More S swells and offshore winds to kick off Winter with some unruly winds next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed 31st May)

Forecast Summary (tl;dr)

  • S swell pulse holding into Wed
  • Low point in S swell Thurs
  • Solid rebuild in S swell Fri with winds tending N’ly
  • Mid-sized S swell Sat with NW-N winds
  • S’ly change Sun, possible increase in short range S swell 
  • Stronger S-SE swells into next week with onshore winds
  • Easing size into late next week


Ruled edged S swells of uncommonly long period (17-18+ seconds) have provided a range of wave heights across the region yesterday and continuing into today. Mostly 2-3ft, with S swell magnets 3-4ft and the Hunter 4ft solid. Clean conditions under W’ly winds which are tending NW through today. Lots of end to end close-outs but if you could find somewhere handling the steep S swell direction, some great waves to be had.

Still some ruled edged lines today

This week (May 31- June 2)

No great change to the current pattern with a large high sitting very far up (right up on the QLD/NSW border!) allowing free passage for cold fronts into the lower Tasman and a generally synoptic W’ly flow to continue across the region. Mostly long period S swell trains will continue to the be the dominant swell source until next week when a much more S’ly located high brings an onshore flow to most of the Eastern Seaboard. 

In the short run and we’re still looking at Thursday as the low point of the week with just small amounts of leftover S swell topping out around 2ft at S swell magnets and the Hunter, tiny elsewhere. Great winds for S swell magnets with a W-NW flow on hand, likely tending variable in the a’noon in the region, with a S’ly change extending up to Jervis Bay. 

A strong front will have pushed into the Tasman Thurs with gales extending off Tasmania and deeper into the Tasman. The resulting pulse of S swell is looking pretty solid and now expected to arrive Fri morning, with size quickly building to 3-4ft at S facing beaches, bigger 4-5ft on the Hunter by midday. Variable winds look good until after lunch when a weak high quickly moving into the Tasman develops a light/mod NE flow across the region. No drama for S facing beaches.

This weekend (June 3-4)

Pencil in Sat for the last of the offshore days. Winds should be great- light W/NW-NW tending to light NE seabreezes and quality S swell to 3-4ft at S facing beaches early- bigger 4ft+ on the Hunter- will fade through the day. 

By Sunday we’ll see a step change in conditions as a large high well south of Tasmania slides E, bringing an onshore S-SE flow, even tending E/SE in the a’noon. We’ll see an increase in S swell associated with the passage of a front and low into the Tasman but the increase will be modest (2-3ft at S facing beaches) and with the onshore flow quality will be low. 

Next week (June 5 onwards)

Stronger S swell is on the menu for Mon as the deeper fetch associated with Sundays front generates a larger pulse, up in the 4-5ft range at S facing beaches, 6ft on the Hunter. Winds look terrible though, straight onshore E-E/NE and moderate in strength. If you can handle the onshore there’ll be plenty of swell on offer.

More onshore winds Tues, though they should shift more E/SE possibly opening up a few options at protected spots. S swells to 3ft mixed with short period wind swells will provide low quality surf.

 A low will have become slow moving near New Zealand from Sun/Mon and SSE-SE winds extending from the bottom of the South Island will generate SSE swells for the region, up into the 2-3ft range through Wed.

Thursday should see an improvement in conditions with winds starting to tend NE with light morning winds likely. That will coincide with a peak in SE swell from the fetch below the South Island, supplying sets to 3-4ft under current modelling.

An approaching mid latitude low is likely to see winds shift NW through Fri next week with easing swells.

Looks like we’ll see small surf establish late next week and into the weekend.

We’ll see how that looks when we come back Fri. Seeya then.