Lotsa swell out of the south

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 12th July)

Best Days: Sun/Mon/Tues: large out of the south, windy Sun/Mon though mainly offshore so it'll be generally clean. Light offshores Tues onwards. Wed: moderate, easing swells with moderate offshore winds. 

Recap: Easing swells maintained occasional 2ft sets at exposed beaches Thursday morning, easing slowly during the day and bottoming out this morning with tiny surf at most locations, though a few stray 1-2ft waves were observed across the Hunter. Conditions have been clean with offshore winds.  

Small leftovers in Newy this morning

This weekend (July 13 - 14)

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

A vigorous front will cross the SE corner of the country on Saturday, swinging fresh to strong NW winds around to the SW. However, most of the day will remain tiny.

There have been no weather systems within our swell window over the last few days, and the front is not expected to round the Tasmanian corner until early Saturday morning, so it’s touch and go whether we’ll see an appreciable increase before dark - the South Coast will better positioned for this (i.e. closer to the source) but it’ll be mid-afternoon at the earliest. Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra coasts are more likely to see a building trend overnight.

Sunday is shaping up to be reasonably good if your local enjoys strong south swells and moderate to fresh W’ly winds. We’ve got an extended period of strong S’ly swell ahead, but this first pulse will be short lived - likely to reach 4-6ft at south facing beaches for a few hours during the day, but it’ll fall back to 3-4ft into the afternoon. The steep southerly direction will maintain much smaller surf elsewhere too - with tiny surf at sheltered southern corners - but everywhere should be clean and it’ll be sunny (though cold with the wind chill).

Next week (July 15 onwards)

The models have shunted the next frontal sequence a little further to the west. As such, even though it’ll be much stronger, the primary fetch will be bisected by Tasmania (see chart below) and this has slightly tempered surf height and duration estimates. 

Fortunately, yet more low/front combos will develop in our south swell window around the same time (one below Tasmania, another off the ice shelf) which will prolong activity from this quadrant.

Monday is looking at a peak in size somewhere between 6ft and maybe 6-8ft at south facing beaches. Though, this will also be a brief peak - it won't retain maximum surf size for very long. Early W’ly winds will swing fresh SW during the day and then ease late afternoon. 

Light offshores are expected Tuesday, freshening from the W/NW on Wednesday as another frontal progression approaches form the west, and we’ll see surf size generally ease from 4-6ft to 3-5ft at south facing beaches between Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon. 

Of course, surf size will be much smaller at beaches with less southerly exposure, however reliable south swell magnets such as the Hunter could pick up another foot (or maybe two) both Tuesday and Wednesday.

More strong fronts passing across Tasmanian longitudes from Wednesday thru’ Friday will be very zonal in alignment (west-east) and this will keep a lid on surf size throughout Southern NSW. Most beaches will ease back to very small wave heights during this period - Thursday morning probably seeing some small leftovers from the mid-week activity - but otherwise down to 1-1.5ft to finish the week. However, south swell magnets (mainly the Hunter) should pick up intermittent 2-3ft pulses if we’re lucky. Offshore winds will keep conditions clean throughout. 

Have a great weekend!


dannyz's picture
dannyz's picture
dannyz commented Friday, 12 Jul 2019 at 11:39pm

yewww been a great winter so far!

miiiichael's picture
miiiichael's picture
miiiichael commented Sunday, 14 Jul 2019 at 4:30pm

hows the swell tracking for the next few days? any major updates?

Pookot's picture
Pookot's picture
Pookot commented Monday, 15 Jul 2019 at 8:52am

This swell hasn’t really come through like we thought

Luke Morris

tommy123's picture
tommy123's picture
tommy123 commented Monday, 15 Jul 2019 at 9:20am

Looks small on surfcams lucky I’m at work ....
Hope it comes late tomorrow no work

Onenut's picture
Onenut's picture
Onenut commented Monday, 15 Jul 2019 at 10:37am

Gotta say I did go against my principles and counted my chickens before they hatched yesty. Frothed too hard expecting to see 6ft+ At my sth swell magnet but was mostly 3ft with real slow 4ftrs on Sets and really weak. Was shattered to say the least as a nice offshore blew all day.
Was no doubt a great day for your average weekend warrior but .

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Monday, 15 Jul 2019 at 10:47am

Yea I spent 2hrs looking around yesterday and finally got out there for a pulse of 3 footers and managed a few good ones at a place that picks up most of a South swell. Funny how there was a single rogue set of about 5 foot. Just one though. I am thinking that due to the off axis wind direction, the moderate strength only, and the speed at which it passed through our swell window are part of the reasons it came in under budget in the size department. I am sure Ben will clarify in the notes later :)