South Australian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 10th February)
Best Days: Mid Coast: Wed/Thurs: small clean waves. South Coast: Tues/Wed mornings: clean (if slightly lumpy) waves for the early session.
Recap: Plenty of small waves on the Mid over the weekend with Saturday offering clean conditions early morning until winds freshened from the north from late morning until early afternoon, and then becoming light and variable into the afternoon. Sunday delivered a gusty onshore change prior to dawn that whipped up a small stormy for the afternoon.
Saturday was fun and clean down south on Saturday up until a gusty southerly change briefly interrupted proceedings for about an hour around 2:30pm. Winds went light onshore under 10kts for the rest of the day but surface scarring remained. Strong onshores then wrote off conditions into Sunday.
We’ve seen some fun small waves across the Mid again today as a small groundswell trailing the weekend’s change moved through the gulf. Onshore winds have made conditions bumpy down south, but there’s not a great deal of size on offer anyway.
This week (Feb 11-14)
I’ve been discussing this week’s impending groundswell for a week or so now, and it’s looking like we’ll see some good surf on Wednesday and Thursday as the bulk energy moves through. The leading edge of this swell has been pushed back a few hours and isn’t due to register until very late in the day on Tuesday, so tomorrow will mainly offer easing swells from today with early light E’ly winds (possibly NE down south) tending SE throughout the day.
This swell began its initial development on Saturday thanks to an intense polar low well to the south of Heard Island. This low has since weakened, but has concurrently set up a strong storm track that’s expected to generate an extended period of solid groundswell. Wednesday should see plenty of great waves right across the state, however you’ll have to be quick at Victor Harbor as early NE winds are due to swing SE throughout the day. There’ll be small waves across the Mid Coast but I’m not getting my hopes high for much above 1-2ft (due to the remote swell source, and a little more south in the swell direction than is optimal), and it’ll be very inconsistent to boot. Aim for the afternoon session for the biggest waves; hopefully we’ll see a late evening land breeze to counteract the possible mid-afternoon sea breeze.
There’s no suggestion or any deviation away from this swell trend on Thursday, so for now expect more of the same - small, inconsistent waves in the gulf with a long-lined groundswell throughout Victor Harbor. However, there is a little less confidence in the wind outlook, owing to an approaching trough of low pressure from the west, which is expected to drive fresh southerlies about the region during Friday. At the moment, there is a risk that winds could become quite problematic into the afternoon (although this will probably have a greater impact down south than on the Mid). I’ll firm up the details on this in Wednesday’s notes.
Friday looks like it’ll be heavily wind affected out of the south, and not really worthy of your attention. There’ll probably be a small lingering line of groundswell in the gulf but gusty S/SE winds may wipe out any other positives. And, they’ll create havoc down south so you can forget about that as an option.
This weekend (Feb 15-16)
At this stage, the swell forecast for the weekend is positive but the wind forecast isn’t very good - there is a considerable disagreement between the models but overall there’s a reasonable likelihood that Friday’s gusty southerlies will persist across the region as a series of fronts track below the state. I’ll review the model data in more detail on Wednesday.
Long term (Feb 17 onwards)
There are no major features on the long term charts right now, in fact it looks like we may see an easing trend early next week as a blocking pattern develops across the swell window over the weekend.