Low pressure in the Coral Sea supplies some fun E/NE swell over the weekend
Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 2nd Dec)
Forecast Summary (tl;dr)
- Flukey pulse of mid-period S swell Fri with light SE winds
- Fun E/NE swell over the weekend as low pressure area hovers in Coral Sea
- Small E/NE swell expected to extend into next week at fun size
- NE windswell likely to develop in conjunction with E/NE swell Sun/Mon
- Small/mod S swell now expected as low forms E of Tasmania Tues, size peaking late Tues into Wed, stay tuned for revisions
Junky surf has been with us since Wed as onshore winds continue to plague the region. Size was in the 2-3ft range yesterday, bigger 3-4ft on the Hunter with light SSE winds early, tending SE-ESE through the day and freshening. Onshore SSE-SE winds continue to blow this morning, making a mess of small 2-3ft S swell. Rideable waves are there for the very keen.
This weekend (Dec 3-4)
No great change to the weekend f/cast. A slow moving low pressure system is currently off the QLD coast generating plenty of size for the subtropics. Windspeeds along the southern flank are just a notch higher than modelled on Wed so we’ll see a corresponding uptick in size across the f/cast region as swell radiates away from the source fetch.
That should see 3ft sets through Sat, especially in the more Northern regions, with at least 2-3ft surf widespread across temperate NSW. Onshore winds are expected to lay down as pressure gradients ease but winds are still likely to have some S’ly component through the morning (SW-SSW) before tending SE-NE then NE. So, don’t expect premium surface conditions but they should be workable through the day.
As the high moves out into the Tasman on Sunday we’ll see N to NE winds freshen through the day. There should be a window of lighter W/NW to NW winds through the early morning and this will combine with fun E/NE swell to 3ft on the sets from the QLD low. Expect winds to freshen from mid/late morning.
Next week (Dec 5 onwards)
Tricky looking outlook for next week as models struggle to resolve small areas of low pressure which bud off the monsoon trough line and linger off the QLD coast, possibly drifting down into the Northern Tasman. So, don’t be surprised to see some serious revision on Mon if one of these areas of troughy low pressure decides to fire up.
Given that, Mon should be N’ly with a slow easing in mid period E/NE swell expected from the sub-tropical source and some small short period NE windswell in the mix. Expect surf in the 2-3ft range, with the mid period E/NE swell slowly dropping down in the mix through the a’noon. A trough pushing up the coast may deliver a late S’ly change- more likely on the South Coast to Illawarra. But it may reach Sydney before close of play.
By Tues the trough, connected to a low pushing E of Tasmania is expected to generate stronger SSW-S winds. Models have downgraded this system compared to Wed, as the remnants of a low from the Coral Sea no longer merge with it. Expect continuing small fun levels of E/NE swell in the 2-3ft range Tues as the Coral Sea low lingers and maintains a weakening fetch. A late spike in S swell is on the cards, depending on how the low plays out. We’ll pencil in 3-4ft surf, bigger on the Hunter and finesse that on Mon. Freshening S’ly winds will confine surf to sheltered spots through the a’noon.
Wed and Thurs now look more like bog standard small S swell as the low E of Tasmania generates a mostly SW fetch into the Tasman (see below). Expect S swell Wed in the 3-4ft range, bigger on the Hunter with winds expected to ease and tend variable/onshore in a weak pressure gradient synoptic environment.
Current modelling shows the low slowly migrating through the lower Tasman, likely holding a small signal of S swell through the end of next week with a weak high in the Tasman suggesting moderate onshore winds through this period.
As mentioned though, with so much instability across the Southern Coral Sea and Northern Tasman confidence is low at medium range so expect revisions on Mon.
Check back then for the latest update and have a great weekend!