Fun, easing surf over the weekend with plenty on the radar next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri Dec 1)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Fun waves Sat with E/SE swell and light W-SW tending S’ly winds
  • Mixed bag Sun (mostly SE swell) with freshening S’ly winds 
  • Small S-S/SE swell likely Mon S-SE winds,  back to tiny tending N’ly Tues
  • Troughy pattern continues
  • Tracking the Solomons region for another potential tropical depression or TC, better odds now for surf potential for East Coast
  • Good odds for chunky NE windswell late next week and into the weekend


Plenty of good waves yesterday as NE-E/NE swell combined with an offshore flow as a low moved off the Far South NSW/Gippsland coast. Size was mostly in the 3-4ft range with the odd bigger set and an overall bigger size south of the Illawarra (especially south of Jervis Bay). This morning is clean again under offshore winds with swell clocking around more E-E/SE and size in the 3-4ft range. A very nice end to the working week.

Still some really nice waves around this morning

This weekend (Dec 2-3)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. Low pressure has moved off the coast and is slow moving, with a broad fetch of strong E’ly winds on the southern flank of the low supplying plenty of E-E/SE swell to Southern NSW (and Tasmania). A morning W-SW flow tomorrow should maintain clean conditions with plenty of fun surf in the 3 to occ. 4ft range. Expect light seabreezes to develop in the a’noon but they should be light enough to surf through without too much degradation in surf quality.

Light offshore winds again for Sun morning. A new high and multi-pronged trough system enter the picture Sun. We’ll see some S/SE winds develop around the decaying low Sat, which provide some small S/SE swell into Sun but it looks weak and small, only in the 2ft range. Get in early for a small mixed bag of mostly 2ft surf with the occ. 3ft set. Through the mid-morning to a’noon we should see a S’ly flow kick up and freshen.

Next week (Dec 4 onwards)

Looks like a small troughy area off the NSW South/Central Coast early next will steer a S-SE flow through the f/cast region, possibly light and tending to weak E’ly breezes. We’ll see some small S and S/SE swells, from a parent front/low which traversed the lower Tasman on the weekend and more local onshore winds. Not much to it- 2-3ft at S facing beaches and with the onshore flow keep expectations low.

Weak high pressure moving NE into the Tasman brings light land and NE seabreezes Tues. Not much surf expected, just some small weak windswell, possibly tending to NE windswell in the a’noon. Nothing more than 1-2ft under current modelling.

A trough mid week brings a S’ly change Wed with potential for a small, clean morning before the change and some developing short range S swell after the change. Again, nothing to get excited about

Further ahead and some weather model runs are starting to look pretty damn juicy with respect to a developing TC in the South Pacific moving into the Coral Sea later next week. Still very early days but a full blown cyclone swell is now a definite possibility - initially very much favouring QLD and NENSW but with potential to spray the entire Eastern Seaboard with NE-E/NE swell. Some model runs have even suggested two cyclones, but this seems a very unlikely outcome.

A more bog standard but chunky NE windswell also looks highly likely later next week and into the weekend as high pressure infeed accelerates into an approaching trough. 

Obviously, expect revision, possibly major when we come back on Mon. 

Until then, have a great weekend!


epictard's picture
epictard's picture
epictard Friday, 1 Dec 2023 at 11:00am

Missed yesterday, but scored some super fun ones this morning.
Gotta love an ESE swell.

Panman's picture
Panman's picture
Panman Friday, 1 Dec 2023 at 2:22pm

Great start to summer for eastcoasters

Montygoesbananas's picture
Montygoesbananas's picture
Montygoesbananas Friday, 1 Dec 2023 at 7:02pm

ETA on the possible cyclone swell? Heading up the coast next weekend

Where-is-albo's picture
Where-is-albo's picture
Where-is-albo Saturday, 2 Dec 2023 at 10:18pm

The current WAMS are showing the cyclone tracking down the length of the east coast.

Beagle's picture
Beagle's picture
Beagle Sunday, 3 Dec 2023 at 6:27pm

Could be major flooding event for east coast. Would that anomalous pool of warm water off SE Aus encourage cyclones to drift more south than usual?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 4 Dec 2023 at 12:35pm

Cyclones are steered by upper atmospheric winds, but warm water provides a rich environment to maintain their strength and increase rainfall. If it does reach us, a big if, it'll be extra-tropical as cyclones need 26.5°C water or more.

Beagle's picture
Beagle's picture
Beagle Monday, 4 Dec 2023 at 12:46pm

Thank you!