Clean conditions with combination swells with a nice swell boost over the weekend
Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 25th May)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Favourable winds Wed with mix of tradeswell and easing SSE swell
- E/NE trade-swell Thurs/Fri mixed with small SSE ground-swell and light winds
- Bigger E/NE swell on offer Sat, easing a notch Sun as low drifts southwards with offshore winds
- Potential S swell spike Sun/Mon (low confidence)
- E/NE swell leftovers on offer Mon with offshore winds
- Last pulse in E swell late Mon/tues
- Winter style cold outbreak on the radar mid next week with potential S swell towards the end of the week
Cleaner conditions have become established since Mon, with lighter winds on offer as a result of troughs near the coast and a weaker pressure gradient as the ridge slackens. Surf has come in at the top of f/cast expectations with a clean mix of E and SSE groundswells, providing clean 3-4ft surf, with some bigger outliers across swell magnets in the region. Today has seen more clean 3-4ft surf- a mix of SSE and E swell, with light W to NW winds now tending to light and variable sea breezes. A nice Autumn mix if you could find a good bank or reef.
This week (May 25-27)
Synoptic pattern still has a ground-hog day feel to it, with a large, slow moving high inching it’s way across the Tasman and a coastal trough lying parallel to almost the entire East Coast. A series of powerful fronts and complex low pressure systems riding up the long wave trough in New Zealand longitudes are now reaching their final stages, with a little more SSE groundswell to come in. Attention will still be focused on the tropics/sub-tropics as a surface low forms at the northern end of the trough off the CQ coast through Thurs/Fri and tracks southwards into the weekend, bringing another round of E/NE swell.
In the short run and conditions look primo for the rest of the week with light winds. Morning land breezes and light a’noon sea breezes should see excellent all day surfing conditions through Thurs and Fri.
There’ll be a tasty little blend of swells running both days with Thursday the smaller of the two days- offering up a E/NE swell to 2-3ft and some long period S/SE swell to 2ft. Again, expect some outliers at spots maximising the long period swell trains but they won’t reach the heights of earlier this week.
Friday will see a slight bump in size as E/NE swell lifts a notch into the 3ft range, with long period S-SSE swell still offering up some inconsistent 2ft sets, bigger 2-3ft at S swell magnets.
This weekend (May 28-29)
Still looking good this weekend, mostly as a result of offshore winds, which should be persistent both days. The trough moves offshore and drags a light W’ly flow with it.
Surfwise, the incredibly durable small S swell signal hangs on into Sat at small levels but the dominant swells trains will be from the E to E/NE as the surface low tracks south from Fri, dragging an E’ly fetch on it’s southern flank with it. This will aim up more directly into temperate NSW through Fri into Sat, with an increase in E/NE swell as a result.
Sat should see surf build into the 3-4ft range, with a muscling up after lunch into the 4-5ft range as longer period surf fills in.
There’ll be a slow roll-off in size Sun though with plenty of leftover energy. We should see plenty of 4ft sets through the morning, easing back to 3ft during the day. Winds will tend W then more SW as a cold front pushes through. Under EC modelling the front will bring a steep increase in S swell through the a’noon, which is not being picked up wave models so far. We’ll see how that is shaping up on Fri.
Next week (May 30 onwards)
The front consolidates with the remnants of the low Mon and winds swing from SW to pre-frontal NW, possibly NNW during Mon.
We’re looking at leftover E swell, in the 2-3ft range, with the possibility of some S swell in the mix, depending on how the remnants of the low behave. A final pulse of E swell late Mon or early Tues from a flare up in E'ly winds off the North Island feeding into the southwards moving low should see some 4ft sets later Mon or early Tues, easing quickly through Tues.
Following that, a cold outbreak will bring a few days of stiff W’ly winds. That's likely to see small through later Tues and into Wed.
Models are still struggling to resolve the cold outbreak in the Tasman Sea, but there are good odds we will see some juicy S swell, possibly building later Wed or through Thurs.
More S swell is almost certainly on the horizon into the first week of Winter as strong fronts push into the Tasman. We’ll need some time to make any definitive calls there but we’ll know more by Friday so check in then and we’ll have a fresh update.
See you then.