E swell fading into the weekend, S swells return

James KC

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by James Casey (issued Wednesday 12th May)

Best Days: Thursday, Sunday


  • E/NE swell around the 3-4ft mark for the end of the week easing into the start of the weekend with offshore winds
  • 3-4ft S swell to fill in late on Saturday with offshore winds continuing
  • Winds to go more out of the S at the start of the new week with a larger S swell set to peak around 4ft on Tuesday


Yesterday we saw the E swell keep waves in that 2-3ft range and with light and mosty offshore winds for much of the day there were fun waves to be had. Winds swung S/SW with a change in the afternoon, earlier for the Illawarra and later for the Hunter.

Today we have a bit more energy from the SE with sets up around the 3ft mark, expect some larger waves into the afternoon. Winds are offshore so conditions are clean with some decent peaks to be had. Winds will swing around to the S later in the day and even have a touch of SE in it in the afternoon making it best in southern corners where waves will be a bit smaller but cleaner.

Later this week

Winds around the southwestern flank of a low and trough whipped up this new SE swell that is providing peaky 3ft+ conditions today. The trough will intensify today but not as much as models suggested on Monday as winds funnel into the eastern and northern flank of the trough.

With winds funnelling into the northern and eastern flank of the trough the swell will swing back around to the E/NE tomorrow (Thursday). Winds will be offshore out of the W/SW all day so there’ll be fun waves on offer around the 2-3ft mark, larger for the South Coast. 

Friday will see the W/SW winds continue but the swell will drop a little down to the 2ft mark, again a bit bigger for the South Coast, as a new S swell starts to build into the start of the weekend. Clean conditions will be on offer though so there’ll be waves to be had as the run of E swell continues.

The weekend

A trough associated with a low in the Southern Tasman will stall off the coast bringing light and mostly offshore winds for much of the day. A south swell will build into Saturday evening thanks to strong winds to the east of Tassie and out of eastern Bass Strait. 

Expect 3-4ft waves at south swell magnets late in the day, earlier it’ll be more like 1-2ft of leftover E swell.

Sunday will see the swell really fill in, 4ft+ at the south swell magnets but smaller in southern corners. Expect the swell to ease a little throughout the day. Winds will again be offshore more W/SW in the morning and  lighter and variable in the afternoon.  

The new week

Winds look to be stronger and more S for the start of the week as a cold front passes to the south of our region. Expect windy conditions for Monday and Tuesday with S winds while the swell builds late on Monday into Tuesday peaking around the 4-6ft mark for S swell magnets. 

A high will setup behind the front allowing winds to go offshore mid week. Waves will ease but with offshore winds there’ll be more options around. 

Tune in on Friday for an update.


Dan87's picture
Dan87's picture
Dan87 Friday, 14 May 2021 at 5:09pm

Cmon Jimmy! You're normally so early. I want to set my froth levels for Sunday! Yew Yew!

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake Friday, 14 May 2021 at 5:10pm

haha I was thinking same