Ordinary winds but plenty of swell

James KC

Best Days: Tuesday morning with SW winds and easing S swell. E/SE winds ruin it for the rest of the week. 


  • Winds are looking to be E/SE for most the week with just mornings at the start of the week having decent offshores 
  • Fading SE swell for Tuesday before longer period S groundswell arrives from polar low late Tuesday and into Wednesday
  • Mid Period ESE swell to fill in on Wednesday and last the remainder of the week


A strong southerly moved through yesterday bringing an end to the persistent NE winds at the end of last week. A few select S swell magnets noticed a larger longer period sets out of the S on Saturday afternoon but most spots only noticed the NE swell. 

Sunday saw smaller conditions early before the wind whipped up decent 4ft+ waves by the afternoon. Southern corners were the only decent option with strong S winds amongst persistent showers making it a fairly miserable day. 

The New Week

Well it certainly feels like the seasons have changed with a cold start this morning and plenty of S to SE swells as well as some rain on the cards for later this week.

The swell from yesterday’s change will ease throughout today and into tomorrow while moderate S/SE winds keep us in southern corners. 

I’d expect 2-3ft waves out of the S tomorrow morning. I’d recommend making the most of the early offshores as I wouldn’t bank on them for the remainder of the week. 

A weak low formed in the Tasman today, W of New Zealand's North Island. It’ll slowly meander N but with it being weak, temporary and aiming most of its swell further N, it won’t really have much effect on us. 

Something that'll have a far greater impact for us is a solid polar low off Tassie at the moment. It will deliver some decent energy to us late Tuesday and into Wednesday. Having travelled a long way it'll be slow and with decent lulls between sets but I’d expect 3-5ft waves for Sydney, bigger at S swell magnets. The Hunter will see larger waves up around 4-6ft, while the Illawarra will see a bit less energy around the 3-4ft mark. 

Unfortunately this swell will arrive as local winds turn for the worse. SE winds will persist even in the early mornings as a blocking high sets up in the southern Tasman directing SE winds onto the coast for the rest of the week.

A trough along the coast will mean there’ll be plenty of rain as well so there could be windows between squalls with cleaner conditions if you're quick and you time it well but I’d expect it to be lumpy at best. 

A new E/SE swell will form as the ridge from the blocking high is squeezed by some weak tropical actviity in the Coral Sea. This squeezing will direct the E/SE winds towards our coastline and create a series of ebbs and pulses of E/SE swell into into the weekend.

On Thursday, I'd expect 3-4ft of mid period E/SE swell but really it’s not much to get too excited about. Winds will make it bumpy without many places truly protected from the onshore winds. 

Friday will see the swell pick up to 4ft but once again winds out of the E/SE will make it tricky to find clean waves. 

The weekend and beyond

It’s not a great outlook for the weekend with winds remaining more out of the E/SE.

There will be a pulse in the E swell on Sunday picking up from 4ft on Saturday to 4-5ft on Sunday. You’ll notice a pattern here though, once again winds will remain out of the E/SE. 

The swell will begin to ease on Monday but the good news is winds look like they’ll finally change. The blocking high will finally move east and the coastal trough will extend south.

Winds will slowly track around to the NE with a potential low moving down from the Coral Sea and intensifying out in the Tasman but it's a fair way off and there is plenty of model disagreement so let's tackle that later on.