Bluebird days and fun E swell ahead before a very quiet weekend
Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 22nd June)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Mod E’ly pulses from late Wed thru' Thurs, easing quickly Fri
- Clean all week with light offshore winds
- Tiny surf expected next weekend
- Cold front brings small/mod S swell late Mon, peaking Tues
- More S swell likely Thurs/Fri
- Still monitoring potential low pressure development from later next week, stay tuned for updates.
SE swell perked up nicely through Tuesday with most places seeing clean 3ft surf under a morning offshore that lingered long into the day. A few spots over-achieved as longer period swell trains made landfall, with some 4ft sets reported. Size has dipped a notch this morning with mostly 2-3ft surf. Clean conditions were on offer across most of the region with a bit of residual lump and bump across the Hunter after overnight S’ly biased winds left their mark. A pulse of E/SE swell is expected through the a’noon before stromger E'ly swell fills in tomorrow. Details below.
This week (June 22-24)
A nice, wintry elongated high pressure belt is located over the interior, now drifting over most of NSW, bringing classic settled winter weather in the wake of a weak front. Pristine days with light W’ly winds for the most part lay ahead. The tropical low over the North Island has rotated out of the swell window, dissipating quickly as it did so. We’ve still got some fun E’ly quadrant swell inbound from that source before a period of quiet surf becomes established over the weekend.
No change to the short term f/cast. E/SE swell is on a slight easing trend from overnight into Thurs morning before a more E’ly angled pulse from the North Island low fills in. We’re still expecting sets in the 3-4ft range, with pristine conditions on offer. Bluebird skies and offshore winds which should blow from dawn to dusk. A slight easing trend should be noticeable through the a’noon. All in all a nice day to get amongst it.
We’ll be more firmly on the downslope through Fri with size easing from an inconsistent 3ft early down to 2ft and slow by close of play. It’ll still be worth a paddle though under offshore winds and blue skies.
This weekend (June 25-26)
Easing trend continues over the weekend. Glorious conditions are expected so it’ll be worth packing a groveller , log or mid-length to chase a go out, especially Sat, where a few remaining 2ft sets will be on offer under light offshore breezes that may tend to light and variable sea breezes later in the a’noon.
Sunday looks more of a classic babyfood day as swell retreats right back into the 1-2ft range or less. Close to flat on high tides. Ideal conditions will suit beginners and those looking for a gentle cruise.
Next week (June 27 onwards)
The pattern of weak, zonal (W-E) fronts which has been passing over the Tasman and SE of Australia over the weekend takes on a more active, meridional (N-S) aspect on Mon.
With a high moving across Victoria behind it a front and small low later Sun into Mon brings SW-S winds and an a’noon increase in S swell (see below). GFS is very much more bullish on this than EC model so a little caution is appropriate as swell models may be overcooking the size a notch. Nonetheless we’ll expect an a’noon increase in S swell, up to the 3-4ft range, possibly bigger.
S swell peaks Tues with sets in the 4ft range at S facing beaches, easing during the day and favourable offshore winds as a high centre moves over the state.
By the middle of next week we should see at temporary lull in the action before another round of S swell through Thurs/Fri.
Models are still struggling to resolve a troughy, dynamic set-up in the Tasman and Coral Seas, so it’s likely we’ll see substantial revision before this period kicks off.
Another cold front pushing into the Tasman Wed, brings S swell Thurs/Fri. Lets call it 3-4ft at this stage and adjust as we get more model clarity.
The curve ball is a large troughy area of low pressure in the Coral Sea and another interior trough on the North QLD coast next week. At this stage it is likely to impact sub-tropical areas as trade-flows south of the trough perk up, although we still have a great deal of uncertainty over how far south these winds will extend.
There’s still some possibility that the trough could extend down into Southern NSW and form a surface low into the first weekend of July although models have cooled on that scenario, so we’ll keep eyes on that possibility.
The instability does signal strong possibilities of low pressure development- possibly an ECL - in this coming period.
Check back Fri and see how it’s shaping up.