S and E swells over the weekend with a quiet end to Summer

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Surf Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri Feb 23rd)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Building short range S'ly swells Sat (but windy) 
  • E-E/NE swell hanging in over Sat, easing Sun
  • Mix of shorter  and longer period S swells  Sun ( with generally light winds)
  • Easing S swells Mon with another small bump Tues
  • Small local NE windswell developing Wed/Thurs
  • Easing back to small late next week and into the weekend
  • Quiet start to Autumn, possibly a S swell later next weekend, first week of March


Really fun E/NE swells to 3 occ. 4ft yesterday with light morning land breezes tending to a’noon NE winds. This morning is clean again with light morning W-NW winds, expected to shift mod/fresh N’ly before a S’ly change pushes through in the a’noon. Size has held in (increased south of Sydney) and there are still some quality 3-4ft waves to be had (with the odd bigger set pushing 5ft) on the beachies to top off a great week of waves.

Shapely peaks on the Central Coast

This weekend (Feb 24 - 25)

High pressure in the Bight with a trough moving up the coast and robust low (974hPa) moving under Tasmania sets the scene for the weekend. Few tweaks to the weekend f/cast.The E/NE infeed from the top of the high is slowly easing but should maintain really fun 3 occ. 4ft surf into Sat. Todays S’ly change lingers into tomorrow with mod/fresh S’ly winds slowly laying down through the a’noon and leaving plenty of lump and bump along with a raggedy short range S swell to 3-4ft at S exposed beaches. Protected spots will have much more quality on the E/NE angled swell getting straight in.

Easing winds Sun should tend to light land breezes then variable light winds for most of the day. An improvement in quality from the southern swell window as stronger S swell ( a mix of swell trains) makes landfall from the robust low moving into the Tasman today. Expect 3-4ft surf at S exposed breaks with some bigger 4-5ft sets- more likely in the a’noon- at better S swell magnets and the Hunter. Easing surf from the E/NE at protected spots. 

Next week (Feb 26 onwards)

Easing swells to start the last week of Summer. A weak high in the Tasman Mon sees light winds and a’noon SE breezes as a weak front pushes into the Tasman with S swells to 3ft in the morning, easing through the day.

Light breezes for Tues with some small S swell from the front pushing up to 2ft at S facing beaches and some minor E swell adding the odd 2ft set. There’ll be some small, weak beachies around.

The NE flow looks to kick up mid week as new high pressure moves across the Tasman, with some small NE windswell to 2ft on the radar. We may see a window of clean conditions Thurs or Fri morning as a trough system approaches from the interior. We’ll refine timing on that Mon.

Not much else on the radar after that- looks like a very quiet start to Autumn with some small/tiny days to end next week and enter the first weekend of March.

ECMWF continues a very zonal flow of fronts below the country during this period with not much happening in the southern swell window.

GFS is a more optimistic towards the end of model runs with a stronger front and parent low approaching Tasmania later next weekend with a resultant S swell into the first week of March, possibly with some juice behind it.

Low confidence due to the model divergence so lets see how it looks on Mon.

Until then, have a great weekend!


sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Friday, 23 Feb 2024 at 7:57pm

Yesterday waves had some juice peaky 3-4ft ..today a bit of a let down..magic conditions just lacked the some punch ..and definitely slower..2ft occasionally 3 ft but the whole week I’ve surf each day ..been a while since I’ve managed that

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 23 Feb 2024 at 8:26pm

Last session of the week was easily the best for me. A lightly patronised session at the local beachie after an arvo wind change, light show out to sea, and tasty 3' sets hitting the bank just so.

Be a torn up southerly mess tomorrow.

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono Friday, 23 Feb 2024 at 9:04pm

Last I heard you were cracking a coldy