Light winds and S swells over the weekend, extending into next week

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Sydney Hunter Illawarra Forecast by Steve Shearer (issued Fri May 24th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Light winds now expected for the weekend 
  • Overlapping S’ly groundswells this weekend, slightly bigger Sun
  • S-S/SE’ly groundswell Mon with light winds, easing Tues
  • Small S swells extend into the middle of the week with light winds as high moves into Tasman
  • Couple of quiet days at the back end of next week
  • Possible deepening trough and large high combo in the Tasman next weekend brings building E/NE swells- low confidence, check back Mon for latest updates


S to SE swells have been persistent with size to 3-4ft yesterday holding into today. Clean conditions yesterday morning before S’ly winds and this morning is a classic autumn one with sunshine and offshores producing groomed conditions.

Lovely autumn morning with offshore breezes and fun S/SE-SE swells

This weekend (May25-26)

No great change to the weekend f/cast. High pressure is approaching Tasmania with a weak trough expected to linger in the Tasman over the weekend and lead to mostly light/variable breezes. A complex polar low is approaching the NZ corridor and although the frontal progression looks a notch less favourable for swell production up the East Coast we’ll still see multiple overlapping S’ly groundswell pulses over the weekend. We’ve also got an off-axis fetch adjacent to New Zealand which will send some small, workable SE swell our way over the weekend.

Light offshore winds Sat morning  will eventually clock around to light S-SE breezes so there’ll be a long window of clean conditions. Small mix of S/SE-SE and longer period S swells should hold 2-3ft surf at S exposed breaks with size building to 4ft in the a'noon at S facing beaches- some bigger sets are possible at S swell magnets.

Sun should be a notch bigger as the next pulse overlaps. Winds should be dreamy with light offshores lingering well into the day before tending to light/variable (E-NE) breezes. A mix of small SE and a new pulse of S’ly groundswell to 4ft+ with some bigger sets at S swell magnets should be on offer. 

Next week (May 27 onwards)

High pressure finally moves into the Tasman early next week with some frontal activity tracking NE from Tasmnania so we will see offshore winds to start the week. S-S/SE groundswell from the slowed forward movement of a polar low gyre as it enters the New Zealand corridor should send some nice 3 occ. 4 ft sets to S facing beaches, albeit with a wait for sets.

The frontal activity isn’t very robust with compact fetches but the track into the Tasman should supply some small S swell Tues/Wed next week, with easing S/SE swell Tues in the mix. We’re not looking at anything significant but S exposed breaks should continue to see easing 4ft surf Tues, easing further into Wed with favourable W-NW winds and light a’noon NE seabreezes. Definitely some fun at S swell magnets.

With high pressure moving NE into the Tasman we’re expecting surf to go very quiet from mid next week with a few days leading into next weekend with only minor swells in the 1-2ft range at best, most likely a continuation of side band S-S/SE energy.

Expect that to go into next weekend.

Further ahead GFS has become interested in a potential trough deepening off the Fraser or SEQLD coast into next weekend. With a strong high in the Tasman that does offer basic building blocks of a “black nor-easter” event. It’s very early days and other weather models aren’t really interested so we’ll just mention it as a general heads up. If it were to occur we would expect to see building levels of E/NE swell later next weekend. Let’s see how it looks on Mon.

Until then, have a great weekend!


sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Friday, 24 May 2024 at 3:21pm

After 3 days battling goldy crowds for a few waves had a local reef break for 2 hrs this morning with a maté totally scored ..good to get away but no place like home !!!!

Lottolonglong's picture
Lottolonglong's picture
Lottolonglong Friday, 24 May 2024 at 6:31pm

Bluebird conditions yesterday til lunch
lnsane beachy yesterday up to 5ft yesterday, 3 out
Solid 3ft at same place this morning
5 out till 9am
Forecast spot on
Wave boys saying .6 of a metre
Glad I got out of bed in dark
Work can wait

tylerdurden's picture
tylerdurden's picture
tylerdurden Friday, 24 May 2024 at 6:56pm

Freeride/Craig what do you think the big jump in period will do tomorrow afternoon?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Saturday, 25 May 2024 at 5:47am

I'd expect sets to reach an inconsistent 4-5ft on the south magnets into the afternoon.

tylerdurden's picture
tylerdurden's picture
tylerdurden Saturday, 25 May 2024 at 10:09am

Thanks Craig, it’s an impressive period, thought it might even be a bit bigger in some spots