Welcome to the Online Surf Shop learn the Weather page.
The weather has a bearing on all outdoor sports so its good to get a bit of an idea up front of what the days going to bring and even the days ahead if your heading to the snow or on a surf trip. When i started surfing you had to rely on reading the weather map yourself and hoping your forecast was close.
When you look at a weather map you will see high H and low L pressure systems surrounded by lines called isobars and to keep it simple when you get a low pressure system sitting directly off your beach you can expect the swell to rise. If you were in Sydney and the low was up off the Queensland, N.S.W. border you would have a north swell building from the north and if the low was down off Eastern Victoria you would have a south swell building from the south. The wind around a low goes clockwise and the wind associated with a high goes anticlockwise. Looking at the map below we would expect small surf in Sydney with winds coming from the north and big surf heading for the east coast of Tasmania. The highs and lows generally move in an easterly direction so you would expect that low to move over Tasmania towards New Zealand in a day or so and start generating some south swell for southern N.S.W.
The lows generally bring cold winds from the south to the southern states and the highs warm winds from the north.
As a guide next time you get a clear dry day with no wind at all take the time to have a quick look at the weather map in the newspaper and you will most likely find a big high pressure system right over where your situated.
Most of the younger surfers, skaters and snowboarders today rely on the many internet sites to predict the weather and swell size for them and most times these sites are on the money.
I still get a kick out of trying to predict the weather myself and there is a host of information on the Bureau of Meteorology web site for anyone interested in learning. Or take a look around at a few of the links below.