Swell from Tasman low continues into mid-week before N'lies kick in
Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Mon 5th Sep)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- SE-ESE swell from Tasman low persists Mon, eases Tues, with a last pulse from the SE-ESE Wed
- Long period S swell now downgraded a notch- expected Mon PM, peaking Tues, easing Wed with light winds
- Longer period SSE pulse Thurs
- NE windswell likely Thurs PM, peaking Fri
- Very small this weekend
- S to SE swell likely next week with low forming in Tasman, low confidence on specifics, check back Wed
Wild and wooly weekend with a strong front then, developing low off the North Coast driving strong S’lies. Sat saw raggedy surf in the 3-5ft range, with a brief window of morning SW winds reported in some locations. Size on Sunday built into the 4-5ft range, bigger 6-8ft on the Hunter. Conditions have settled somewhat this morning with some good/great, clean 4-5ft surf at sheltered spots in the region, still a wind affected 4-6ft at more exposed S facing stretches.
This week (Sep5-9)
Conditions should settle down quite quickly through the first half of the week as the rambunctious low which passed over Lord Howe Island on the weekend quickly scoots across to the North Island, with trailing fetches near the South Island and out of Cook Strait maintaining good surf through mid-week.
A large high (1031hPa) is approaching Tasmania and will drift into the Tasman Sea this week, with the S’ly ridge slowly weakening and then tending N’ly for the latter part of the week. A passing polar low is now on the far side of the South Island having sent some long period Sly groundswell our way.
In the short run and S’ly winds will be with us again tomorrow, although easing off and tending light SE-ESE during the a’noon. A window of morning SW breeze is likely to be confined to areas north of the Harbour and Central Coast with more exposed S’ly oriented coastlines still suffering from plenty of lump and bump. A mix of long period S’ly groundswell and easing SSE-E/SE swell will still provide plenty of energy with sets to 5-6ft, grading smaller into more sheltered spots.
By Wednesday that ridge will have slackened right off and winds will tend to morning land breezes before clocking around E/SE before ending up as E/NE to NE sea breezes. This will probably offer the best combination of wind and swell for the week with a last kick in energy from the S to SE in the 3-5ft range, slowly easing a notch during the a’noon.
N’ly winds freshen through Thursday as the high moves far enough out in the Tasman to develop the western flank. They’ll start off at a light/mod speed, possibly NW-N early before ramping right up during the a’noon. We’ll see some traces of long period SSE’ly energy fill in during the morning, in the 4ft range, bigger 4-5ft on the Hunter, from a fetch below New Zealand, before NE windswell starts to develop in the a’noon. That offers up better options for S facing locations.
This NE windswell looks to be a handy size through Fri with plenty of 2-3ft surf, bigger on the South Coast. Early fresh N’ly winds will tend NW then W as a front pushes through. If you can nail the timing there should be plenty of fun sidewinders on Friday.
This weekend (Sep10-11)
Not much to look forwards to this weekend, surf-wise. A weak front associated with a trough pushes through overnight Fri, leaving Sat with a light offshore wind, tending to weak breezes as a broad troughy area of weak pressure gradients lingers about the NSW Coast.
Not much swell to go with that. Small leftovers in the 1-2ft range at exposed breaks. We’ll keep tabs on whether the front passing through Bass Strait Fri may have some more oomph to it, but at this stage it looks weak, zonal and transitory.
Sunday repeats the dose, with no major swell sources and just tiny leftovers in the water. Sunday is likely to be even smaller than Sat, with just a few one footers on exposed S facing beaches.
Good Weekend to get things done or go inland.
Next week (Sep 12 onwards)
We mentioned in Fridays notes a pattern of enhanced troughiness in the Tasman and Coral Seas next week, and thats certainly looking probable now.
Models are suggesting a surface low form either off the MNC or further north. There is solid surf potential from this outlook but we’ll need a few more days as models start to solidify on the details before we rush into any calls.
More certain is some small S swell coming from a series of fronts passing below Tasmania which is likely to see S swell later Mon into Tues.
Of course, quality will depend on any surface low forming in the Tasman, so we’ll need to hold our fire before we make any definite calls.
With major models struggling to resolve the troughiness (typical for La Niña spring/summers) we’ll pencil in a swell event for next week- likely from Tues, and come back Wed and fill in some of the details.