Pulsey southerly swells for most of the week

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 21st October)

Best Days: Most days this week should have fun S'ly swells at south facing beaches, biggest Tues/Wed, with light morning winds ahead of the sea breeze. Sat: brief peaky NE swell with offshore winds. Sun/Mon/Tues: fun S'ly swell. 

Recap: Saturday saw easing S’ly swells from Friday, with early light winds offering clean conditions, and 2ft+ sets at south facing beaches. Sunday delivered rebuilding S’ly swells into the 3ft range at south facing beaches with 4ft sets across the Hunter. Today has punched a little higher, initially 3ft+ at south facing beaches and larger across the Hunter, but wave heights built a little more mid-late morning and there’ve been reports of solid 4-5ft sets at some locations, clean under an early light breeze. Sea breezes have been generally light this afternoon. 

Nice S'ly lines at Queenscliff this morning

This week (Oct 22 - 25)

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The models really aren’t handling this current southerly swell, nor any of the upcoming energy due throughout the week. 

Sure, the storm track is well off-axis, but it’s nicely established and we’ll see overlapping swell trains over the next few days, in a similar fashion as to what’s in the water today. 

Getting the timing right is pretty hard because of the number of swells in the water at any one time, but the good news is that a weak high pressure ridge will allow winds to be light and variable with sea breezes until Friday afternoon, when we’ll see pre-frontal northerlies kick in. So, aim for a morning surf each day for the best conditions.

As for size, we’re probably looking at surf size fluctuating in and around the 3ft range at south facing beaches both Tuesday and early Wednesday, with larger surf near 4ft across the Hunter. Expect a slight decrease Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday, with size down a foot to so into Thursday and then a fraction smaller by Friday.

Just like today’s mid-late morning pulse that pushed above forecast expectations, a repeat event is also possible over the coming days - model guidance suggests Tuesday will see the strongest surf of the week, but there’s a sneaky front going under Tasmania tonight that would suggest an arrival time on Wednesday morning. So keep your diary flexible for the next few days and aim for your favourite south swell magnet.

This weekend (Oct 26 - 27)

Saturday morning has some potential, with strengthening overnight N’ly winds clearing to the east on Saturday morning as a trough occupies the coastal margin. There’s likely to be 2-3ft NE swell at exposed beaches with light offshore winds, but we’ll need to firm up the specifics throughout the week.

A broad trough of low pressure with several centres (the primary one very south in latitude, near the ice shelf) will push into our south swell window on Saturday, and we’ll see building S’ly swells into Sunday. At this stage Sunday will see an increase from the closest fetch to the coast - SW gales exiting eastern Bass Strait - and this should kick up 3-4ft of S’ly swell during the day (bigger in the Hunter, smaller at beaches not open to the south). 

Conditions look to be clean with early W/SW winds tending SW then S’ly through the day, but I’ll have more confidence on size and conditions in Wednesday’s update.  

Next week (Oct 28 onwards)

The parent low to Sunday’s swell source looks impressive on the synoptics but it’s currently modeled to track rapidly eastwards and therefore many not spent a lot of time in our swell window. So, we have plenty of southerly swell expected early next week (ballpark 4ft south facing beaches) but nothing over the top in the size department.

See you Wednesday!


Panman's picture
Panman's picture
Panman commented Monday, 21 Oct 2019 at 6:06pm

Overhead sets at the coalcoast this morning
Really nice

SimonJ's picture
SimonJ's picture
SimonJ commented Monday, 21 Oct 2019 at 10:08pm

Another great morning carbon copy of friday give or take a foot

Goodvibes61's picture
Goodvibes61's picture
Goodvibes61 commented Tuesday, 22 Oct 2019 at 8:39pm

Plenty of swell at The Farm today

SimonJ's picture
SimonJ's picture
SimonJ commented Tuesday, 22 Oct 2019 at 9:20pm

Love the farm only surfed it couple of times cool place

Lumie83's picture
Lumie83's picture
Lumie83 commented Wednesday, 23 Oct 2019 at 1:01pm

Ben, A little confused with the current pulses , Sydney buoy has been is saying 154-170degrees consistently for last day and also height has not dropped below about 1.5m but my usual south magnets that love this direction are pretty much flat. Located port Stephens if it helps

What the ?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 23 Oct 2019 at 1:50pm

That's very odd mate. The swell is definitely straight south (don't worry too much about direction on the buoys, other than denoting event arrivals etc) and most of our south swell indicators have been picking up strong energy. 

Sounds like a case of (unfavourable) magic numbers for your hood.