Plenty of fun waves over the weekend with more settled conditions next week and some small S pulses

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 13th May)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Fun sized NE swell Sat with early light NW winds shifting N to NE during the day
  • Smaller but clean leftovers Sun with offshore winds and light sea breezes
  • Quiet start to next week, small S swell pulses Mon, Wed PM
  • Bigger S swell Thurs/Fri
  • E’ly pattern setting up again late next week


Plenty of fun sized 3-4ft surf from the E/NE on the menu- basically a souped up tradewind swell making it’s way to temperate latitudes- since the last f/cast. NE winds have generally been lighter than f/cast allowing for better than expected conditions. This morning saw a light NW flow before winds tracked around to the N to NNE. Overcast skies but plenty of fun waves to end the working week.

Nothing perfect but fun options to end the week on

This weekend (May 14-15)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. The fetch of deep E to E/NE winds in the Coral and Northern Tasman Sea is contracting northwards around a surface low off the CQ/Fraser coast, and expected to fizzle out over the weekend. 

That will see E/NE-NE swell peak overnight and through tomorrow in the early morning across temperate NSW, before beginning an easing trend which continues for a few days. 

Still plenty of fun sized surf on offer, with Saturday seeing surf through the morning in the 3-4ft range, easing back a notch during the a’noon. Winds are still N’ly through tomorrow but a period of lighter NW winds through the morning looks very likely based on high res wind models. 

Sunday still looks great for winds with a weak trough bringing a NW to W flow that should see widespread groomed conditions across the region. Size will dip down with a few 3ft sets in the morning, becoming slower and smaller 2-3ft through the day. A light and late seabreeze is possible through the a’noon, more likely in the Sydney basin. Stronger synoptic W/NW winds are more likely on the South Coast.

Next week (May 16 onwards)

Much more settled week on offer next week. There’s a lot of strong frontal activity under Australia during next week, most of which gets shunted southwards before it enters the Tasman Sea, although there will be small amounts of refracted long period S swell making landfall, with all the usual caveats for those flukey swells.

With a high moving over WA/SA on Mon and light pressure gradients on offer we should see light winds and small surf Mon. The edge of a cold front brings light SW winds which ease rapidly to light breezes. Small amounts of NE swell leftover with some traces of long period S swell in the water will equal 2ft surf across most beaches with reliable S swell magnets seeing a few 2ft+ sets, few and far between.

Surf bottoms out Tues in the 1-2ft range with light winds before another small pulse of S swell arrives Wed a’noon. This should push up some 2ft sets later in the day at S facing beaches, with slightly bigger 3ft surf Thurs at S facing beaches, more solid 3-5ft on the Hunter. Conditions are clean Thurs as another front and low crosses the SE, this time pushing up into the Tasman more than it’s predecessors.

This last front is on track to generate a more substantial pulse of S swell through Fri, although a large high tracking in behind it sees winds quickly shift S to SSE in the wake of the front. Expect surf in the 3-4ft range at S facing beaches Fri, bigger on the Hunter.

Into the medium term and another dominant high moving at low latitudes (S of Tas) sets up another E’ly pattern in the Tasman and Coral Sea through the end of next week and weekend of the 21/5. That will see another round of E to E/NE swell and an onshore flow. Typical of the La Niña pattern. 

Check back Mon for the latest and have a great weekend!


sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Friday, 13 May 2022 at 5:09pm

3/4 ft at local today .. had great shape and punch on low tide banks .. happy with forecast so far been fun ....'s picture's picture Sunday, 15 May 2022 at 7:33am

Hey Ben, as a long time user of swellnet and paying for the last 2 years it’s pretty rude to slip advertising in the daily surf check..

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 15 May 2022 at 7:57am

Understand your point, however it's not advertising in the usual sense - we're not getting paid - it's simply a way for one small local business to help another. Swellnet's been helping Tim with forecasts and his ASMF tour for almost twenty years, and in return he provides us with amazing content throughout his travels. We wouldn't do this for anyone else, however his tour is so tightly intertwined with the Swellnet audience, we feel it's OK in this instance. Will certainly take your comments on board though.

bbbird's picture
bbbird's picture
bbbird Sunday, 15 May 2022 at 4:34pm
langers00's picture
langers00's picture
langers00 Monday, 16 May 2022 at 8:13am; aren’t you advertising by having as your username?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Monday, 16 May 2022 at 8:59am