Long tail of quality S swell this week with mostly offshore winds
Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 13th June)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- More solid S swell Tues, easing slowly through Wed, with a rebuild Wed PM
- Size holds Thurs AM, easing during the day
- Offshore winds continue this week until Fri
- S’ly winds expected this weekend with long range, long period SSE swell biggest Sat, easing Sun
- SE-E/SE swell sources from Tues/Wed next week, stay tuned for revisions
Pretty special long weekend of stiff, cold offshore winds and thick, straight S swell, although it was a bit feast and famine. Areas from Sydney North, particularly Cronulla, Northern Beaches, Central Coast and the Hunter picked up the lions share of the swell with Saturday seeing anywhere from 6-10ft of swell at magnets and some Bommies even bigger. Other areas in the region like the Illawarra and South Coast reported much smaller surf in the 3-5ft range. Sunday saw a similar range of wave heights with the aforementioned areas once again seeing plenty of size and juice, up to 6-8ft, with a noticeable increase in size later in the a’noon lifting wave heights right across the region. Sets were anywhere from 6ft+ to 12-15ft up to dark, depending on the degree of S’ly swell exposure.
Still massive this morning, although it looks like the swell peaked overnight. Surf anywhere in the 8-10ft range across the region this morning with SW winds pushing northwards leaving a slight wobble in the swell. Otherwise, clean conditions prevailed. Crazy swell event and we’ll now see it easing off through most of this week with more pulses at reduced heights. Details below.
This week (June 13-17)
The large Southern gyre is now drifting over the South Island with a last front pushing through the lower Tasman today. High pressure is occupying most of NSW and is slowly moving over the coastal region, leading to light winds and settled conditions in the near term. More fronts maintain a synoptic offshore flow for the week and we’ve got plenty of S swell to last the week, albeit at reduced sizes compared to the weekend.
In the short run and keep the step-ups out for tomorrow- there’ll still be plenty of size around. Solid 6ft sets at S facing beaches with deep-water adjacent reefs still up in the 6-8ft range, although on a slow ease through the day. Winds will start W/NW to W, then tilt NW to N in the post-lunch period, with a possible light NE seabreeze on the cards. That should see plenty of good to great surf continue across the region, although expect slow periods as the swell wanes.
Into Wed and expect winds to freshen from the NW before swinging W as the next front pushes across the region. Residual S swell should hold some easing 4-5ft surf at S exposed breaks, smaller elsewhere before a new swell front generated by the passage of todays front and low sees fresh pulse likely showing best through the a’noon. Expect surf to rebuild into the 4ft+ range at S exposed breaks under offshore winds.
Offshore winds extend into Thurs so expect premium surface conditions. Wednesdays pulse carries through with some 3-4ft sets at S facing beaches, easing during the day.
We’ll end the working week with winds finally starting to tilt to the S as a small troughy surface low forms off the South Coast. There’s not much in it, so winds should maintain W through SW for a while, before tilting SSW to S in the a’noon. Enough to scuff up S facing beaches. Friday should the the low point of the week swell-wise, at least through the morning. There will be long period S swell trains in the water, enough for 2-3ft at S facing beaches, possibly bigger 3ft on the Hunter. Through the a’noon, longer period SSE swell from a deep fetch located well to the S/SE of the South Island this week should send a few sets in the 3-4ft range. Those South Island fetches tend to be flukey and with S biased winds it’s likely a lower confidence event.
This weekend (June 18-19)
Winds look a bit iffy over the weekend. Fridays small troughy surface low moves north to be off the Sydney region on Saturday and bringing an increased SSW to S flow. That SSW to S’ly flow looks quite entrenched over the weekend so you’ll need to factor in some wind protection which will cost you some size.
There will be some swell to play with. The deep SSE fetch below the South Island sends long period SSE swell to the region, which should peak Sat in the inconsistent 4-5ft range. Long periods and a slight E’ly component to the swell should assist in getting into more protected spots away from the wind, although these will be smaller than directly S facing spots.
Size eases back into the 3ft range Sun, with the addition of some short period, short range S’ly windswell rebuilding size into the 3-4ft range during the a’noon. After the current run of groundswell this will be junky, close range stuff. Probably not worth worrying about with 15 knots or more of S’ly wind on it.
Next week (June 13 onwards)
As mentioned on Friday we have a couple of swell sources to look forwards to next week, although it’s highly likely we’ll need to revise any expected wave heights through the week.
First cab off the rank is a developing fetch of SE winds squeezed between an elongated high and the small, low off the NSW Coast, which is likely to drift into the Tasman. This fetch develops in the Central/Eastern Tasman later in the weekend and is likely to supply some mid-period SSE-SE swell through Tues/Wed. Models are moving around a lot on this but we’ll pencil in 3-4ft at this stage and adjust as we get closer.
Further afield a large, deep low forms near the North Island over the weekend into early next week. Most of the direct winds aimed at the East Coast get quickly shadowed by the North Island but winds extending out of Cook Strait and the West side of the North Island are likely to generate E/SE swell for the region. Possibly over-lapping the previous swell later Tues into Wed. We’ll pencil in 4ft for this swell source and check back on in Wed.
Following that looks like a weak blocking pattern possibly spelling some small surf going into the weekend 25/26 June.
More on that in Wednesday’s notes.