James KC

Solid swell hanging around for start of the week

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by James Casey (issued Monday 22nd February)

Best Days: Tuesday, Wednesday with the last of the swell from the low. It’ll be windy on Tuesday but bigger. Smaller on Wednesday but lighter winds. 

Recap: Well how about that run of waves over the weekend, winds went light enough for things to finally settle down. While it was still a little lumpy there were some nice 4ft waves to be had. This morning was even better with light SW winds and a bit of a pulse in energy with solid 6-8ft sets at the peak of it all.


  • Fading E/NE energy from low tomorrow with new S/SE swell. Strong S winds will be limiting your options
  • Last of the S/SE swell on Wednesday from the backside of low
  • Quiet end to the week with just your localised wind swells and a more typical summer set up

Start of the Week 

We’ve probably already had our best day for the week. Today was good, light winds early and a consistent and 6ft+ E/NE swell. Let’s not dwell on the past though, there’ll still be waves tomorrow (Tuesday). 

As the low moves to the S and E the E/NE swell will begin to fade but a new S/SE swell will show it’s face tomorrow (Tuesday). This swell originates from the SW flank of the low and will be the last pulse of energy we get from it. 

This S/SE swell will combine with the fading E/NE swell and provide another day of solid waves, 4-6ft on the sets. Unfortunately a strong S wind will be present for the entire day, limiting options to southern corners. Southern corners will be noticing more of the fading E/NE swell than the newer S/SE swell so expect it to be a little slow and a bit smaller.

Wednesday will see the S/SE swell but with lighter SE/E winds tending NE in the afternoon. It’ll be biggest early Wednesday morning, around 4ft at S facing beaches, before fading below 3ft by the evening. 

There could be a little window of the fading S swell and NE winds turning it on for S swell magnets. Don’t expect too much but always good to get the most out of a fading S swell combined with a NE wind. 

End of the Week 

For the end of the week we’ll see way less energy out there. It was a nice run though. 

A weak ridge of high pressure set up over the Tasman since the low moved south and east will be broken down by a trough. As the trough approaches stronger NE winds will create a bit of a localised NE wind swell but it won’t last long as a S change approaches. 

Thursday morning will see NE winds up early for everywhere but the Illawarra where there’s a chance of lighter variable winds. They won’t stay light for long as a S change makes it’s way up the coast later on Thursday and filling in for Sydney and the Hunter on Friday.

For the weekend I would keep expectations down, sorry weekend warriors you had a good one last weekend though. There won’t be much going on with light winds and small waves. 

I can’t even recommend a beach day as it looks like there’ll be some showers about too. Fun boards with a bit more volume and a bit less rocker for those that need to get their fix. 



Lottolonglong's picture
Lottolonglong's picture
Lottolonglong commented Monday, 22 Feb 2021 at 5:59pm

A lot of water moving around this morning

pancakecollaroy's picture
pancakecollaroy's picture
pancakecollaroy commented Tuesday, 23 Feb 2021 at 9:04am

Still chunky and solid this morning - seemed a bit E/SE at times and were actually a few sets with bigger waves then late yesterday

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 23 Feb 2021 at 12:33pm

Yeah, took photos for the report and looked 3-4ft or so. A couple of hours later I was lucky I still paddled out on the step-up as I was greeted by a 5-6ft cleanup set while right on the inside of a rip-bowl. Fun times, ha.