thermalben

Surfable, but nothing too flash in general

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 27th March)

Best Days: Sat: early light winds and peaky waves at exposed beaches. Mon: light winds, and a peaky mix of mainly small swells.

Recap: A new series of S’ly groundswells built across the coast on Thursday, though fresh southerly winds maintained below average conditions. As tipped, swell periods kicked above 17 seconds late in the day with the arrival of a distant pulse of groundswell from below the continent. Surf size built from 3ft early at south facing beaches to 4ft+ by the afternoon (bigger across the Hunter, but smaller elsewhere). Size eased back from around 3ft this morning (bigger across the Hunter again) but winds swung moderate E/SE, maintaining bumpy conditions early on, before tending light into the afternoon as conditions gradually improved. 

Leftover S'ly swell on the Coal Coast this afternoon

This weekend (Mar 28 - 29)

A trough developed in the northern Tasman Sea in the wake of Wednesday’s southerly change, and a high pressure system to the south is tightening a SE fetch through the central Tasman Sea. 

It’s actually just north of our swell window but will nevertheless generate some useful E’ly tending E/NE swell for Saturday and Sunday, wth size around the 2-3ft+ mark at exposed beaches. Expect slightly smaller surf as you head south of Sydney thanks to the more northern latitude of the swell source.

Otherwise, easing southerly swells will abate from about 2-3ft at south facing beaches early Saturday, and a minor pulse of distant energy from a polar low may provide a few late sets on Sunday afternoon (so, keep an eye out for that on the wave buoys - perhaps Tp briefly back up to 15-16 sec). 

Conditions look a little average on Saturday, though early morning should see light variable winds up until about lunchtime, when we’ll see freshening E/NE winds as the Tasman high moves further to the east. As such, aim for an early session for the best waves. 

Sunday doesn’t look very good at this stage, with freshening NE winds expected for most of the day, and only a slim chance for an early window of light variable winds (most likely region from Sydney through the Illawarra).

Next week (Mar 30 onwards)

A stationary ridge through the northern Tasman Sea this weekend will be best aimed into SE Qld, but we’ll see a small spread of E/NE swell across Southern NSW early next week. No major size, but the odd 2ft set at exposed beaches is likely Monday and Tuesday.

Monday may also see a small NE swell in the water from Sunday’s freshening breeze but it’ll be pretty small across Sydney beaches (1-2ft) with bigger size prospects south from the Illawarra, thanks to the longer fetch length. There'll also be some small lingering S'ly groundswell from Sunday's late pulse. 

Otherwise the Tasman Sea looks a little dormant for most of next week with no significant weather systems expected to generate any notable surf.

A progression of polar lows passing well to the south will supply small, intermittent S’ly groundswells for south swell magnets, and a series of distant tropical depressions in the Far South Pacific will supply some small E/NE groundswell through the middle to latter part of next week onwards. Initially there won’t be much size (1-2ft tops Wed/Thurs, with extremely long breaks), but later Friday will see a longer period swell arrive with peak periods around 16 seconds, and this may throw up the odd 3ft set every twenty minutes, holding through into the following weekend, though only at exposed beaches.

Something to keep a watch on anyway. 

As for conditions, a persistent weak troughy pattern will maintain variable winds for much of next week so conditions should be OK. 

All in all, it's shaping up to be a benign period of surf - in stack contrast to what’s happening elsewhere in our world. 

Stay safe, have a good weekend, see you Monday!

Comments

stoked23's picture
stoked23's picture
stoked23 commented Friday, 27 Mar 2020 at 8:02pm

How far is near the beach?

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Friday, 27 Mar 2020 at 8:10pm

Any further than a stretched legrope, don't surf.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Spinafex1's picture
Spinafex1's picture
Spinafex1 commented Friday, 27 Mar 2020 at 8:25pm

Mornington Peninsula has 39 cases whereas my inner city area - Yarra city has 7.

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie commented Friday, 27 Mar 2020 at 10:33pm

Awwww..... I've been working 16 hour days every day for 7 days to keep the business afloat. I'm so glad the outlook is shit. I'll keep my head down and see you fellas next big dirty South swell.

Billie

dave knee's picture
dave knee's picture
dave knee commented Saturday, 28 Mar 2020 at 5:51pm

I'm sure I will get smashed, but do you think it appropriate that your still putting surf reports up with a high % of us not able to to the beach, being responsible citizens. How about just say surf shit stay at home!!!! we'll be none the wiser.

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie commented Saturday, 28 Mar 2020 at 9:49pm

Nah.... the fella does a job. I read it and I haven't been surfing. The ocean conditions exist with or without us, and Ben or Jim or whoever does the surf report does just that; Surf reports. I'm interested. I'll be interested when I'm 90 and can't get out of my wheel chair. If the mans job is to report surf conditions, let him do it. We can all then decide what to do with that. Some of us live in Sydney and some of us live a 5 minute drive from a deserted beach somewhere. Either way, we all want to know.

Billie

SimonJ's picture
SimonJ's picture
SimonJ commented Saturday, 28 Mar 2020 at 11:17pm

I did my part by settling for 2ft sth narra in my own space instead of 3-4ft fully crowded curly

Max Wax's picture
Max Wax's picture
Max Wax commented Sunday, 29 Mar 2020 at 9:25pm

I think 2ft uncrowded closeouts are better than 3-4ft crowded closeouts too!

Mcface's picture
Mcface's picture
Mcface commented Sunday, 29 Mar 2020 at 9:59pm

You and me both - I had a shorebreak peak to myself at Warriewood. It wasn't pretty but I still got my fix.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 30 Mar 2020 at 8:59am

Looks like that minor S'ly pulse due late Sun/early Mon resulted in a solitary Tp spike to 13.5 seconds at the Botany buoy around 6pm last night.

Jeff123's picture
Jeff123's picture
Jeff123 commented Monday, 30 Mar 2020 at 4:13pm

Hi Ben

As a recent migrant from SA - is the botany buoy the eastern beaches equivalent to the CDC buoy?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 30 Mar 2020 at 4:16pm

Kinda, but not. CdC is much more exposed (relative to the coasts you usually surf), and you'll need to be interested in lower-period swells more so than in SA.

Also, you're now going to have to learn about the wonderful world of swell direction and how that affects your coast!

Jeff123's picture
Jeff123's picture
Jeff123 commented Monday, 30 Mar 2020 at 5:00pm

Thanks Ben - and yes, have been intrigued by the different personalities of the same beach based on swell direction. Back to the drawing board (hindcasting, looking at maps, net research, etc)

drodders's picture
drodders's picture
drodders commented Monday, 30 Mar 2020 at 5:30pm

You are allowed to leave the house for exercise, why can’t I drive alone in my car, surf at a beach with low population of surfers, then drive home? I think I meet all the rules? If you mean in your warning, don’t travel from the eastern suburbs of Sydney to the south coast of NSW or from Melbourne to the surf coast or Phillip Island I probably agree, but if you mean getting your car to travel 10 minutes to your local I don’t.

You may update your Covid-19 warning more towards people travelling in groups...