Quality E swell expected later next week as "trough-block" sets up in South Pacific slot

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 12th Aug)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Small leftovers Sat, small E swell Sun with offshore winds 
  • E-E/NE swell perks up Mon, persists at small levels Tues-Wed then builds Thurs as “trough block” forms in South Pacific slot
  • Chunkier E/NE swell likely Fri from "trough block" fetch
  • Flukey small S groundswell Mon/Tues- only showing at reliable S swell magnets
  • Slight kick in short period S swell Wed
  • Looks like active period ahead as S swell window fires up and South Pacific remains active, check back Mon for updates


We’re now in the mop-up phase after an active week of SE swell. Yesterday saw some strong leftovers in the 3-5ft range across the region with light offshore winds transitioning to N/NNE winds in the a’noon. Today is back to inconsistent 3ft sets, bigger on the Hunter with N’ly winds more firmly established from early morning. All in all, a pretty good winter week of surfing. 

Few sets still around this morning, wind affected by the N'ly

This weekend (Aug 13-14)

No great change expected for the weekend f/cast.  Winds will be dominated by an approaching interior low and trough linked to a NW cloud band (the second since the Indian Ocean Dipole went negative). That will see a N’ly flow tend NW to W on Sat and a similar wind pattern on Sun.

Saturday won’t see much size, just a small signal of leftover energy from the ESE and a smidgin of NE to E/NE surf in the a’noon as winds feed into the approaching low. That will see open beaches top out in the 1-2ft range, biggest in the a’noon. 

The infeed into the low stretches out to become contiguous with a tradewind style fetch in the Southern Coral Sea and this will see a slight uptick in E/NE swell into Sunday. Nothing amazing but a few 2ft sets will be on offer, under offshore winds. 

Next week (Aug 15 onwards)

We still have the same building blocks in place for next week but the timing has been pushed back and the mix has been altered as E swell dominates from the “trough block” and S swell fades in importance.

By Mon the low will be located just East of Tasmania with continuing W’lies across NSW and extending into the sub-tropics. 

We’re looking at a few days of small E swell as the trade-wind/infeed fetch slowly migrates Eastwards into the South Pacific. 

Expect surf in the 2ft range Mon with W’ly winds, continuing into Tues, with winds tending W/SW as a front associated with the low sweeps across the state.

No significant S swell is now expected from the low as it weakens quickly through Tuesday, although we’ll keep monitoring over the weekend to see if any eventuates. We’re looking at some traces of long period S swell from a fetch well to the south of Australia through Mon and Tues with just a few inconsistent 2ft sets at S swell magnets.

A weak fetch off Gippsland Tues is likely to see some similar size short period S swell Wed. 

More mid period small E swell pads out Wed. 

Thats three days of small, clean waves expected to start the week.

While this is happening a long trough line in the near South Pacific forms and deepens with a wind speeds increasing along a broad front due south of New Caledonia as they feed into the trough. Strong winds to gales feeding into the fetch through Tues-Thurs are expected to generate quality E/NE swell trains for the region (see below).

We’re expecting a building trend Thurs with surf building from 2-3ft into the 3ft range.

Fri and into the weekend look much more solid with size in the 4-5ft range and a few bigger sets expected. We’re still a few days away from seeing how it shapes up but confidence is high in quality E quadrant swell for this period. Winds look good as a cold front sweeps across the state. W tending SW into next weekend. We’ll finesse the details on Mon, but for now it’s looking good.

Longer term and a chunky winter-calibre low in the Tasman is on the cards for next weekend, although it’s too far out to have any confidence in specifics.

Check back Mon and have a great weekend!


Mcface's picture
Mcface's picture
Mcface Friday, 12 Aug 2022 at 2:34pm

Keen to hear whether the KON approves of the Trough Block(TM)

dannyz's picture
dannyz's picture
dannyz Sunday, 14 Aug 2022 at 10:32am

anything decent gonna eventuate from this 14s east swell predicted for tomorrow?

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie Sunday, 14 Aug 2022 at 10:28pm

Wake up early and find out Cuzzy!

dannyz's picture
dannyz's picture
dannyz Sunday, 14 Aug 2022 at 11:04pm

I always do! yewww

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie Sunday, 14 Aug 2022 at 10:28pm

How's that forecast update for Friday onwards?!?!?!?!?! SsssssssicK!

Mark.Fletcher's picture
Mark.Fletcher's picture
Mark.Fletcher Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 9:49am

Saturday seemed to be marginally bigger around the ‘Gong than Sunday despite the forecasts. That E swell pulse didn’t seem to eventuate