE winds may generate a small windswell into the afternoon but quality will be low. 

On Sunday, these NE winds will swing more N/NE and reach strong to gale force during the day, building NE windswells to 2-3ft through the afternoon at north facing beaches, possibly some 3ft+ sets at reliable swell magnets right on dark. 

However, the accompanying winds will render most beaches very choppy and protected northern corners will be much smaller. I’ll fine tune the specifics in Friday’s update.

Next week (Oct 31st onwards)

A fresh SW change is expected Monday morning thanks to the passage of a vigorous, winteresque frontal system, and we should see an early window of fun peaky NE swell (leftover from Sunday’s blow) around 3ft+ before it eases rapidly during the day. Surf size will be smaller across the Hunter but we may see a few slightly bigger waves across the South Coast.

South-west gales behind Monday’s change will build a fresh south swell for very late Monday, peaking early Tuesday with sets around 3-4ft+ at south facing beaches, bigger across the Hunter. Winds should be light offshore for Tuesday's surf as the front clears east into the Tasman Sea, which is promising for some good waves.

Looking further ahead and more fronts are expected to push through the lower Tasman Sea through the middle of the week which suggests Thursday and Friday will see a renewal of strong southerly swells across the coast. 

More on this in Friday’s update!


thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 26 Oct 2016 at 6:10pm

Plenty of crew getting stuck into the tail end of this swell at Bondi this afternoon.