Small Summer blend continues- fun NE windswell next week at a minimum

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri Jan 5th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Not much surf this weekend, small S/SE swell Sat with SE tending E’ly winds
  • Winds tending N-NE and freshening on Sun with some small NE windswell in the a’noon
  • Freshening NE winds Mon with workable NE windswell
  • NE windswell holds into Tues at workable levels and lighter winds
  • Workable NE windswell Wed with a S’ly change likely
  • Small E/NE swells from mid week from top of high
  • Possible juicier options late next weekend if trough develops in Tasman - low confidence, check back Mon for updates


Small clean surf yesterday morning of no size or distinction topped out around 2ft before a S’ly change extended across the region. Fresh S-S/SE winds today have made a mess of most spots with some gurgly S’ly windswell to 3ft (a notch bigger on the Hunter) offering a grovel for the keen.

Gurgly but surfable beachies for the keen

This weekend (Jan 6-7)

Not a great deal of change to the weekend f/cast other than the N’ly flow kicking up harder on Sun as a high moves more quickly into the Tasman. 

The onshore flow Sat morning will still have a S’ly component- likely SE-E/SE, possibly SW inshore early for a brief period north of the Harbour. We’ll be looking at a pretty scrappy mix of S/SE short range swell with a few mid period S’ly swell trains mixed in, no real quality should be expected and size in the 2-3ft range early will be trending downwards through the a’noon.

Nothing much to look forwards to on Sun. An early morning W/NW-NW flow offers up the best conditions with a low energy mix of mostly short period S/SE swells to 2ft at best. The N/NE flow does look to reach mod/fresh strengths through the a’noon with a surfable mix of NE-E/NE wind swells perking up if you don’t mind surfing in the fetch. Don’t expect more than 2ft. 

Next week (Jan 8 onwards)

Quite a healthy looking N-NE fetch extending along the NSW coast to start next week - favouring Central/Southern NSW as is typical. We’ll pencil in 2-3ft of surf, and hopefully windspeeds will play ball. Expect fresh N/NE winds.

Winds tend more W/NW-NW Tues as a front approaches and small low forms off Tasmania. We should still see some workable 2 occ. 3ft NE windswell as the fetch hovers off the MNC/Hunter coast with a light NE flow in the a’noon. There’s still some model suggestions from EC that the fetch may even strengthen later Tues as a trough moves up the South Coast. We’ll see how it looks Mon, but expect a bit of uncertainty in size as the fetch is so local. 

We should see NE windswell persist into Wed at workable levels (2-3ft is most likely) with winds tending S’ly as the trough extends into the f/cast region during the early morning hours.

Further ahead and at a minimum winds in the Northern Tasman - basically a southwards positioned tradewind fetch generated by a high SE of New Zealand- should hold some small, workable swells from the E/NE from mid next week. We may see some small troughy features or an E’ly dip enhance wind speeds in that fetch offering some bigger embedded pulses which will favour sub-tropical areas for most size.

There is suggestions at the end of model runs that we may see a trough line develop an angled SE fetch later next weekend (see below) which would generate some sizey swells from that direction. Very low confidence this far out, but we’ll flag it as a possibility and see how it looks on Mon. The high pressure belt continues to track at a very southwards latitude, suppressing the Southern Ocean storm track so any S swells making it into the Tasman will continue to be very small and flukey.

Lets see how it looks Mon, in the meantime keep the small wave sleds handy and have a great weekend!


Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone Saturday, 6 Jan 2024 at 7:44pm

Do the forecast models not quite work for the Narooma/Merimbula region? Says it should of been 1ft weak period, but we found a beach with 4fters with a bit of juice to it? Not familiar with this region at all so no clue.

Finnbob the terror's picture
Finnbob the terror's picture
Finnbob the terror Saturday, 6 Jan 2024 at 7:56pm

Haha, you're just a wave magnet bone.

sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Saturday, 6 Jan 2024 at 8:06pm

More than welcome here nick bring ya good luck champion haha

etarip's picture
etarip's picture
etarip Monday, 8 Jan 2024 at 8:51am

Been days of onshie slop here. Finally got some decent (ish) swell and it’s blowing its head off…