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.
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!