Small bits and pieces over the weekend with a potential E swell later next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 25th Nov)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • Easing S swells Fri with light winds
  • Slight rebuild in S swell Sat with S’ly winds expected
  • Small leftovers Sun with freshening N’lies
  • Small surf expected Mon next week with a slight S swell pulse Tues
  • Small S swell pulses expected later next week with a general onshore flow 
  • Still tracking developments in Coral Sea as low pressure forms later next week, likely increase in E swell by late next week, check back Mon for updates


Strong S’ly groundswell came in around f/cast expectations yesterday with size mostly in the 5-6ft range at S exposed breaks, bigger 6ft+ on the Hunter, and select bommies showing significantly more size. End to end close-outs were a problem for wave quality at most beaches. Conditions were clean early with offshore breezes, deteriorating later under E’ly breezes. Those breezes have left surface conditions this morning a bit scrappy with leftover S swell still showing some strong 3-5 ft surf across S exposed breaks, now on the ease. 

Still some S swell in the water today but gurgly from overnight onshores

This weekend (Nov26-27)

No great changes to the weekend f/cast. A trough and last front bring a S’ly change overnight or early morning which will see ordinary surface conditions across most of the region. The front pushes a weak S’ly fetch NE into the Tasman and this will see a rebuild in short range S swell to 3ft through the a’noon, with leftover S swell around 2ft through the morning. By the a’noon winds will likely clock around NE as an elongated high cell quickly moves into the Tasman- possibly opening up a window at S facing beaches depending on the timing.

N’lies then establish through Sunday with easing surf from the S, only a few 2ft leftovers are expected early, dribbling away through the a’noon. A small amount of NE windswell may pop up in the a’noon but the fetch is quite weak. 

A small curve ball is a troughy area behind the Illawarra which may see a more NW tilt to winds in the a’noon. It’s a low percentage play but possibly worth keeping an eye on if you have a quality piece of sand that can maximise small NE swells.

A trough induced S’ly change now looks to get into Sydney right around or just after dark but timing may change so keep a weather eye out for a late S’ly buster.

Next week (Nov28 onwards)

Sundays late S’ly change extends into Mon with S’ly winds tending more E-NE through the day as high pressure moves into the Tasman and a trough line hovers along the NSW Coast. Not much surf is expected just a small amount of short range short period S’ly windswell up to around 2ft. 

We should see an early offshore flow Tues before winds tend SE in the wake of another front and as the leading edge of a high pressure ridge establishes. Expect marginal surf in the sub 2ft range, clean early before the sou-easter rips into it.

By Wed we’ll see a pattern change as a strong high pressure belt straddles Tasmania and we start to see the influence of a trough associated with the monsoon off the QLD Coast. An initial trough may form off in the Northern Tasman which will help increase onshore winds on the Central/Southern NSW Coast.

Expect an onshore flow to develop Wed and extend through the end of next week. There will be some small S swell pulses during this tine as fronts pass to the south Tues (see below) and late Wed, likely arriving later Wed and Fri in the 2-3ft range, bigger on the Hunter. These will be hard to find quality waves out of though in the onshore flow.

The more intense action will be in the sub-tropics with potential for a trough of low pressure to form off the CQ coast, potentially deepening into a hybrid sub-tropical low later next week. That looks to generate large swells for the SEQLD/NENSW Points for the most part but by the end of next week the under-side of that fetch will see building swells from the E-ESE, likely into the 3ft range. 

A more southwards movement of the low later next week may see much stronger E swell develop into next weekend (3-4/12) but we’ll need more model guidance before we can stand on any firm ground there. 

Pencil in increasing E swells later next week, with a possibility for something juicier into the weekend and check back Mon for a fresh update.

Until then, have a great weekend!


sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Saturday, 26 Nov 2022 at 7:28pm

Great pulse this arvo a few 3+ft better than than Dawn surf this morning..