A lacklustre period of waves ahead

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 9th November)

Best Days: No great days. Tues/Wed should see some E/NE and NE swell but it'l be accompanied by NE winds. Next weekend has some potential for E/NE groundswell but that's more than a week away!

Recap: Thursday delivered fresh southerly winds and strong southerly swells, up to 4-5ft at south swell magnets but smaller elsewhere because of the swell direction. Early morning provided a window of favourable SW winds and clean conditions. This morning saw wave heights ease back to around 3ft at south facing beaches, ahead of a further drop in size throughout the day. Winds were light offshore in the morning but have since swung to a moderate sea breeze. 

This weekend (Nov 10 - 11)

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

It’s not looking very good for weekend surfers. 

Since Monday I’ve been flagging an outside chance for a few peripheral systems to provide potential swells for the weekend.

Now that we’re nearing kick off time, I’m sad to say that the synoptics have not swung in our favour.

Additionally, a small east swell mentioned for next week - whose timeline was sped up between Monday’s and Wednesday’s forecast - has since been scaled back to Monday’s initial estimates in both size and timing. Which means, the chance for a small building trend out of the E/NE on Sunday afternoon has disappeared. 

Light winds and sea breezes are expected both days, with Sunday probably seeing a little more oomph in the afternoon wind than Saturday. 

As for surf, both days will see small weak residual swells across the swell magnets, so don’t get your hopes up for anything worthwhile. Small NE windswells are possible Saturday morning (from this afternoon's freshening breeze), but it’ll ease during the day and vanish completely by Sunday. 

The only opportunity worth keeping an eye out for is a small glancing pulse of S/SE swell from a polar low positioned south of New Zealand a few days ago, that may briefly light up south swell magnets with 1-2ft waves on Saturday afternoon, before clearing through Sunday. I’ll be surprised if it amounts to much though, as it’s not showing in the swell models very well. 

Next week (Nov 12 onwards)

A trough pushing south from the tropics and a stubborn Tasman High will build a ridge through the central Tasman Sea over the weekend, building small E/NE swells through the first half of the week, eventually reaching 2-3ft by Tuesday and Wednesday before easing through the second part of the week.

Aside from Monday morning, the first three days of the working week will concurrently experience freshening NE winds that are expected to generate similar levels of NE windswell. So, there’ll be small waves across the coast but quality won’t be very high under the nor’easter.

Looking further to the north, and the deepening trough is expected to spawn a possible tropical cyclone by mid-week (between Vanuatu and Fiji) though the models are keeping this system just outside of our swell window for now. There is still some potential worth monitoring though.

However, broad secondary trough is expected to form further south, just off the northern tip of New Zealand and this is expected to become a good source of E/NE groundswell from Friday thru into the weekend. It’s still early days, but 3-4ft+ sets are possible from this event next weekend.

Locally, a trough will move up the Southern NSW coast around Thursday and there’s a chance for a local S/SE swell at this time too.

More on all of this in Monday’s update. Have a great weekend!


Dayne's picture
Dayne's picture
Dayne commented Friday, 9 Nov 2018 at 7:24pm


mredhill's picture
mredhill's picture
mredhill commented Saturday, 10 Nov 2018 at 9:39am

Even the grovelers are starting to gather dust. :(


cheyne0808's picture
cheyne0808's picture
cheyne0808 commented Saturday, 10 Nov 2018 at 4:51pm

whats happening with the Wollongong surf cam? any timeline on getting it back up and running?

web-cams-save-me-petrol's picture
web-cams-save-me-petrol's picture
web-cams-save-m... commented Monday, 12 Nov 2018 at 2:57pm

and Thirroul as well.


billie's picture
billie's picture
billie commented Sunday, 11 Nov 2018 at 8:03am

I'll take onshore and 3 foot!! You bayoodi!


shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Monday, 12 Nov 2018 at 6:45am

Surf has gone flat at rd4 for the girls in the Port Stephens QS. One more day of the waiting period to go after today, and CT spots are on the line