Endless swells throughout the forecast period

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Ben Matson (thermalben)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 14th May)

Best Days: Plenty of great waves just about everywhere right throughout the forecast period. 

Recap: Great conditions right across the region with a strong swell producing fun 2ft waves on the Mid Coast and bigger 3-5ft surf at Victor Harbor, depending on exposure. Clean conditions with mainly light N’ly winds. 

This week (May 15-16 onwards)

*note: forecast notes will be somewhat brief this week as Craig is on leave*

No change to Monday’s notes - we’ve got plenty of great waves expected to finish the week, thanks to a conveyor-belt of cold fronts passing below West Oz over the last few days. The strong west component in the swell direction will favour the Mid Coast and we should see some very good waves on the incoming tide, up to 2-3ft at times later Thursday and into Friday. In fact, based on the Mid’s performance over the last few days I wouldn’t be surprised to see the odd bigger set at times. 

A broad ridge of high pressure across the eastern states will maintain northerly winds about the coast but at this stage it looks like there won’t be much strength in the gulf so conditions should be clean. So it’s well worth looking into a paddle both days. 

Victor will also produce great waves on Thursday and Friday under the northerly flow however the strong west component in the swell direction will restrict surf size down south, probably peaking in the 3-4ft+ range at Middleton (by late Thurs/Fri), reaching 5-6ft at Waits and Goolwa. It'll be rather inconsistent at times too but there will certainly be some good surf about the coast if you can sniff out a bank.

This weekend (May 17-18)

Friday’s swell will slowly ease throughout Saturday, and a continuation of the light to moderate northerly wind regime will maintain clean conditions in most areas. Both coasts should have something worthwhile, although the Mid Coast will (obviously) be smaller and more susceptible to the tide.

A small short wave trough trailing the frontal progression (responsible for the Thurs/Fri swell) is expected to pass well to the south of the state early Saturday, and it’ll provide a new pulse of new swell for the South Coast on Sunday (nothing overly large, maybe some 4ft sets at Middleton). Offshore winds will again keep conditions smooth all day.

It now looks like this low may intensify just as it passes east of the Mid Coast’s optimal swell window, so the chances of a Sunday pulse in the gulf have been pulled back a bit - however we’ll still see some small residual energy on offer.

Long term (May 19 onwards)

Yet another trailing front in this week’s Southern Ocean series is expected to kick up another solid swell late on Monday afternoon, however once again this will mainly favour the South Coast due to its eastern origin. Winds are looking good too (light variable tending NW) thanks to a stubborn ridge of high pressure across the eastern states extending into the Tasman Sea. Expect small residual swells in the gulf, best suited to longboarders and beginners.

Looking beyond this and the Southern Ocean is expected to remain very active next week, which should continue to supply plenty of swell right through the rest of the week, and possibly into the weekend. I’ll have more on this in Friday’s notes.