Stacks of swell out of the east

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wed 17th Aug)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Fun east swell Thurs, great conditions
  • Solid east swell Fri/Sat with great conditions, easing Sun/Mon
  • Some south swell in the mix Sun, but a little breezey
  • Long range E'ly swell Tues with gusty offshores


Fun small waves on offer for the last few days, mainly east swell on Tuesday in the 2-3ft range with some additional south swell to 3ft today. Light morning winds and afternoon sea breezes.

This week (Aug 18-19)

All looking pretty fun to finish the rest of the week with light winds under a dominant high pressure system, and a building swell from the eastern quadrant.

Today’s south swell will slowly ease through Thursday but the east swell should maintain inconsistent 2-3ft sets at open beaches. Model guidance has the periods building slowly in response to stronger energy from the trough block, so a slight increase in size is warranted for the afternoon, however overnight Thursday and more specifically early Friday is where we’ll see the arrival of a more defined swell front from this source.

This should increase most beaches into the 3-5ft range, with sets pushing 4-6ft at the swell magnets. It may be a little inconsistent at times but everything’s lining up for a really nice morning of strong surf with early offshores out of the NW, ahead of a fresh S/SW change that’ll push along the South Coast before lunch and nose into the Sydney region early afternoon.

This will probably blow out exposed beaches so you’ll have to aim for southern ends after lunch. 

This weekend (Aug 20-21)

A small south swell will trail Friday’s change, offering some new energy for Saturday, but concurrently a second round of E’ly groundswell from the trough block will push through, maintaining Friday’s size through the first half of the weekend.

Even better, winds are expected to veer W’ly as Friday’s change clears into the Tasman and another front rears up from the south, so conditions should be super clean. 

A slight easing from all swells is likely on Sunday (back to 3-4ft out of the east) and fresh southerlies are expected across many coasts from early morning, with the aforementioned change having pushed across the coast in the early hours. It should clear eastwards through the day and allow conditions to slowly clean up but the best surf will be mainly found at southern ends. Expect some additional (bumpy) southerly swell to 3-4ft at south facing beaches too.

Next week (Aug 22 onwards)

Our primary swell sources will ease through the start of next week, and an amplifying Long Wave Trough will freshen NW winds across the region, creating clean conditions ahead of a blustery W’ly change later Tuesday. 

Whilst the weekend’s swells will ease to an inconsistent 3ft, maybe 3-4ft on Monday, we’ll see yet another east swell push through, from an impressive sub tropical low in the South Pacific, which will result in long breaks between sets but a slight increase in size into Tuesday. Let's peg size in the 4ft range for Tuesday, perhaps a shade bigger if we are lucky.

Strong though acute south swells are then expected through the back half of the week (from the backside of the LWT sweeping across the eastern states) as the easterly swells ease steadily.

See you on Friday!


STRONNY's picture
STRONNY's picture
STRONNY Wednesday, 17 Aug 2022 at 7:04pm


conrico's picture
conrico's picture
conrico Thursday, 18 Aug 2022 at 5:49pm

La nina sucks jan to april, kicks ass from may to aug. Can’t beat E swell under winter offshores. My two cents