Solid southerly energy on the way

Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 8th April)

Best Days: Thurs: easing S'ly swells, pockets of light winds. Sun: combo of strong S'ly swells, OK winds. Mon/Tues: more S'ly swells, great conditions. Size easing Wed

Recap: Tuesday saw a mix of small E/NE swell and S’ly swells, the latter being most dominate with early 2-3ft sets increasing a little into the afternoon. A new longer period S’ly swell pushed across Southern NSW overnight (leading edge of 15 seconds reaching Eden at 10pm and Sydney around 4am) but surf size has come in smaller than expected, just an inconsistent 3-4ft at south facing beaches through the middle of the day. Winds have been generally light to moderate S/SE for the last few days, with periods of variable conditions at times.

This week (Apr 9 - 10)

We’re now on the backside of today’s pulse and size will continue to ease through Thursday. With no new significant swell trains - aside from the small existing trade swell - we’re looking at very small conditions to finish the week. We may see minor E’ly windswells on Thursday (from a weak trough off the coast) and N/NE windswells on Friday but there won’t be much size in it.

Thursday morning should see early 2-3ft sets at south facing beaches, easing to 2ft by the afternoon and Friday’s likely to hover in the 1-2ft range. It’ll be smaller elsewhere at beaches not exposed to the south, but the Hunter has a chance for slightly bigger waves. 

The local NE swell may create 1-2ft surf across NE facing beaches on Friday and a few bigger options well south of Sydney but quality won’t be high.

TC Harold is now entering our far northern swell window, east of New Caledonia, but it’s tracking too quickly to the east to generate any meaningful swell for Australia’s East Coast. As such I am not expecting any energy from it.

Local conditions look average over the next few days. We’ll be under the influence of a broad Tasman high, so wind strengths won’t be very high but it’ll be a general easterly airstream on Thursday, tending northerly on Friday. Pockets of variable winds are likely here and there but overall there won’t be anything amazing, so don't move the diary around. 

This weekend (Apr 11 - 12)

Saturday looks very small and windy as a vigorous front pushes off the coast, swinging early, freshening W/NW winds to the S/SW.

We may see a late increase in S’ly windswell in the lee of the change, but those beaches picking up any size - maybe some 4ft sets towards dusk - will be facing due south and they’ll be heavily wind affected.

Sunday looks much different, with two interesting southerly swells expected to be in the water. The first will have originated from a broad, intense polar low pressure system tracking well south of Tasmania on Friday (see below).

Although poorly aligned within our swell window - and is also located a long way from our region - the sheer strength of this system can’t be discounted, and we’re looking at long period energy arriving overnight Saturday (in fact the South Coast may see some forerunners late afternoon), peaking Sunday with peak swell periods in the 17-18 second range. This should contribute a brief period of 3-4ft surf at south facing beaches, though the long periods should exaggerate wave heights at offshore bombies and south facing beaches with 6ft+ sets. 

At the same time, Saturday’s front will have rocketed through the lower Tasman Sea at strength and generated an impressive secondary (pr perhaps primary?) swell, with much lower periods but more size in the ocean swell (see below).

We should see 4-6ft surf at south facing beaches from this fetch, reaching 6-8ft across the Hunter, and local winds look best suited to protected spots - mainly moderate to fresh S/SW, though with periods of SW or even W/SW winds early morning at a handful of locations, such as the Northern Beaches.  

Let’s firm up the specifics in Friday’s update. 

Next week (Apr 13 onwards)

Strong secondary fronts trailing behind Saturdays system will maintain elevated southerly swells for Monday, Tuesday and (according to model guidance) possibly even Wednesday - though I think mid-week is a stretch (Mon and Tues most likely). 

This should keep south facing beaches in the 3-5ft range, and conditions are looking great under an extended period gf light winds thanks to a weak high pressure ridge. 

More on this in Friday’s update. 


Anthony Gale's picture
Anthony Gale's picture
Anthony Gale commented Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020 at 8:23pm

Just been told you can’t surf in Cronulla this long wkd. Anyone able to confirm this?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020 at 8:28pm

Sutherland Shire beaches to close over long weekend

By Sarah Keoghan

Sutherland Shire Council has decided to close a number of beaches over the long weekend, following strong recommendations from NSW Police and NSW Health.

From midnight Thursday April 9 to midnight Monday April 13, Greenhills Beach,
Wanda Beach, Elouera Beach, North Cronulla Beach, Cronulla Beach, Shelley Park
Beach and Oak Park Beach will all be closed.

I'd say within a day or two, all councils will follow suit.

mibs-oner's picture
mibs-oner's picture
mibs-oner commented Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020 at 8:23pm

Covid 19 doesn’t exist on the south coast. 40 guys crowding the line up this morning on an underwhelming swell!

SimonJ's picture
SimonJ's picture
SimonJ commented Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020 at 10:49pm

And apparently manly and dee why closing but not Curl Curl. It's going to be chaos

maka2000's picture
maka2000's picture
maka2000 commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 7:50am

manly and dewhy are open for surfing, a few bods in the water every morning

evosurfer's picture
evosurfer's picture
evosurfer commented Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020 at 11:28pm

How stupid is this these incompetent imbeciles close the Cronulla beaches but what
has caused all the concern in the 1st place is everybody and half of the Eastern
suburbs walking the promenade which they leave open for every hippy, dirty
back packer, general tourist and entitled eastern suburb coffee drinker to walk
around as nothing is their problem. Not to mention the hoards of surfers from
there as well. You dont have to be real smart to work out the promenade is the problem with its passing parade not the the friggen ocean.Are these bureaucratic decision makers the same ones that let 2700 people of a ship to scatter around the country like cockroaches spreading the death sentence.
Then police want to charge some poor nobodies with something just anything.
Well officer charge the decision makers you know the politicians you dont have
to be no shit Sherlock to work that out. To top it off the NSW premier Gladis
whatever her name is says they are considering opening up closed beaches. Well
they should they let people travel in closed trains and buses. I guess some government genius said corona dosent use public transport.
Only to Cronulla that must be the reason theyre closing Cronulla. Stupidity at its finest.
The hypocrisy of all this just smashes my common sense and brains in.
If that swell arrives and is big and good as what your anticipating you could
see another dose of Cronulla riots, now that should make headlines.
Also does anybody know how I can invoice China for loss of business,loss of
income,loss of company,loss of lifestyle,loss of freedom,loss of sleep, anxiety
and eliminating my bucket list trip to Jeffrys Bay with my family departing today
with a very promising surf report for two weeks.
China needs to pay.
I think I maybe imploding.

IF im not surfing im racing

Dan87's picture
Dan87's picture
Dan87 commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 11:02am

Here, here!!
Gladys should lose her job along with a few more of her underlings!
There are a number of think tanks etc. that are advocating suing China for their negligence. I'm sure that will go down well!

Sorry to hear about company troubles and losing the trip. Often I find the best way to get through this is to think how lucky we are and how there are many more who are copping so much more than us!
Good luck!

scottishsponger's picture
scottishsponger's picture
scottishsponger commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 5:03pm

Hear, hear

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 7:34am

Hey Evo, now you know what we've been putting up with in eastern suburbs for 3 weeks. Try and chill though, only because blowing a gasket doesn't help anyone.

Those people walking the promenade aren't from eastern suburbs though, they're all still here, and why would you drive from here to there when you're allowed to walk the promenade here?

Coming from somewhere else, welcome to my world.

Shame about the trip.

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Thursday, 9 Apr 2020 at 5:10pm

Thursday arvo late sesh at Manly looks like some solid social distancing going on, but that's about it.