S pulses over the weekend and start of next week

James KC

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by James Casey (issued Friday 23rd April)

Best Days: Saturday, Tuesday 


  • Saturday longer period S swell to fill in, 3-5ft waves out of the S (larger Hunter)
  • Sunday easing S swell 3ft but with strengthening SE winds into the afternoon
  • Monday S windswell with longer period S swell to arrive on Tuesday morning up around 3-4ft mark (larger Hunter) at its peak on Tuesday morning
  • Monday to Wednesday SW winds early in the day tending light and variable seabreeze by the afternoon


The past few days certainly have been lacking a bit of energy. Yesterday was 2-3ft of leftover soft S windswell, from Wednesday afternoons S breeze, while today it’s lucky to be 1-2ft, with some beaches completely flat. Winds have been keeping things nice and clean since Wednesday evening, remaining out of the W/NW to SW. 

Into the weekend 

Late this afternoon and into this evening a new longer period S swell will show up as winds become light and variable out of the SE. S swell magnets may see the swell start fill in before dark but the bulk of the swell will arrive overnight. This is thanks to frontal activity coming around the SE tip of Tassie. 

Saturday is still looking like we’ll have waves in the 3-5ft range, with bigger sets hitting S swell magnets and exposed reefs and smaller surf in south corners. The Hunter will be bigger with 4-6ft waves while the South Coast will be smaller, more like 3ft, as it is shadowed by Tassie. Winds will be out of the W/SW early but will become light and variable with a weak NE seabreeze later in the day. This is bigger than the charts are suggesting due to the longer period energy. 

The swell will ease into Sunday and winds will make it bumpier too. Waves will linger around 3ft but with a W/SW breeze swinging around to the S by the middle of the day before turning SE into the afternoon it won’t be as good as Saturday. Southern corners will be your cleanest option especially from midday onwards. 

Next week

A burst of winds out of easter Bass Strait will deliver a mid period swell to the region on Monday before a stronger southerly groundswell moves in during the day on Monday and into Tuesday. This pulse of longer period S energy is thanks to yet another strong front pushing up to the east of Tassie and a burst of winds out of eastern Bass Strait. A strengthening region of high pressure over the southeast of the nation will allow for lighter winds too. 

Monday will be the bumpiest as a weak ridge delivers moderate SE winds in the afternoon, although it’ll be W/SW earlier in the day. Waves will be in the 2-3ft range early before the longer period S swell fills . 

On Tuesday, the swell will be 3ft, a similar size to Monday afternoon, and with light W/SW winds early so there’ll be fun waves to be had. These winds will tend SW by mid morning and light SE by the afternoon. Expect larger waves for the Hunter, around 3-4ft and the biggest sets at S swell magnets.

By Wednesday we will see wave heights beginning to ease down to 2-3ft in the morning and 2ft by the afternoon. Winds look to continue the trend, light and offshore early before tending NE with an afternoon seabreeze, looking stronger for the Illawarra at the moment. 

The swell will be smaller by Thursday, about 2ft with just leftover swell from the previous few days. Winds will be light and offshore early tending light and variable with an afternoon NE seabreeze. All in all there’ll be windows of opportunity, best in the morning, bumpier in the afternoon.

Without many swell generating systems around it looks like it’ll be a quiet end to the week as a broad region of high pressure lingers over the southeast of the nation.

We’ll take a closer look on Monday so check in then for an update.


brownie48's picture
brownie48's picture
brownie48 Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 12:37pm

The south swell is already here on south facing beaches with 3ft sets, inconsistent but its here if you look for it but the wind is sw which is a bit of an issue at sf beaches

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Friday, 23 Apr 2021 at 5:41pm

Yep strong sets late. 4ft closeouts Freshy