Large surf to continue well into the weekend
Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday 15th July)
Best Days: Experienced surfers only in protected spots Thursday and Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday
A rapid and significant increase in strengthening S/SE swell yesterday as a low in the Tasman Sea undertook explosive cyclogenesis. This saw the surf jumpu to 10ft+ across the Sydney region by midday, a touch smaller across to the south and larger to the north into the afternoon.
Strong morning S/SE winds improved and swung more S/SW creating clean conditions in protected spots.
Today we’ve seen the largest and most powerful pulse of swell from the ‘bombing low’, that being a SE groundswell event with oversized surf right across the NSW coastline along with strong but favourable SW winds. This is offering surf between 10-12ft+ but only for the most experienced.
The Port Botany buoy has been registering some incredible figures since early this morning, with Significant Wave Heights between 5-6m at 12-15 seconds, while Maximum Wave Heights pinged over 10m, while we've just seen an incredible 12.98m recording at 9am.
We should see the size ease off a touch through the day, discussed below.
This week and weekend (Jul 16 - 19)
The largest and most powerful of the swell should be peaking this morning, owing to the burst of severe-gale to storm-force SE winds towards us through yesterday.
In saying that we're still seeing a significant and broad fetch of SE gales aimed through our swell window, weakening slowly into this afternoon.
With this there's no change to the expected size tomorrow, with most of the southern NSW coast still likely to persist around that 10ft range on the sets, easing into the afternoon and then back a little more through Friday.
Friday doesn't look to really drop below 6-8ft+, and into the afternoon some new E/SE groundswell should be seen, easing slowly through the weekend.
The source of this will be an intensification of E'ly gales off New Zealand's North Island as the low broadens today, with the fetch extending well into the Tasman and remaining there until Friday morning, breaking down slowly thereafter. Following this as the low continues to weaken we'll still see strong E/SE-SE winds in the Tasman through Saturday, finally breaking completely down Sunday and this will keep all regions more than active into early next week.
Coming back to the size of the E/SE groundswell pulse Friday and Saturday, this should maintain sets to 6-8ft+ across most locations Friday afternoon, easing into Saturday from 6-8ft and Sunday morning.
Monday will then see the surf become more manageable and dropping from 3-4ft+, down to a slower 3ft into the afternoon.
This will top off nearly a week of over-sized to large groundswell, quite a significant event in anyone's book.
Coming back to the local winds and a slight reduction in strength is due tomorrow but we'll continue to see gusty SW winds (tending W/SW in certain locations through the morning) and then S/SW into the afternoon, while Friday looks less favourable with S/SW winds across most locations (SW in pockets), shifting more S'ly into the afternoon.
Come the weekend conditions will really start to clean up with a great offshore W/SW breeze due, giving into N/NE sea breezes and then excellent Sunday with a W/NW tending variable breeze. A strong cold front pushing across the south-east of the country will bring strengthening NW tending W/SW winds Monday and then a S'ly change Tuesday.
Tuesday's change will be linked to a couple of cold fronts pushing up and past us, bringing some new mid-period S'ly energy mid-late week as winds go variable. More on this Friday though.