Multiple large S swell pulses incoming, becoming very sizey over the weekend

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 8th June)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Solid S'ly swell Wed, large sometime Thurs, even bigger Fri
  • Solid S swell Sat, becoming very large after lunch Sun, extending into Mon
  • More solid S swell expected next week
  • Entire period with offshore winds, fresh at times-winds more SW on Mon


Not much of interest yesterday, mostly tiny, apart from some small S’ly swell in the 2ft range at the usual suspects. Today has seen a stronger S’ly signal with surf in the 3-5ft range across most S exposed breaks, bigger 4-5ft across the Hunter. Offshore W’ly winds are providing classic winter conditions. We are just at the beginning of this extended S swell event with plenty more to come.

Plenty of energy from the S filling in

This week (June 8-10)

The broad scale Southern Gyre is now setting up in the deep Southern Tasman, as Craig has detailed in his recent article. Strong high pressure support from a 1033hPa elongated high in the Bight is providing tight pressure gradients for the multiple fronts spinning off the gyre. That will lead to numerous over-lapping S’ly pulses over the coming week with a general step-ladder effect expected at least through to Mon. A general offshore flow will accompany these pulses as the fronts drive W’ly biased winds across the temperate to sub-tropical East Coast.

In the short run and expect another foot at least on todays size as period bumps up a notch through Thurs- supplying S swell in the 3-5ft range, bigger 4-5ft across swell magnets like the Hunter and other more directly S facing exposures. 

Into the end of the working week and size lifts another notch as the next pulse fills in, again, with period bumped up a notch. That should see some solid 4-6ft surf across most S exposures with bigger 6ft and even 6ft+ surf at more notable S facing stretches and reefs. Winds may be an issue during the a’noon with a slightly more W/SW to SW tilt scuffing up S facing spots. 

This weekend (June 11-12)

No great changes to the weekend f/cast. Tons of South swell with offshore winds both days is the take home.

Drilling down and the step-ladder effect kicks in again Sat with the pulse of swell expected through the morning into the 6-8ft range across S exposed breaks. So far this swell will have been in the ball-park for most rec surfers but this pulse should lift it into the next level up- experts only, so take care if you show up somewhere and it’s pumping. There’s going to be some real muscle in this swell.

That pulse eases down a notch into Sun with plenty of 6ft surf through the day at S exposed breaks. Through the a’noon, likely pretty soon after midday we’ll see an even more powerful S swell pulse fill in. This one will be experts only. Severe gale to storm force winds slingshotting up from deep in the lower Southern Ocean into the Tasman Sea on an already highly charged sea state will produce a very powerful S swell. Expect 6-8ft surf after lunch, with some bigger 8ft+ sets on there cards through the later a’noon. Even bigger sets are on the cards for deep-water adjacent reefs with S exposure as long swell periods enhance bathymetric focussing effects. This won’t be tiddlywinks so make sure you have the equipment/experience to paddle out with.

Next week (June 13 onwards)

Sundays pulse builds further into Mon and we’re looking at very large surf to start the week. Sets in the 10ft range are on the menu, although swell periods do back down a touch from Sundays late pulse and Bommies are still likely to be massive in the 10-12ft range. Winds may be an issue Mon, the passage of the front and slight eastwards movement of the low pressure gyre bring a S’ly biased wind to the region Mon. It’s likely this will be SW for most of the morning due to land breeze effects but there will be a more SSW flow likely during the a’noon. That will restrict the available surf locations for Mon.

Dreamy light offshores return for Tues and plenty of strong S swell is still on the cards. Likely 6-8ft through the morning at S exposed breaks, smaller elsewhere. Some bigger sets at the more reliable S facing reefs are possible and with light W to W/NW winds there’ll be a ton of options for those looking to maximise the swell size. For others, you’ll be trying to find a surfable corner.

Through the middle into the end of next week and the surf keeps coming, albeit at a size that ,once again, invites the average rec surfer back into the fray.

Winds remain W’ly or even W/NW as fronts continue to sweep across NSW and size just slowly, slowly trends downwards through Wed and Thurs, although still remaining at elevated levels in the 4-6ft range at S exposed breaks.

Friday should see a last pulse of long period SSE/SE swell from gales/severe gales well below the South Island as the gyre aims one last blast of wind back towards the East Coast. That should see sets back into the 4-6ft range with offshore winds. For those who still have some paddle left in the arms.

Into next weekend and we should see surf steadily trending downwards with light offshore winds likely.

We’ll update that on Friday. Seeya then!




evosurfer's picture
evosurfer's picture
evosurfer Wednesday, 8 Jun 2022 at 6:07pm

Holy moly its on

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Thursday, 9 Jun 2022 at 9:20am


MrBungle's picture
MrBungle's picture
MrBungle Thursday, 9 Jun 2022 at 12:40pm

Hoping we get a heads up when the cold water is expected to come through on the Illawarra coast.. currently getting by with a worn out 3/2 with the water being so warm still. Have a fresh 4/3 on stand-by.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Thursday, 9 Jun 2022 at 7:55pm

Not as magnificent as a few days ago, but still suggesting significant swell.

Way outside my parameters but there are always those novelty spots.