South Australian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 14th February)
Best Days: Mon: improving conditions at Victor Harbor as winds swing onshore. Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri: small waves on the Mid with varying quality dependent on local winds.
Recap: Small inconsistent waves across the Mid Coast on Thursday and early today, with a slight uptick showing this afternoon as a new pulse of swell moves through the region (seems to be the odd 1.5ft set at South Port, as observed via the surfcam this afternoon). Conditions have been clean although very wet with over 40mm in the gauge overnight.
Winds have been much better at Victor than forecast on Wednesday (sorry!) due to the presence of a complex trough of low pressure over much of the state (responsible for all of this rain too). It seems that a couple of small lows embedded within the trough - north of Adelaide - have steered local winds around to the north ahead of its passage, which has turned into somewhat of a small victory for South Coast surfers. Swell wise, there’s been plenty of energy around with a mid-range SW groundswell providing good 3ft waves in the Middleton area.
This weekend (Feb 15-16)
Not a good weekend for Adelaide surfers. Freshening southerly winds will essentially write off surf prospects down south on Saturday (although there’ll be plenty of size on offer) so you’ll be better off saving your petrol money and grovelling along the Mid for a surf. If you’re totally desperate, winds will be lighter for a brief period early Saturday morning (with gusty conditions settling in by lunchtime) and we’ll also see easing winds throughout Sunday with a slow improvement on the surface. But really, it’s not a weekend to be considering a Victor mission.
The Mid Coast won’t be that much better either. We’re only expecting a small residual groundswell in the water on Saturday (maybe 0.5-1ft, and very inconsistent) but a developing S/SW airstream throughout the day should whip up another 0.5-1ft of windswell on top by later in the afternoon. Similar conditions are expected on Sunday - a peaky mix of leftover swells with mainly moderate to fresh S’ly winds. Keep your expectations low.
Next week (Feb 17-21 onwards)
Nothing of any major interest lining up for next week, but there will be some surf worth sniffing out. We’ve got a weak front expected to track through the Bight on Sunday, which is expected to clip the coast late Monday. A small swell trailing behind should fill into the gulf throughout Tuesday but it’ll provide just a few small waves along the Mid, up to 1-2ft on the turn of the afternoon tide. Don't expect much surf along the Mid on Monday apart from a small weak line of residual energy from Sunday, and early light winds freshening from the NW ahead of the late change.
Monday looks OK down south as winds should veer to the NW as the front approaches. This will clean up conditions and there should be plenty of residual swell from the weekend’s pulse, with sets in the 2-3ft+ range at Middleton. Well worth the effort.
A series of stronger secondary fronts trailing behind the Sun/Mon front in the Bight are looking good for mid-week swell prospects down south, but onshore winds will probably accompany this swell as the front clips the coast. We could see wave heights reaching 4-6ft at exposed spots in the Victor region later Wednesday and into Thursday but it’ll be very bumpy.
This series of swells should also maintain plenty of small waves in the gulf through the middle of the week but at this stage winds are looking unfavourable from the S/SW as well. Let’s check back in on Monday to see how the models have evolved.
Long range (Feb 22 onwards)
A large high is expected to ridge in from the west around Friday, leading to an improvement in conditions on the Mid and a steady drop in swell (but conditions will probably remain poor down south under a fresh SE airstream into next weekend). I’ll reevaluate this in more detail on Monday.