Stacks of autumnal surf across South Oz

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Ben Matson (thermalben)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 7th March)

Best Days: SatAM: small clean waves at Victor. Sun: small stormy on the Mid. Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs: small clean waves on the Mid. Wed/Thurs: moderate swells at Victor with good winds. Easter Sun/Mon: plenty of surf and good winds down south. Small waves expected across the Mid for much of the Easter period.

Recap: Slowly building SW swell through Thurs arvo and into today with inconsistent but fun 2-3ft sets at Victor. Not quite enough size for the Mid but some clean, distinct lines up to 1ft. 

This weekend (Apr 8 - 9)

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

An approaching cold front and low in the southern Bight have split. The front is moving north-east towards the SA coast and the low is tracking SE and slowly dissipating. This doesn't change the surf outlook much though as the system has largely generated much of the swell it was going to anyway.

Saturday morning looks good down south. We should see early moderate N’ly winds ahead of a shallow SW change late morning that probably won’t have a lot of strength into the afternoon, though it will deteriorate conditions to a degree. A much more vigorous SW change is due in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Saturday won’t initially see a lot of size, somewhere around the same level as what we have today (2-3ft Middleton to Goolwa, bigger at Waits and Parsons). Very small waves will likely persist along the Mid Coast.

Sunday looks like a write-off everywhere with strong post-frontal SW winds. The front doesn’t look especially large or strong, so we’re probably going to see bumpy 2-3ft+ surf across the Mid Coast. Victor will see a larger combo of windswell and groundswell but with these conditions it won’t be very enticing.

Next week (Apr 10 onwards)

High pressure will dominate the coastal regions of SA through next week which means initially moderate to fresh (though easing) S’ly winds tending SE then E’ly and finally NE between Monday and Thursday.

As such we can expect the best conditions down south around Wednesday and Thursday

Sunday’s swell(s) will ease through Monday but will be quickly replaced by the first in a series of stronger swells, generated by a steady progression of Southern Ocean storms. This should maintain 4-5ft surf from Monday through Wednesday.

On Wednesday we’ll also see a super long range swell (20+ seconds) arrive, generated by an intense system west of Heard Island at the moment. The swell period charts look impressive, but the actual surf we’ll see at the coast will be sourced from mid-range systems located closer to the mainland.

Surf size will then trend down from Thursday

Across the Mid Coast, no major size is expected form either of these swells but it’s likely that we’ll see slow, inconsistent surf fluctuate in the 1-2ft range all week. The less favourable parts of the tide (i.e. outgoing) could see smaller surf - borderline rideable at times - but as per usual there’s always a chance for an incoming tidal kick. Winds will be favourable for the Mid all week so keep your eyes glued to the South Port surfcam as every day has the potential for small fun runners

Easter period:

I’m still expecting a steady progression of new swells through the Easter break plus an onshore change at some point. 

The models have brought this forward to Good Friday and surf size should increase to 3ft at Victor during Friday and then 3-4ft Saturday and Sunday. Small waves are expected across the Mid Coast for much of the Easter Break though I am doubtful we’ll see much more than an inconsistent 2ft. 

The timing of Friday’s change has also pushed the best window of conditions to Sunday and Monday. Craig will have more on this in Monday’s update.