Juicier outlook on offer for next week as Tasman Sea fires up

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 5th Aug)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Tiny surf on the Sat with offshore winds
  • Slight uptick in SSE swell Sun with W winds tending SW in the a’noon
  • Directional S swell now more solid on Mon with fresh S’ly winds
  • Plenty of S to SSE swell Tues/Wed, with continuing S’lies
  • Better angled SE swell Thurs, easing Fri with light winds
  • Not much on offer next weekend
  • Keeping tabs on the Eastern swell window looking at long range developments, check back in Mon!


Not much on offer yesterday with only weak surf in the 1-1.5ft range. NE windswell was late to the party and didn’t really offer much before dark. It has perked up overnight with around 2ft of NE windswell on offer to end the working week. Nothing amazing but enough to get a shortboard up on the plane. The weekend still looks flaccid but next week is looking more lively now. Read on for details. 

Few funky options this morning on rideable NE windswell

This weekend (Aug 6-7)

 Not much change to the weekend f/cast. We still have a complex low just about to enter the Tasman, weakening as it does so, with a trough and NW cloud band drifting across NSW. The N’ly flow is now tending more NW, with that trend continuing into a more direct offshore flow through the weekend, driven by the decaying low.

Surf-wise, nothing much to expect Sat with tiny leftovers in the 1-1.5ft range or less. Clean under offshore winds so if you can find a babyfood bank it may be suitable for learners and big boards.

Sunday should see a slight uptick in SSE swell as the decaying low sets up a modest fetch adjacent to Tasmania Sat. That should see some 1-2ft surf at S exposed breaks Sun, with W’ly winds swinging more SW later Sunday and freshening as a front associated with the low sweeps across the state. Keep expectations low but there should be a little wave on offer Sunday if you look around.

Next week (Aug 8 onwards)

Surf prospects are definitely looking juicier for next week with a much more substantial fetch of S-SE winds set up on the Eastern side of the Tasman Sea as the decaying low reforms near New Zealand, aiming up several useful fetches back to the East Coast (see below).

The initial increase of swell on Mon will be very directionally S, so expect the usual spread in size between S swell magnets and elsewhere. Expect plenty of size on the Hunter and other S swell magnets with surf to 4-6ft, much smaller elsewhere away from the directional S swell. Winds will be an issue with fresh SW to S winds on offer.

S’ly quarter winds are still on the menu for Tuesday but by degrees swell direction will tend more SSE, which should aid refraction into more sheltered spots. Exposed S facing breaks will still be in the 4-5ft range, expected to bump up during the day as SSE swell continues to fill in from gales near the South Island, anchoring a long fetch through the Tasman. 

By Wednesday we should start to see a gradual but consistent easing of the pressure gradient maintaining the S’ly flow along the Central NSW Coast. Lingering SW-S winds should lay down through the day, tending to light S to SE’ly breezes as high pressure encroaches.

Plenty of size is expected from the SSE with sets to 6ft at exposed breaks, smaller at more sheltered locations.

Thursday looks to be the first day where local winds really lay down as weak high pressure moves off the coast. That should see a morning land breeze and afternoon NE seabreeze kick in. Better angled mid-period SE swell generated out of Cook Strait will see some lovely 3-5ft surf making Thursday the pick of next week so far.

By the end of next week and into the weekend an easing trend will be in play as a weak blocking pattern kicks in. 

Friday is likely a mop up day for the last of the SE swell with N’ly winds kicking in.

Next weekend looks bereft of any major swell sources at this stage, with minor NE windswell possible and a NW flow as a low/front approaches from the West.

Some of the longer range models are hinting at renewed action in the Eastern swell window, possibly a low pressure system in the Coral Sea, in response to a massive trade surge through Tahitian longitudes.

We’ll keep our eyes on that and report back in on Mon.

Until then, have a great weekend!



teaqueue's picture
teaqueue's picture
teaqueue Friday, 5 Aug 2022 at 2:08pm

Cmon Huey.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Friday, 5 Aug 2022 at 2:16pm

Well that was only a short break in proceedings.

Lilly Pollard's picture
Lilly Pollard's picture
Lilly Pollard Friday, 5 Aug 2022 at 3:21pm

Hey Craig, have you ever done an article about the correlation between full moons and swells? I’d love your knowledge on this.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Friday, 5 Aug 2022 at 3:42pm

I should, but totally unrelated.

For every location in the world that may have a large swell during a full moon, there's more with no surf.

It's just that people like remember the full moon with a bigger swell compared to any other swell with no accompanying moon cycle.

Also seeing swells can be generated days and days in advance it doesn't line up unfortunately.

Lilly Pollard's picture
Lilly Pollard's picture
Lilly Pollard Friday, 5 Aug 2022 at 3:52pm

Ahhh yeah right I was curious whether it was me looking for that correlation or if it was actually a thing. I remember years ago being told to book Indo surf trips for a full moon

Bubble elder's picture
Bubble elder's picture
Bubble elder Friday, 5 Aug 2022 at 4:30pm

Re booking indo trips on full moons is usually for the accompanied large tides for some of the breaks eg g-land speedies, supersucks and deserts all preferable with the bigger tides of the full moons.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 5 Aug 2022 at 3:23pm

Long range is starting to look pretty mental. More as the story develops.

evosurfer's picture
evosurfer's picture
evosurfer Friday, 5 Aug 2022 at 4:13pm

Wow I spoke too soon I thought our covid swell we have enjoyed for the last 2-1/2 years
was over after looking at the charts last week then bang its back I think I need some
new boards.

sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Friday, 5 Aug 2022 at 7:04pm

Nice clean 3ft at local this arvo very surprising better on mid tide ..