Ordinary weekend with some quality conditions on the radar for next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri April 19th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Ordinary short range S-S/SE swell Sat with mod S’ly winds
  • Easing surf Sun with better winds
  • Small surf to start next week with light winds- small S pulse Tues
  • Fun E/NE swell filtering down from Coral Sea low Wed/Thurs with offshore winds likely
  • Possible big, windy S swell Fri into the weekend as low forms off Southern NSW coast- check back Mon for latest updates


Slowly easing E swell has been the story over the last 48hrs, holding 2 occ. 3ft sets yesterday and down to 2ft today (when they came). Clean morning conditions with offshore winds yesterday and today with mod S’ly winds impending from mid-morning. 

Still the odd set around this morning, clean before the S'ly got up

This weekend (April 20 - 21)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. A weak trough and front in advance of a monster high sees a mod S’ly flow through tomorrow with workable short range S to S/SE swell around the 3ft range, possibly slightly better options in the a’noon under a slight tilt in swell direction. It’s a modest outlook at best so be prepared for a scrappy surf if you want to get wet.

High pressure starts to move over Southern NSW Sun, so we’ll see winds start to ease, although a lingering S’ly flow will still be about. Morning SW breezes, will tend S’ly then SE-E/SE’ly in the a’noon. We’ll see modest S/SE swell to 3ft slowly ease a notch in the a’noon. Again, nothing to write home about but there will be a rideable wave if you aren’t too fussy.

Next week (April 22 onwards)

Lots of action up north early next week as a trough deepens in the Coral Sea and aims up E’ly winds at the coast. Much less swell energy will get down to temperate NSW at this stage. 

We’re looking at small leftovers on Mon in the 2ft range with clean morning conditions and light winds. 

By Tues the high will have shifted eastwards in the Tasman and we’ll see light NW breezes tend NE in the a’noon. Not much size to speak of but a rapid moving front Sun/Mon will see some small, flukey S swell to 2 occ. 3ft with bigger sets likely at swell magnets like the Hunter. 

The fetch infeeding into the Coral Sea trough is likely to have extended far enough southwards Mon/Tues to start seeing some workable E/NE swell into Wed across southern/central NSW. We may even seen a slight increase later Tues depending on how quickly the system evolves. 

By Wed though we’ll see a small blend of easing S and E/NE swell to 2-3ft across most beaches. Winds look good as a front and inland low bring a NW tending W’ly flow as it moves across Victoria.

This offshore winds should extend into Thurs morning as the low moves off the Gippsland coast and a front pushes through. Clean E/NE swell to 2-3ft is on the table. The rest of the day will depend on how the low and front behave. We could certainly see a rapid freshening of SW winds as the system winds up through Thurs. We’ll fine-tune winds on Mon but for now, it looks worth pencilling in a morning surf in.

As the low moves offshore Fri odds are firming we’ll see a major S swell develop as gales develop on the western flank of the low, proximate to the NSW coast (see below). Still low confidence in specifics due to model divergence, with GFS suggesting a much stronger low than EC.
We’ll pencil in a big, windy S swell for Fri, slowly easing through next weekend at this stage and see how it looks on Mon.

Check you then and have a great weekend!


sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Saturday, 20 Apr 2024 at 9:38am

Dawn session this morning scored a few crackers before swell and crowd filled in then 4-5ft close outs..very enjoyable