James KC

Better winds and more S swells

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by James Casey (issued Friday 16th April)

Best Days: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday


  • Saturday 4-5ft with brief SW winds early tending variable seabreeze 
  • Sunday light winds and waves in the 3ft range
  • Monday 3ft+ with offshore winds
  • Tuesday 3-4ft with reinforcing S swell offshore winds
  • Wednesday brief S change with weak S wind swell
  • Thursday smaller waves strong offshore winds
  • Friday new S swell in the 3-4ft range


Well that S/SE swell was brief but it did fill in late on Wednesday with some nice 3-4ft sets at S swell magnets on dark. It was a bit slow and it basically completely disappeared by Thursday morning. 

Yesterday it was smaller, around 2ft, but winds kept things mostly clean for much of the day. 

This morning it is small, 1-2ft even on the low tide, but with offshore winds this morning at least it is clean. 

The end of the week and weekend

It won’t stay clean all day today though with a s change to move through by the mid morning rendering it small and bumpy. The good news is this S change will bring a bit of an increase in size by this afternoon, it’ll be bumpier but with more push than this morning. 

By Saturday winds will have eased enough for cleaner conditions although I’d still expect it to be a little lumpy with light SW winds failing to clean things up completely. Winds will shift around a variable seabreeze later in the day. The good news is a new swell will have filled in from the S. 

This new S swell formed with a polar front to the south of Tassie. A decent fetch of gales to severe gales out of the S/SW will direct the long period S swell up to our coastline. At this stage I’d still expect it to be in that 4-5ft range all day but S swell magnets, especially along the S coast, could see 6ft+ sets on the outside reefs and bommies. 

Sunday will see the swell ease a touch to the 3ft mark but winds will remain light and variable out of the SW early before tending NE later in the day. 

The new week

Strong frontal activity in the Southern Ocean will deliver a series of S swell pulses. The first to arrive for Monday morning, providing 3ft+ waves, and the second to arrive by Tuesday morning delivering a slightly larger pulse up around 3-4ft, larger for the Hunter up around 4-5ft. 

Winds are looking good too, offshore creating clean conditions for Monday morning before winds swing around to the NE later in the day. Tuesday looks to have stronger offshore winds prevailing all day.

It’s worth mentioning some models have a low forming off the coast over the weekend. While it has the potential to deliver 2ft of E/SE swell to the coast on Monday and Tuesday it will be a secondary source at best to the more powerful S swells on offer.  

On Wednesday a S change will make it’s way up the coast, starting strong and SW in the morning but easing and swinging around to the NE by the afternoon. There will be a little S swell from the S change but nothing to get excited about only in that wind swelly 1-2ft range.

Thursday will see strong offshore winds before a new S swell fills in on Friday around the 3-4ft mark. This swell will form with polar front moving through our swell window.  

There are indications of this S swell intensifying over the weekend and into the new week but it’s a fair way off and plenty can happen between now and then. Tune in on Monday for an updated forecast. 


lost's picture
lost's picture
lost Friday, 16 Apr 2021 at 8:53pm

After all the WSL hating going on I’m actually really pumped to be watching NN tomorrow morning. An incredible vibe down there today even with tiny surf. Groms getting a photos with everyone and generally everyone with smiles on their dials. Maybe these events really do need to freshen up by moving around. I’m all for it as long there a still some waves of consequence on the schedule.

Thegrowingtrend.com's picture
Thegrowingtrend.com's picture
Thegrowingtrend.com Saturday, 17 Apr 2021 at 8:23am

hows that low forming east of Us. should be some waves on offer?

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Saturday, 17 Apr 2021 at 10:05pm

Did it really get to 4-5’ anywhere on Friday or Saturday?

geoffrey's picture
geoffrey's picture
geoffrey Sunday, 18 Apr 2021 at 6:28am

some were far bigger

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Sunday, 18 Apr 2021 at 7:09am

Surfed that size myself around midday Saturday but heard credible reports of bigger waves earlier in the morning.

Panman's picture
Panman's picture
Panman Sunday, 18 Apr 2021 at 7:56am

Coaly was definitely the focus of a long period swell
9 out of 10 Saturday morning

geoffrey's picture
geoffrey's picture
geoffrey Sunday, 18 Apr 2021 at 1:09pm

only gotten it once many years ago but its a proper wave. love how it hits that inside ledge. glad you scored it.

agibbo's picture
agibbo's picture
agibbo Sunday, 18 Apr 2021 at 1:10pm

Loving the dot points - good quick reference, good stuff.