Bureau of Meteorology monitoring marine weather conditions ahead of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race


The Bureau of Meteorology is at the ready to provide important weather and safety information for the 2023 Sydney to Hobart yacht race, with meteorologists keeping watch on a weather system that may bring adverse marine conditions to western parts of the Tasman Sea between Christmas and New Year.

Senior meteorologist Gabrielle Woodhouse from the Bureau’s New South Wales Hazard Preparedness and Response team has been providing a series of marine safety and weather briefings to navigators and crews in the lead-up to the race,

“We’re currently expecting light east to southeast winds, partly cloudy skies and the chance of a shower or thunderstorm developing over Sydney and along the New South Wales coast for the start of the race,” Ms. Woodhouse said.

“This year’s race conditions will be dependent on the position and strength of a trough and low-pressure system, which is forecast to deepen and then move to the south-east over coming days.”

“Weather, wind and wave forecasts will depend on the location of this system.”

Ms Woodhouse said the Bureau will continue to narrow down the forecast scenarios and provide another in-depth briefing for crews ahead of the race start on Boxing Day in Sydney, while our meteorologists in Tasmania will deliver daily briefings for crews until the last yacht arrives in Hobart.

“On Tuesday and Wednesday, winds are expected to tend east-southeasterly and become fresh to strong over the Bass Strait. Strong wind warnings are possible during the race,” Ms Woodhouse said.

“Rain and thunderstorms are forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday, mainly south of Eden. These can reduce visibility, produce lightning, erratic winds and possibly some hail.”

“Southwesterly winds are forecast to develop from later Wednesday or Thursday and will persist across Tasmania and Bass Strait until the weekend, when a ridge of high pressure develops.”

“Larger southwest swell and strong winds may affect parts of the Tasmanian coast at the end of the week.”

With a dynamic low-pressure system in the vicinity, there is a chance that weather, wind and wave conditions may become hazardous at times.

Navigators and crews will be kept across this information via regular updates, as well as information that is continuously updated on the Bureau’s online channels.

Beyond the completion of the race, returning crews bringing the yachts back up to Sydney also rely on our forecasts and marine weather warnings to get home safely.

Visit out Marine services for offshore yacht races.

Know your weather, know your risk. Stay up to date with the Bureau’s forecasts and warnings via the Bureau’s website, BOM Weather app or social media.

/Bureau of Meteorology Public Release. View in full here.