Back to a small mixed bag with some S'ly groundswell next week

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Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri Dec 8)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Slight uptick in NE windswell Sat with a late S’ly change
  • Small mixed bag Sun, possibly small signal of N/NE swell filtering down from tropics
  • Small NE swells into early next week
  • Glancing blow from S groundswell likely late Tues into Wed- S facing beaches only
  • Another small S swell pulse likely Fri
  • TC now looks to cross QLD coast with very limited surf for temperate NSW


Continuing small mixed bag of surf with yesterday seeing around 2ft of S’ly biased swell, a notch bigger on the Hunter under light morning winds which tended NE in the a’noon. A small bump in E swell to 2ft was recorded in the a'noon. More small, weak stuff today, topping out around 2ft again at swell magnets (mostly 1-1.5ft) with light morning winds kicking up again from the NE during the day. An increase in NE windswell should offer up some workable options before close of play.

Not much swell energy this morning, at least winds were light

This weekend (Dec 9-10)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. Strengthening N’y winds tomorrow as a trough advances up the coast. The infeed into the trough extends a fetch up the MNC (see below) supplying workable NE windswell in the 2, reaching occ. 3ft range through the a’noon. The trough now looks to reach the Illawarra late-ish a’noon and Sydney just after or around dark bringing a S’ly change. A period of troughed out variable winds is possible just before then if you are looking to pick the eyes out of it.

The trough dissipates during Sun with a mod S’ly flow early becoming variable around lunch-time before NE seabreezes kick in. Not much in the way of surf, mostly minor short range S swell to 2ft at S facing beaches. Models are hinting at some longer range N/NE swell filtering down from the tropical north, related to TC Jasper and the wind field surrounding it, but this is unlikely to supply more than the occ 1-2ft set at best.

Next week (Dec 11 onwards)

Not much to start the week. TC Jasper is set to take a W’ly track with a Far North QLD coastal crossing now the most likely outcome and thus no real surf potential for temperate NSW.

That will leave small, weak summer surf for temperate NSW, in the 1-2ft range through Mon and Tues. Winds should be light though, and variable under a weak, troughy environment so if you can find a small wave bank it should be suitable for a grovel or a slide on bigger boards.

A powerful front and parent low passing under the continent and lower Tasman Sun into Mon (see below) looks too supply long period S’ly groundswell. We should see first signs of this swell at S magnets Tues a’noon in the 2-3ft range with bigger swells from this source filling in Wed in the 4-5ft range at S facing beaches and bigger 6ft sets at S swell magnets. With periods in the 14-16 second band we’ll see some outliers at S facing reefs adjacent to deepwater. Winds look decent for S facing beaches Wed with a N-NE flow.

Easing swells from this source Thurs with a bit of workable NE windswell likely to build in over the dying S swell. 

A following front and low is not as well aligned or broad but should be capable of sending some more S’ly groundswell Fri- provisionally in the 2-3ft range at S facing beaches. Early N’lies may be disrupted by a troughy change but we’ll see how that looks on Mon.

Further ahead and the troughy pattern in the Tasman Sea and over the continent looks to remain entrenched. There is signs that fronts passing under the continent will send more glancing S swells up the coast, favouring S facing beaches in Southern/Central NSW. A trade-wind band in the South Pacific will supply small, background energy favouring the sub-tropics. In short, nothing major, but it looks like we should have enough swell energy to stay in the water.

Check back Mon for the latest and have a great weekend!