Bit of S swell to end the year, more significant swells possible later next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri Dec 29th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Small local S swell Fri with winds tending NE
  • Tiny mixed bag Sat with morning offshore winds
  • Stronger S swell Sun, easing into Mon AM with onshore SE-E winds
  • Mostly small NE swells Mon PM,  Tues
  • Another flukey S groundswell lWed/Thurs
  • S’ly change Thurs with some S/SE swell likely Fri-Sun, possibly sizey if low forms off coast


Peaky beachies have persisted through the Xmas week with a small E quadrant swell holding up remarkably well in the 2-3ft range yesterday with a sneaky S swell offering up 3ft+ sets at S magnets (a few 4footers), just a tad smaller today. Light winds have offered clean morning conditions and all in all, it’s been punching slightly above it’s weight as far as fun surf goes to close out the year. 

Another morning of clean, peaky beachies

This weekend (Dec 30-31)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. Just a small, weak mixed bag of leftover S swells and E swells to 1-2ft at best with a morning offshore flow offering up clean conditions. Once a small trough clears the coast, a front and high pressure ridge filling in quickly behind it will set-up a S to SE flow and this will freshen through the day, making surface conditions pretty ugly across the region. 

That front sees a moderate S swell pulse fill in Sunday- still looking like a pretty healthy 4ft with occ. bigger sets at S facing beaches, bigger on the Hunter and other S magnets. Winds won’t be great with the high pressure ridge serving up a SE flow but winds do look to back down a notch through the day and south of Jervis Bay a more NE flow opens up some options. Not an amazing day by any means, but definitely enough juice for a surf to close out 2023. 

Next week (Jan 1 onwards)

High pressure moves into the Tasman to start the New Year, with the small trough that was off the NSW Central Coast moving north to be off the sub-tropical coast on Mon. That will see an onshore flow, likely E, tending E/NE-NE through the day. S swell looks to come off it’s peak o/night with leftovers to 3-4ft at S facing beaches, easing during the day. 

A typical summer wind pattern of NE breezes, lighter inshore early, then sets in for most of next week. We’ll see a small signal of NE-E/NE swells from local winds and E’ly winds in the Northern Tasman, which will hold a weak summer surf in the 1-2ft range. Enough for a daily grovel.

Polar lows and frontal activity well to the south of the continent and scooting across the Far Southern Tasman early next week will supply small traces of S groundswell with a flukey distribution across S facing beaches. Check Wed at local S swell magnets for some 2-3ft sets, similar Thurs. There’s some decent swell periods on offer so outliers at direct S facing reefs could be on the cards.

Further ahead and a trough off the NSW South Coast in advance of a dominant high moving through the Bight looks to bring a vigorous S’ly change possibly late Thurs. Models are divergent as to the fate of the trough with GFS suggesting a deepening of the system as it moves northwards, potentially forming a closed surface low and generating plenty of S/SE-SE swell Fri and into next weekend.

EC has a much more modest system, dissipating quickly and leading to a more bog standard high pressure ridge with onshore winds and small E swells.

Low confidence this far out, but we’ll hope for a bit of juice to clear out the cobwebs for 2024.

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


sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Saturday, 30 Dec 2023 at 8:07am

Any chance of a wave maybe Saturday arvo ??

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly Saturday, 30 Dec 2023 at 9:14am

Eden buoy showing a pulse.