Plenty of fun waves ahead

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 17th April)

Best Days: Most days: building E/NE swell Thurs onwards, biggest Sat/Sun, easing slowly Mon onwards. A small S'ly swell may glance south swell magnets over the weekend too.

Recap: Tuesday was very small but today has seen a small uptick in new E/NE swell with occasional 2ft sets across the open beaches. Winds were light and variable this morning; we’ve now got sea breezes in across the coast.

This week (April 18 - 19)

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Light winds and sea breezes are expected across most coasts north from Wollongong over the next two days.

South from Wollongong, moderate northerlies are likely early Thursday ahead of a shallow S’ly change that’ll clip the Far South Coast late in the day, generally hanging south of the Illawarra overnight before dissipating into Friday.

As for surf, we're looking at a slow upwards trend out of the E/NE from our developing trade flow in the northern Tasman Sea, reaching 2-3ft+ by late Friday though a little inconsistent at times. A small S’ly swell may develop in the lee of Thursday’s change (on Friday) but I’d be surprised if there was much in it.

This weekend (April 20 - 21)

Saturday looks to be the pick of the weekend.

Not because of bigger or better surf - both days should see 3-4ft of fun E/NE swell from the broad ridge across the northern Tasman Sea - but because freshening NE winds are possible through Sunday lunchtime and afternoon. 

But, we’re splitting hairs. Saturday’s looking at light winds and afternoon sea breezes - also from the NE - and Sunday should see a window of morning clean conditions under a similarly light variable pattern.

Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning may also see a small S’ly groundswell generated by the parent low to Thursday’s shallow S’ly change, positioned well to the SE of Tasmania later Thursday and Friday (see below). However models have it rotating too fast out of our south swell window for any major size generation, so I don’t think we’ll see much more than a few stray 2ft sets across south swell magnets. 

However, the low is expected be quite strong (albeit momentarily) so I’ll keep an eye on this in Friday’s update. An upgrade is possible though it will still likely be a glancing event for swell magnets at best.

Next week (April 22 onwards)

A southerly change is expected Monday thought the associated synoptics further south don’t look great, so no major swell is expected in its wake, apart from a brief southerly windswell.

The ridge will remain active across the northern Tasman Sea, but it’ll be much narrower in width and weaker in strength so we’ll see smaller surf across Southern NSW next week, easing from an inconsistent 2-3ft to 2ft from Monday morning thru’ Wednesday. 

There’s nothing major showing on the forecast charts for the Tasman Sea next week, though there’s plenty of peripheral activity in the Southern Ocean, Coral Sea and South Pacific that should keep our swell windows active with small surf as a minimum through the rest of the week.


black-duck's picture
black-duck's picture
black-duck commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 10:22pm

if i may suggest dropping the adjectives from the forecasts. "Fun" waves suggests a bunch of things that may not be the case. Getting a bit wet for mine, prefer when the language is dry.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 5:44am

It's gonna be fun.

bocirl's picture
bocirl's picture
bocirl commented Friday, 19 Apr 2019 at 5:31am

Fun police!

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 3:50pm

did someone say "fun"?

fun, two three four....

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 4:17pm

The southerly change reached Kiama at 3pm (gusting 21kts right now) but winds are still N'ly at Port Kembla and Bellambi. It's arrived a little faster than expected and may clip Sydney this evening though  winds should become light into Friday. 

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 19 Apr 2019 at 5:51am

The S'ly change ended up taking 1 hour 50 mins to travel the ~35km from Kiama to Bellambi (arrived at 4:50pm).

I suppose that's about right with peak hour traffic.

Then into North Head at around 8:30pm (~60km); another 3hr 40 min.

Everywhere is back under 5kts this AM though, except our good friend Wattamolla.

joesydney's picture
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joesydney commented Friday, 19 Apr 2019 at 3:38pm

Looks the models have downgraded swell for saturday and sunday, down from 1.6 to 1.4m?