Average onshore waves until late week

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)

South Australian Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Monday 24th April)

Best Days: Keen surfers Wednesday afternoon Mid Coast, Friday morning South Coast, Sunday South Coast


A great weekend across the Mid Coast with clean surf hanging in at 2ft for the most part, a touch bigger at times yesterday with a stunning sunset.

The South Coast saw great conditions Saturday morning with a fun sized swell to 2-3ft off Middleton with a light offshore wind, similar in size Sunday morning but a little more lumpy with a variable breeze.

Into the afternoon the best W/SW swell swell filled in, and this has kept 2ft sets hitting the Mid Coast this morning with offshore winds, and again 3ft on the sets off Middleton. Early lumpy conditions have since cleaned up a bit more with a light offshore wind, while the Mid Coast was great.

This week (Apr 25 – 28)

Tomorrow will be a day of varying winds and conditions across the South Coast, and with smaller surf back to the 2ft range off Middleton, it won't be worth chasing.

A small-scale low is forecast to move in across the region early tomorrow, bringing onshore SW-W/SW winds for dawn, but as this clears to the east through the morning and another front approaches, winds are due to swing back more W'ly ahead of a much stronger evening S/SW change.

The Mid Coast will be onshore all day with messy 1-1.5ft sets.

Tuesday evening's change will be quite strong, generated by a vigorous cold front pushing up and into us. A fetch of strong to near gale-force S/SW winds will kick up a solid mid-period S/SW swell for Wednesday.

There'll also be some new S/SW groundswell in the mix, but our models are over-forecasting the size and incorrectly combining the long-period swell with the larger localised windswell.

What we're expected to see is stormy 4-5ft waves off Middleton Wednesday (larger at Waits and Parsons) with strong but easing S/SW winds. The swell direction and winds aren't great for generating waves on the Mid, but there should still be onshore messy 2ft waves early, easing through the day and cleaning up as winds tend more S'ly.

Come Thursday onshore S/SW winds look to unfortunately persist on the South Coast as the mix of swells start to ease.

Friday is the next best day to surf as winds tend W/NW around Victor. The swell will be smaller but easing from a fun 2-3ft off Middleton, bigger at Waits and Parsons. The Mid Coast should persist around the 1ft range with a possible variable wind at dawn.

This weekend onwards (Apr 29 onwards)

Into the weekend, two separate new swells are due. The first for Saturday will be a mid-period SW swell from a relatively weak mid-latitude front passing under the country Thursday and Friday.

2-3ft surf is due off Middleton with 1ft waves on the Mid Saturday, while into the late afternoon some new stronger and larger S/SW groundswell is due.

This groundswell will be generated from today through Wednesday by a vigorous polar frontal progression developing in the southern Indian Ocean.

A distant fetch of severe-gale W/NW winds will be produced through our far swell window, with better storm-force W/NW winds developing as the progression dips south-east along the polar shelf through our southern swell window, well south of WA.

A long-period S/SW groundswell will result, arriving later Saturday and peaking Sunday morning to a good 3-4ft off Middleton with possible the odd bigger one. The swell won't be favourable for the Mid with fading 1ft surf due.

Winds on Saturday are looking average for the South Coast with a SW tending S/SE breeze, while more variable winds from the W/NW Sunday should provide good fun conditions.

Longer term another strong cold front is forecast to push up and into us Sunday evening, generating onshore sizey waves early to mid-next week, but more on this Wednesday.