Dangerous Surf Messages

When is a message about dangerous surf issued?

Messages about dangerous surf are included in New South Wales forecasts whenever waves large enough to cause dangerous conditions to swimmers, surfers and rock fishers are expected within one or more coastal waters forecast areas.

Information about dangerous surf is included within relevant forecasts when conditions are expected to be dangerous during today or tomorrow.

The threshold for issuing a message for dangerous surf is based on wave height, swell direction and swell period. The thresholds have been determined in consultation with stakeholders.


What information is included in forecasts?

The forecasts contain the following text:

For Coastal Waters forecasts, "breaking dangerously close inshore" is added to the swell forecast. This is to highlight to the boating community of the need to take care near rock platforms, bars and the near-shore area.

For coastal District, Town and City forecasts, "Dangerous surf conditions, hazardous for coastal activities such as swimming, surfing and rock fishing."

The dangerous surf statement will be removed from the forecast when conditions have eased below the criteria.


Who is the target audience?

Dangerous surf affects people involved in coastal activities such as swimming, surfing, boating and rock fishing.


What areas does the dangerous surf information cover?

The service covers all the Bureau’s coastal waters zones along the New South Wales coastline.
See: Map of coastal forecast areas.


Other services for large waves

When the waves are expected to be powerful enough to cause damage to property or significant erosion to beaches the Bureau will issue a Severe Weather Warning for Damaging Surf.

Background information about the Severe Weather Warning.


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