Big downgrade as TC Jasper heads for QLD crossing- only small swells expected

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Wed Dec 6)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Minor swells Thurs with light winds tending NE
  • Small NE wind swells Fri
  • Slight uptick in NE windswell Sat with a late S’ly change
  • Small NE swells into early next week
  • Glancing blow from small S groundswell likely late Tues into Wed- S facing beaches only
  • More small, weak surf next week
  • TC now looks to cross QLD coast with very limited surf for temperate NSW


Small mixed bag yesterday of leftover S/SE swells and some small NE swell in the a’noon under NE winds. Conditions were clean early with mostly 2ft surf, a few bigger 2-3ft waves on the Hunter. A S’ly change today has made most beaches wind affected with a few small 1-2ft waves on offer for the keen at protected spots. 

Small and weak at the protected spots

This week (Dec 6-8)

We’ve still got weak high pressure in the Tasman with a trough quickly dissipating and a N’ly flow returning for the rest of the week. TC Jasper has formed in water surrounding the Solomon Islands and is intensifying under favourable conditions. Most models now are suggesting a SW-W curvature as it enters the Coral Sea, with a limited surf potential compared to Mondays notes, especially for temperate NSW. The troughy pattern we’ve seen since early November continues, with surf potential continuing to favour Southern NSW. Read on for details.

In there short run we’ll see the current S’ly run out of steam quickly with a light/variable flow tomorrow (land breezes early) tending to light E to NE seabreezes in the a’noon. Keep the grovellers handy- just a small signal of minor short range S swell and background E swell to 1-2ft at best. 

N’lies then freshen through Fri with a brief window of morning NW breezes before then clock around, reaching summer strength in the a’noon as they tend N/NE. Tiny surf expected through the morning- 1-1.5ft at best on the magnets, with a small increase in NE windswell in the a’noon likely helping wave heights up to 2ft.

This weekend (Dec 9-10)

N’lies continue into Sat, freshening as a trough advances up the South Coast. With the fetch broadening and lengthening we should see an increase in NE windswell up into the 2-3ft range offering workable options through the day. At this stage it looks like the S’ly change will be across the Illawarra by late a’noon, reaching Sydney by close of play. 

Continuing the pattern Saturdays troughy change quickly dissipates Sun leaving a variable flow - likely SW early before tending to E’ly then NE’ly breezes. A small blend of short range S and SE swells gets overlapped by NE windswell in the a’noon. No great size expected, 2ft or so of weak, short period stuff from both directions. 

Next week (Dec 11 onwards)

OK, TC Jasper now looks to plough straight into the QLD Coast so we’ll see very limited surf from this source. The E’ly windfield in the Coral Sea   over the weekend and early next week will see some small summer-style E/NE swell filter down to temperate NSW early next week- not much more than 2ft. 

NE winds to start the week with workable NE windswell in the mix- we’ll pencil in 2-3ft and see how it looks Fri.

Then back to a typical early Summer pattern as high pressure moves into the Tasman and we see small NE swells become established.

There is some frontal activity well below the continent and into the far Lower Tasman Sea early next week that looks to supply some side band S’ly groundswell energy to S facing beaches. At this stage we should see some small S groundswell possibly later Tues into Wed with 2-3ft sets at S facing beaches and some bigger sets at magnets.

Another small pulse looks likely Fri. Apart from that we’re back to small weak swells, although we’ll be watching later next week for another trough forming off the South Coast which may have some surf potential. Check back Fri to see how it’s shaping up.

Seeya Fri. 


sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Wednesday, 6 Dec 2023 at 5:13pm

Had a bet with a few mates over the naming of this cyclone .. i said Nat would have travelled south jasper will stay in qld ..I won the 5 coffees..but still pissed no cyclone swells

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Wednesday, 6 Dec 2023 at 5:29pm

No cyclone swell but happy my roof will be staying in place compared to earlier model runs, swings and roundabouts.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude Wednesday, 6 Dec 2023 at 6:35pm

Cyclones are shit, nothing good about them

cd's picture
cd's picture
cd Wednesday, 6 Dec 2023 at 7:29pm

agree usually to much hype for my liking resulting in frothy crowds. good luck to all.

cd's picture
cd's picture
cd Wednesday, 6 Dec 2023 at 7:30pm

has taken many years to realise which to chase

flow's picture
flow's picture
flow Thursday, 7 Dec 2023 at 10:35am

I was surprised with how good surf was this morning. Mainly 2 foot with occasional 3 footer. Consistent waves coming in.

Vunerable's picture
Vunerable's picture
Vunerable Thursday, 7 Dec 2023 at 4:43pm

You must be getting sick of persistent. easterly quadrant winds. East coast seems to be shit for long periods then one or two days of excellent waves.It’s bad enough in Vicco at the moment.