Stormy weekend ahead for South Oz

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 5th March)

Best Days: Thurs/Fri/Sat AM: small and clean at Victor. Late Sat/Sun: stormy on the Mid. Tues/Wed/Thurs: plenty of surf down south (and small waves on the Mid) but with tricky winds.

Recap: Tiny on the Mid, small at Victor. Light winds.

This week (Apr 4 - 7)

Note: these Forecaster Notes will be brief this week as Craig is on annual leave

A series of fronts through the Southern Ocean will generate a small, slow increase in size over the coming days

Due to the large travel distance, set waves will be extremely inconsistent, however the Middleton to Goolwa stretch should see wave heights around 2ft, occasionally 2-3ft through Thursday afternoon and into Friday.

Conditions will be clean both days with freshening N’ly winds.

No major size is expected along the Mid Coast however as mentioned on Monday, the Mid has an uncanny ability to transform small mid-period swells into rideable waves, so don’t be surprised if the turn of the tide on Thursday and Friday produces a few little peelers across the reefs. Friday will be dicey though with the freshening N’ly breeze. 

This weekend (Apr 8 - 9)

A strong frontal passage will dominate the weekend’s weather and waves. Right now the models are a little divergent but the general trend is freshening W/NW winds Saturday morning ahead of a gusty SW change sometime later Saturday or early Sunday.

This suggests a possible brief window of opportunity on Saturday morning down south though I’m not confident on the timing right now, so let’s revise on Friday. Sunday should be big down south with a combination of solid SW groundswell and local windswell, but conditions won't be especially appealing.

Otherwise you’ll simply have to wait around this weekend the Mid Coast for the onshores to kick up a stormy - likely into the 3-4ft+ range if winds get up above 30kts. At this stage there’s scope for some small waves on the Adelaide metro beaches too. I'll firm up the timing on Friday.

Next week (Apr 10 onwards)

The weekend’s change will clear to the east during Monday, weakening onshore winds though there’ll be plenty of solid surf across both coasts from the active storm track prior to the frontal crossing. 

Elsewhere, an intense cut off low south of South Africa today is expected to track SE towards Antarctica and then run along the ocean shelf into the weekend, generating a long period SW groundswell that will fill in behind, around Tuesday. This should maintain anywhere between 3-4ft across the Middleton to Goolwa stretch from Tuesday through Thursday of next week, possibly a little higher at times (likely on the Wednesday, near 3-5ft). This may also produce some very inconsistent small surf song the Mid Coast.

Though as mentioned on Monday, we will be at risk of developing SE winds due to the southern latitude of the storm track and high pressure in the Bight. 

Easter is still on target for plenty of surf too, with a couple of days of favourably light winds ahead of a possibly gusty cold front later Sunday and into Monday. At this stage we’re looking at fun 3ft surf at Victor on Good Friday and Easter Saturday.