Large weekend ahoy!
South Australian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 16th October)
Best Days: Fri AM: fun clean surf at Victor. Sat/Sun: good waves on the Mid, a little bumpy Sat but clean Sun. Sat: very big down south but onshore. Sun: very big down south, though steadily easing, and much cleaner. Mon/Tues/Wed: easing swells across both coasts with light offshore winds and sea breezes. Late Wed onwards: new round of swells with fun small waves on the Mid for a few days.
Recap: Our small expected swell arrived a little ahead of expectations on Tuesday, providing glassy 1-2ft waves across the reefs mid-late morning (see below) before becoming a little ruffled into the afternoon. Size has persisted today though winds have freshened from the west. Bigger surf built into the 2-3ft range at Middleton (bigger elsewhere) during Tuesday, and has held around the 3ft range today. Early light winds both days preceded moderate to fresh onshore winds into the afternoons.
This week (Oct 14 - 17)
The publish time of these Forecaster Notes will be erratic this week, as Craig’s on annual leave. To receive an email when they go live, please edit your user settings here: www.swellnet.com/user
We’ve got a couple of average days of waves ahead.
Today’s advancing front will clear to the east overnight but we’ll see lingering onshore winds on Thursday morning.
They’ll ease and tend W/NW throughout the day but no major size increase is likely at Victor in the wake of today’s front - a small fetch was attached to the low, but the front was riding high through the Bight so the direction will have enough west to create issues down south (so, expect a similar size as per today, occasional 3ft sets at Middleton).
The Mid Coast should see small waves through the day, up to 2ft, almost 2-3ft on the more favourable parts of the tide, and although the morning will be bumpy, the afternoon should see a slight improvement as the wind throttles back. Keep your expectations low.
Friday will see easing surf across both coasts and strengthening NW tending W/NW winds as a series of fronts approach from the south-west. We’ll see small clean waves at Victor, around 2ft at Middleton and bigger near 3-4ft at Waits and Parsons, but the Mid Coast will become choppy all day with average 1-2ft surf. An afternoon increase in windswell is likely, though don’t bank on any quality.
This weekend (Oct 18 - 19)
Strong W/SW winds will impact the region on Saturday as another front crosses crosses the coast, but we’ll see lighter winds on Sunday as this system clears to the east. The Mid Coast will experience a little less wind strength than the South Coast on Saturday but it’ll still be enough to bump up conditions. Sunday on the other hand looks reasonably clean with light S/SE winds and sea breezes.
As for surf, there’s been a small downgrade for the weekend’s swell. But, it’s still looking to be very large and quite windy.
The expected structure of this system is very much the same as per Monday, but core winds around the main polar low - responsible for the main peak in size late Saturday or maybe early Sunday - won’t be quite as strong as Monday’s guidance suggested, and it’s now unlikely to display the same swell-window-slingshot I was anticipating. Fortunately, the strongest winds will be aimed nicely up into South Oz (see below).
We’ll see two swells from this system, the first building strongly overnight Saturday and then the second kicking in late afternoon and overnight, before easing through Sunday.
The South Coast should see some really large surf up into the 8ft+ range at exposed spots by late Saturday and (if we’re lucky) early Sunday, however Saturday will present choppy options just about everywhere (novelty spots in close to Victor will be worth a look). Expect slightly smaller surf early Saturday ahead of the peak. Swell direction will be slightly more west of south-west Saturday, and then more south of south-west Sunday. This will also have a effect on how much size penetrates sheltered spots (i.e. better chances Sunday).
Sunday is a better bet on the balance with light variable winds, probably an early morning W/NW outflow tending SW during the day. It may not completely clean up the lineup from the previous few days of onshore winds but the faces should be relatively smooth. Expect size to ease by a couple of feet during the day.
Along the Mid Coast, we’re looking at bumpy 3-4ft surf Saturday, easing from 3ft+ to 2-3ft during Sunday. Of course, Sunday is the pick of the weekend as we’ll see light cross/offshore winds for most of the day before the sea breeze, but even Saturday shouldn’t be too bad under a moderate onshore.
Next week (Oct 20 onwards)
Sunday afternoon’s easing trend will be slightly arrested on Monday - but only along the South Coast - by a minor pulse of S/SW swell from the tail end of the main weather system over the weekend. We’ll see 4-5ft+ surf across the Middleton stretch, and easing surf from 2ft+ on the Mid Coast. Conditions will be clean with light NE winds and sea breezes.
Smaller surf with similar clean conditions will then hold out into Tuesday and early Wednesday, ahead of a series of long range groundswells pushing through from Wednesday afternoon onwards (leading edge should be in early morning), generated by a broad storm series way our near Heard Island over the coming days. This will be better aimed to Indo and WA than South Oz but we’ll see some nice groundswell lines through the second half of the week, holding into the weekend. Even the Mid should get a guernsey during this time frame.
Unfortunately, a couple of cold fronts are also expected to pass south of the region around the same time, so winds may be less than ideal for the South Coast (though OK for the Mid, out of the S/SE). But I’ll have more on that in Friday’s update.