Easing size this weekend, plenty of south swell next week

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Fri 9th Sep)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Make the most of early Sat, it'll have the most size from an easing NE windswell
  • Small leftovers Sun though a minor S'ly swell should glance the coast in the PM
  • Clean all weekend with offshore winds
  • Small new S'ly swell Mon
  • Bigger S'ly groundswell Tues
  • Smaller S'ly swells later in the week, chance for a low off the coast too


A solid south swell provided good waves on Thursday, but size has eased and we're now seeing a more dominant NE windswell on offer with average 3-4ft sets under a moderate to fresh N/NE wind.

This weekend (Sep 10-11)

No major changes to the weekend forecast. 

Conditions will improve nicely as winds veer to the W/NW then clock slowly around to the W/SW, but easing swells from now onwards will result in Saturday morning offering the best options. 

NE facing beaches may see early 2ft+ sets at the swell magnets, but elsewhere it'll be a lot smaller and size will come down a little through the day. Expect small leftovers out of the NE up to about 1ft on Sunday.

However, we will also see a small flukey south swell grace our shores, from a front pushing through eastern Bass Strait on Saturday afternoon. Although poorly aligned through our swell window, we should see a minor spread in S'ly energy into south swell magnets through the day (perhaps not showing first thing). 

Confidence is low in the size department but south facing beaches could see stray 2ft sets through Sunday afternoon, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Hunter region picked up a few bigger waves.

Next week (Sep 12 onwards)

Next week looks typical of Spring with a series of strong fronts transiting through our south swell window, although at somewhat low latitudes. 

This should supply a steady undercurrent of southerly groundswell all week. 

Monday has a small new swell on the cards that should bump up south facing beaches into the 2-3ft range (smaller elsewhere though a few bigger sets across the Hunter), though I'm not confident on the timing so the early sesion may be a little undersized. 

A longer period swell originating from storm force winds around the parent low is then scheduled to arrive Tuesday. Again, the timing is unclear so we can't book in a morning or afternoon session just now (Monday should provide some clarity, I suspect it'll be an arvo swell) but despite the poor alignment of this system I think most south facing beaches should pick up sets in the 4ft+ range - they'll be very inconsistent, mind - and some of the regional swell magnets (Hunter et al) could see occasional bombs near 5-6ft if we are lucky. Expect a broad plateau of size through into Wednesday morning too.

Of course, directional south swells only favour a small percentage of beaches so most locations will come in well under this size range. 

Easing southerly swells will then trend throughout Wed PM/Thurs ahead of another round of action Fri/Sat from a weaker frontal sstem in the Southern Ocean below the Tasman Sea, however model guidance is suggesting a local trough may evolve into a surface low off the southern NSW coast around the same time, leading to short range swell potential from the NE, and maybe a punch return S/SE swell as the system moves eastwards.

Still quite some time away though, and there's a few things to focus in on before then.

Have a great weekend!


jordan.mar's picture
jordan.mar's picture
jordan.mar Monday, 12 Sep 2022 at 12:29pm

Still some fun sets from the NE yesterday, slow though. About 9 am ish. 2ft +