Overlapping pulses from the SE this week as Tasman low lingers near New Zealand

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 8th Aug)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • 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, easing Wed
  • Better angled SE-ESE swell Thurs, easing Fri with light winds
  • Not much on offer Sat, small E swell Sun with offshore winds 
  • Possible S swell Wed/Thurs next week depending on movement of low in Tasman
  • Keeping tabs on the Eastern swell window looking at long range developments, check back in Wed!


Nothing much to recap over the weekend, small surf both days with Saturday tiny 1ft ( a few bigger 2footers on the Hunter) and a slight bump in new SSE swell Sun seeing slightly bigger 1-2ft surf. Winds were mostly W’ly both days as a front and low moved across the Tasman. Today is seeing increasing levels of directional S swell with size building into the 3-4ft range at S exposed breaks. Lots more swell energy inbound this week. Details below. 

Directional S swell on the way up

This week (Aug 8-12)

The building blocks are now in place for an active  week of surf from the SE. A complex, multi-centred low is stationed over New Zealand with a strong (1029hPa) high located equidistant between Tasmania and the South Island offering excellent cradling support for the low. A high pressure cell over the interior moves SE tomorrow to re-inforce the oceanic high.Several juicy fetches will send swell across the Tasman this week, with S’ly winds on hand until mid-week. 

In the short run and the current directional S swell quickly gets overlapped through tomorrow, first by a similar size but longer period SSE pulse mid-morning then by a better angled and stronger SE swell mid-afternoon in the 4-5ft range. Fresh S’ly winds will be a problem as the ridge strengthens along the NSW Coast but the a’noon pulse should offer up options at more protected spots, albeit at reduced size.

Wednesdays sees the current inland high move over the South Coast with a weakening ridge. That will see S’ly winds lay down through the day and tend light SE in the a’noon. A morning SW land breeze is on the cards,  especially north of the Harbour and Central Coast. Plenty of mid period SE swell is on the menu, as the fetch of SE winds in the Tasman actually slingshots NW back into the Tasman through late Mon/Tues. Expect size in the 3-5ft range, with smaller surf at more protected locations.

Thursday looks the best bet for quality waves this week. The high moves out over the near Tasman Sea, weakening and spreading out as it does so, creating an environment of weak pressure gradients along the NSW temperate coast. That should see light W to NW winds tending to NE sea breezes in the a’noon. Nicely angled mid period SE swell holds in the 3-5ft range with a pulse of better angled E/SE swell from a Cook Strait fetch joining the party in the a’noon. 

By Friday we’ll be on the back-side of the Tasman Sea swell pulses. That should see leftovers in the 2-3ft range, easing during the day. Winds look OK, with a low approaching from the Bight seeing winds swing NW as the high continues to migrate E across the Tasman. There should be a fun mop-up surf on Friday. 

This weekend (Aug 13-14)

Not a great deal of action this weekend with Sat just seeing a few small leftovers in the 1-2ft range, clean as the approaching low shifts winds to the W. That offers up clean babyfood on the right bank.

Sunday looks a little more interesting with continuing W’ly winds as the low now shifts E of Bass Strait to be off the Gippsland Coast during Sun morning. An E’ly to E/NE’ly infeed into this low (see below) does offer up some mid period E swell potential for Sun, likely in the 2-3ft range, although the expected instability surrounding this system does lend low confidence to the call. Make sure you check back Wed as finesse size and timing. It does look like a fun rideable wave for Sun though.

Next week (Aug 15 onwards)

As mentioned above we are looking at an unstable Tasman Sea next week with models offering up some juicy prognoses charts.

Mon and Tues are likely to maintain the small levels of E swell from fetches infeeding into the low, with W’ly winds. There’s still model divergence about the position and strength of the low so expect some fairly major revision as we move through the week. 

From mid next week things get very interesting. If the low moves out into the Tasman we’ll be looking at a nice pulse of S swell from Wed, into Thurs.

Certain model runs show the low merging with a long trough line between New Caledonia and the North Island, with potential for a very broad infeed of gales into that trough line from a strong high east of New Zealand. That would see quality E’ly groundswell possibly arriving next weekend. 

Check back Wed and we’ll see how that scenario is playing out. 


joesydney's picture
joesydney's picture
joesydney Tuesday, 9 Aug 2022 at 7:36am

Latest model run looks good for next week…how confident should I feel?

greg-n.williams's picture
greg-n.williams's picture
greg-n.williams Tuesday, 9 Aug 2022 at 6:55pm

Bring it on! The more east in the swell the better for my locals, hopefully the winds will stay offshore for most of the forecast swell period.

greg-n.williams's picture
greg-n.williams's picture
greg-n.williams Tuesday, 9 Aug 2022 at 6:55pm

Bring it on! The more east in the swell the better for my locals, hopefully the winds will stay offshore for most of the forecast swell period.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Tuesday, 9 Aug 2022 at 7:13pm

Models are still a bit wobbly from run to run.

Hold fire Joey.

joesydney's picture
joesydney's picture
joesydney Wednesday, 10 Aug 2022 at 1:28am

2 weeks stuck in California- I’m busting

sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Tuesday, 9 Aug 2022 at 9:52pm

Some juicy sets this arvo.. plenty of power and a great rip bowl