Hazardous surf warning for Illawarra coast

The Wollongong coast was a surfer’s paradise at the weekend – but what a difference a day can make.

Surfers and bodyboarders hit the water in their droves, taking advantage of warm weather, decent waves and little rainfall.

However, beachgoers have been warned to stay away from the water on Monday, as a weather system off the coast whips up wild conditions. 

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned of dangerous surf and swell conditions along the Illawarra, Batemans and Eden coasts on Monday and Tuesday.

Conditions are expected to be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, boating, and swimming, the bureau said. 

The same weather system is expected to bring rain, potentially heavy, on Wollongong on Monday afternoon.

Even heavier falls are expected south of Nowra. 

A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and abnormally high tides is current for parts of the Illawarra and the South Coast.

Ben Domensino, a meteorologist with Weatherzone, said a low pressure trough hugging the east coast would produce rain and thunderstorms during the first half of this week.

“Rainfall will be enhanced in some areas by low pressure systems embedded within the trough,” Mr Domensino said on Monday morning.

“The presence of these lows makes it difficult to know exactly where and how much rain will fall during the next couple of days.

“At this stage, most computer models indicate that 50-100mm is likely to fall along the southern coastline of NSW between about Narooma and Kiama during the next 48 hours. 

“Isolated heavier totals are possible in this region, which could produce localised flash flooding during Monday and Tuesday.”

Mr Domensino said falls should be lighter north of Wollongong, although there was still potential for heavy rain and thunderstorms along the coast and ranges all the way up to central Queensland on Monday.

The bureau has also issued an initial flood watch for the South Coast.

“The forecast rainfall and high tides have the potential to cause localised flooding from Monday afternoon onwards,” the bureau said.

Catchments likely to be affected include:

  • St Georges Basin (Local Flooding)
  • Clyde River (Local Flooding)
  • Moruya and Deua Rivers (Local Flooding)
  • Bega River (Local Flooding)
  • Tuross River (Local Flooding)

Meanwhile,a strong wind warning is current for the Batemans coast. No wind warnings are in effect for the Illawarra coast.

SAFETY ADVICE

NSW Police Force, Marine Area Command advise that:

  • People should consider staying out of the water and avoid walking near surf-exposed areas.
  • Rock fishers should avoid coastal rock platforms exposed to the ocean and seek a safe location that is sheltered from the surf.
  • Boaters planning to cross shallow water and ocean bars should consider changing or delaying their voyage.
  • Boaters already on the water should carry the appropriate safety equipment and wear a lifejacket.
  • Boaters should remember to log on with their local Marine Rescue radio base, via VHF Radio or the Marine Rescue APP, and consider their safety management plan.