Submitted by Craig on Mon, 02/24/2014 - 14:00
South Australian Forecast (issued Friday 21st January)
Best Days: Tuesday, Sunday morning and Monday morning down South
Friday's large mix of S/SW windswell and rare S/SE groundswell across the South Coast eased back through Saturday, but there were still some solid 3-4ft waves across most locations during the morning but with poor S/SE winds.
Sunday provided better conditions with a lighter E'ly during the morning and peaky mix of swells to 3ft or so. The Mid Coast saw tiny 0.5ft waves for beginners around the low tide.
Today a new S/SW groundswell has filled in down South providing 3ft+ waves with clean, glassy conditions under a light variable wind, while the Mid Coast is seeing tiny 1ft sets with a distant SW groundswell.
This week (Feb 24 -28)
A series of strong, back to back polar frontal systems have been moving through our swell window generating yesterday afternoon's and today's increase in S/SW groundswell across the South Coast.
Another good pulse is due off this activity tomorrow to an inconsistent but good 3-4ft across most locations on the South Coast and winds should be similar to this morning (that being variable from the south early before increasing from the SW during the day). So try and surf during the morning for the best of it.
Give Wednesday a miss as conditions will be poor with a freshening S'ly wind as we also fall in between swells.
As touched on last week, a larger increase in S/SW groundswell is due into Thursday and Friday across the South Coast all owing to the Long Wave Trough.
An amplification of the Long Wave Trough will move across Tassie during the middle of this week, directing a couple of polar fronts up towards Vicco. The secondary front will be the strongest and best performing (pictured right), aiming a broad fetch of SW gales through our swell window over an already active sea state.
The swell should build strongly Thursday and peak early Friday, to 4-5ft or so across most locations. The forecast for 5-6ft on the models for Friday should be ignored as Wave Watch is having trouble resolving the local windswell and new groundswell, thus combining them and over-estimating wave heights.
As hinted at in the last paragraph, conditions will unfortunately be poor anyway with fresh to strong SE tending S/SE winds, kicking up a low quality windswell mixing in with the S/SW groundswell.
This weekend onwards (Mar 1 onwards)
The strong S/SW groundswell seen during the end of the week will drop away into the start of the weekend and winds look to remain average and from the SE-S/SE.
A funky long-range SW groundswell is then due on Sunday, generated by a polar low that is expected to form east of Heard Island tomorrow evening.
The funky thing about this low, is that it started its life as Tropical Cyclone Guito between Madagascar and South Africa late last week. Guito was then absorbed into the westerly storm track and will now deepen into a strong polar low. This low should aim a fetch of severe-gale to storm-force W/SW winds through our distant swell window (pictured right), generating a very inconsistent but strong SW groundswell for Sunday afternoon.
Winds will be the main problem for this swell again, blowing E'ly Sunday morning before shifting fresh S/SE into the afternoon as the swell fills in.
Monday morning will be the pick though with a light offshore N'ly wind during the morning and easing swell, so plan your week around this.