Easing but workable swells for the beachies this weekend and into next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri 15th Sep)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Easing S swells Fri with freshening NE winds
  • Small leftover S swells Sat with light morning NW winds and a’noon N’lies (may tend NW again late)
  • Mixed bag of E/NE and NE swell Sun with morning offshores and a’noon NE breezes
  • Flukey long period S swell pulse may show late Mon, easing Tues
  • Workable E/NE-NE swells early-mid next week with fickle winds, likely tending NE
  • More S swells from Thurs next week/into the weekend, likely modest in size


S’ly groundswells have provided some good/great waves at S facing beaches and reefs with the expected wide range in sizes. Some reefs/south facing coasts reported 6ft+ surf yesterday, with majority in the 4-5ft range and a fair wait for sets. Dreamy morning conditions under light offshore winds with a’noon seabreezes adding some bump and ruffle to the post lunch sessions. Easing swells today with inconsistent 3ft sets, bigger 3-4ft on the Hunter. Clean conditions again for the early with N’ly winds kicking up mid/late morning. A pretty good week of S’ly groundswell if you had access to a spot handling the direction and period.

Still some good sets yesterday a'noon

This weekend (Sep 16-17)

A small mixed bag still expected this weekend. A trough hovering about the South Coast will see a N’ly flow through Sat, with good odds for a morning NW breeze and a late tilt back to the NW, especially south of Sydney. Further north freshening N’lies look more likely. A few leftover S swell trains should hold some 2 occ 3ft sets at S facing beaches but energy will be in the way down. Small amounts of E’ly swell filtering down from the tropics add a few 2ft sets. There should be enough enough energy for a fun grovel.

Winds improve Sun as the trough clears the coast and a front passes to the South, bringing a synoptic W/NW-W flow for the morning, before winds switch back to light NNE-NE seabreezes in the a’noon. Keep the small wave sleds handy because energy will be low-just the odd 2ft set- 2-3ft at the best S swell magnets will small amounts of E’ly swell in the mix. 

Next week (Sep 18 onwards)

High pressure moves out into the Tasman next week with a light/mod N’ly flow developing. We’ll see a light morning offshore breeze for Mon, at least with a continuing small mixed bag consisting of traces of S/SSE swell and small amounts of E’ly swell filtering down from a souped up tradewind fetch centred around New Caledonia. That’ll see another small day of 2ft beachies, possibly a few bigger sets at the best S swell magnets. We mentioned strong, zonal storm activity below the continent and the possibility of some extra long period S swell wrap from this source. We may see a few sets from this flukey source through Mon a’noon. With periods in the 19-21 second band a few 3ft+ sets can’t be ruled out at select S facing reefs, especially under the N’ly breeze.

Similar winds for Tues, likely freshening in the a’noon as a front and trough approach. The proximate NE fetch and tradewind fetch should see a mix of NE and E/NE swell to 2-3ft across the beachies, with the most size in the a’noon.

NE swell then peaks Wed morning with a few 3ft sets, mixed with E/NE swell to 2ft and winds shifting NW then W as the front passes to the south. We may see a late wind shift to the S as the trough moves North. We’ll finesse that on Mon.

Swells from the S then occupy the rest of next week. Nothing too sizey is expected, at this stage. The trough brings a modest increase in short range S swell Thurs as it works it’s way up the coast, with a parent low to the south fizzing out as it traverses the Tasman. 

Under this scenario we’re looking at a small blend of S swells late Thurs into Fri.

More small S swell is then expected next weekend as another modest low enters the Tasman. High pressure to the East of Tasmania looks to set up a weak ridge across temperate NSW with a light onshore flow. Tradewinds in the South Pacific will likely maintain a weak, background signal of E/NE swell into the medium term.

Time to get the grovellers waxed up.

We’ll see how it looks on Mon.

Seeya then and have a great weekend!