Average weekend ahead, brief window of NE swell Monday then return S'ly swells to follow

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 28th October)

Best Days: Mon: very brief early window of peaky NE swell and SW winds. Late pulse in new S'ly swell too. Tues: easing S'ly swell with light winds. 

Recap: Thursday didn’t offer much for surfers, with an early southerly change slowly building a short range windswell across the coast throughout the day. Today saw a little more south swell than forecast, with set waves around the 3ft mark and early light variable winds maintaining clean conditions ahead of a weak afternoon sea breeze.

This weekend (Oct 29th - 30th)

I’m still not expecting any great surf this weekend. 

Today’s south swell - whilst bigger than expected - will ease rapidly into Saturday, leaving south facing beaches with small, weak 1-2ft waves at best early morning, becoming smaller into the afternoon. Early light variable winds may already be onshore to begin with and they’re expected to freshen from the E/NE then NE as the day wears on. We’ll see a small windswell into the afternoon but nothing of any great quality.

Sunday will see these NE winds strengthen as a broadening Tasman high pressure system ridges up against a strong cold front advancing from the west. 

Winds will become quite strong after lunch, and this should kick up 3-4ft of NE swell by the middle to latter part of the afternoon (at north facing beaches) but with winds still out of the northern quadrant it’ll be hard to find anything clean. Try sheltered northern ends for the best waves but keep your expectations low. 

Next week (Oct 31st onwards)

Sunday’s approaching cold front is expected to track a little faster across our region than previously modeled, and this has squeezed the potential window of good waves on Monday morning. It now looks like the front will shut of the NE swell supply to Southern NSW overnight on Sunday (instead of early Monday morning), and this is crucial as it means we are likely to see a steady downwards trend kick in before dawn.

As such, first light Monday will be your best chance for a rideable wave from this fetch. There’s an outside chance for early 2-3ft sets at NE swell magnets but I fear we’ll see smaller surf develop very quickly. Conditions will however be nice and clean with overnight westerly winds developing from about midnight onwards, so fingers crossed there’s just enough energy at first light to warrant some effort.

Either way, we’ll see a steady downwards trend throughout the day. 

Strong to gale force SW winds in the wake of the front will kick up a punchy south swell for Monday afternoon that should manage 2-3ft+ sets at south facing beaches, and bigger bombs across the Hunter. Conditions should be clean with mainly moderate W/SW winds and weak sea breezes. 

Monday’s south swell will then ease steadily throughout Tuesday with similarly light winds and sea breezes.

A stronger front is then expected to enter the lower Tasman Sea Wednesday morning, producing bigger southerly swells for Wednesday afternoon that should push the 3-4ft+ mark across Sydney beaches, and bigger across the Hunter. Winds look like they may swing briefly southerly during the morning but I’ll evaluate this in more detail on Monday.

Otherwise, there are no other major systems standing out in the long range. Have a great weekend and we’ll catch up Monday with the latest for the long term period.


geoffrey's picture
geoffrey's picture
geoffrey Saturday, 29 Oct 2016 at 9:45pm

Was definitely punching above forecast early afternoon in Illawarra

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 30 Oct 2016 at 7:34am

What direction - S or NE?

geoffrey's picture
geoffrey's picture
geoffrey Sunday, 30 Oct 2016 at 5:57pm

there was some south swell in the water, but most of it was ne swell I think. I surfed the same beach again today and it was a fraction bigger again. How we looking for the morning? As per forecast?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 30 Oct 2016 at 7:35am

Plenty of NE swell already present across the Northern Beaches this morning.

Even Shark Island is picking up a few peaks.

Chuckles's picture
Chuckles's picture
Chuckles Sunday, 30 Oct 2016 at 3:56pm

Any update on the size of the forecast tomorrow morning? Anychance for that 2-3ft early?