Southerly swells for days

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Friday 18th February)

Best Days: South magnets over the coming mornings


Great waves yesterday morning with clean easing 3-4ft of S/SE and S'ly swells with a morning offshore and weak sea breezes.

This morning we had fun clean 3ft sets continuing across south facing beaches while waiting for a new large long-period S'ly groundswell to hit.

The swell hit Eden early this morning, but only just now have the buoys around Sydney picked up any energy, with a spike in peak period to 19.85s just registered at Botany Bay (MHL Sydney buoy has also just spiked).

There's no real size attached to it as of yet and we may only see the surf becoming bigger towards dark today (currently 3-4ft). Any late kick in size along with the low tide and straight nature of the swell isn't going to be great, and I'd be keeping your expectations low.

Today’s Forecaster Notes are brought to you by Rip Curl

This weekend and next week (May 19 – 25)

These notes will be brief as Ben’s away today.

This afternoon's building long-period S'ly groundswell is due to peak overnight and under the cover of darkness, with a drop in size through tomorrow from 3-4ft expected across south magnets in Sydney, with larger sets at dawn in the Hunter, smaller on the South Coast.

Some small short-range S'ly swell should also be in the mix and a morning W/SW breeze is due to give into a shallow S/SE change through the day.

Into Sunday a new S'ly pulse to 3ft is expected, generated by a fairly zonal but strong front passing under Tassie and onwards to New Zealand today.

Winds should be good for the morning surf with a W'ly offshore, giving into another shallow S/SE change through the afternoon.

We've got some better sized S'ly groundswell energy due from Monday onwards as the storm track takes a more south-west to north-east track and we'll see the first of a series of strong cold fronts pushing past Tassie and into the Tasman Sea.

The first is due to move through Saturday evening and Sunday morning, projecting a fetch of SW gales through our southern swell window and producing a good 3-4ft of S'ly groundswell for Monday morning (larger in the Hunter).

A secondary front aiming a fetch of strong to gale-force SW winds out of Bass Strait and up along the southern NSW coast Sunday evening and Monday morning will produce a new short-range S'ly swell for the afternoon that may provide some larger sets, though peaking Tuesday morning to 4-5ft.

Winds will swing from a fresh morning W/SW breeze Monday, to the S/SW as the front pushes up past us, with W-W/NW winds Tuesday morning and weak afternoon sea breezes.

Moving into the rest of the week the models diverge slightly but we're expected to see a broad and elongated polar front projecting a fetch of SW gales from below Tasmania up through the Tasman Sea, producing a larger S'ly groundswell for Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning to a size that is too early to call.

This may then be followed by a much more vigorous low producing storm-force winds and even larger long-period swell Friday, but more on this in Monday's update. Have a great weekend!


deckstrus's picture
deckstrus's picture
deckstrus commented Friday, 18 May 2018 at 3:19pm

Can see some longer period lines pushing thru Kiama and surrounds. Maybe the odd 3-4ft but very very inconsistent

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Friday, 18 May 2018 at 4:46pm

swell was muscling up this afternoon but still fairly clean even with some wind by the time i left they all seemed to be closeouts. long waits beween sets.
bloody cold in the spring suit, but the steamer yesterday had me overheating.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 18 May 2018 at 7:09pm

Checked a few spots late afternoon and nothing really significant. Paddled out at Curly and was an inconsistent 2-3ft with 4ft bombs, but long-lined and spaced groundswell.

One solo 6ft wave cleaned everyone out 45mins before dark and then towards and on dark there were pulsey 4-5ft sets. Probably peaking right now after dark..

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Sunday, 20 May 2018 at 8:06am

Stunning clean lines at Avoca this AM.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Sunday, 20 May 2018 at 6:00pm

Scott Donaldson has left Lord Howe for the next leg of his journey to NZ
Nowhere to rest up from now on.....
Ben what size swells do you think he would be up against ?
Fuck me looking at the Wams its monstrous out there in open ocean.

Distracted's picture
Distracted's picture
Distracted commented Sunday, 20 May 2018 at 8:28pm

Local winds might be the issue rather than swell size?