Improving surf and swells later week

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Monday February 1st)

Best Days: Thursday South Coast, Friday South Coast, dawn Saturday South Coast

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • New SW swell for tomorrow but with strengthening S/SE winds, with a slightly stronger SW swell Wed with E/SE-E tending S/SE winds
  • Easing SW swell Thu with N/NE tending fresh NW winds
  • Strong SW groundswell for Fri with fresh N/NW winds, easing Sat with a dawn, strong N'ly ahead of a SW change


Tiny, bumpy surf Saturday on the Mid, but a new swell provided a bit more size and 1-2ft sets Sunday, a bit better than expected. This has faded back to 0.5-1ft today. There was a bit of swell down South but conditions remained average to poor for the most part, smaller today.

This week and weekend (Feb 2 - 7)

Into this afternoon and more so tomorrow, a new pulse of SW groundswell is due, generated by a polar front that developed east of the Heard Island region late last week, weakening while continuing to generate a healthy fetch under the country on the weekend.

A mix of mid-period and less consistent SW swells are due, filling in tomorrow with surf mostly around 3ft across Middleton, with the Mid Coast due to come in around 1-1.5ft. Winds will favour the Mid with a fresh S/SE'ly, strengthening into the afternoon.

A secondary pulse of S/SW swell is then due Wednesday, produced by a cold front that's currently passing under us today. A brief fetch of strong to gale-force W/SW winds should keep Middleton around 3ft, if not for the odd bigger one, with the Mid likely backing off to 1ft+.

Winds will try and improve on Wednesday but still be fairly average, swinging moderate E/SE-E through the morning ahead of S/SE sea breezes.

Thursday looks the pick as winds shift N/NE tending fresh NW ahead of an approaching front come mid-latitude low along with easing S/SW swell energy. Middletons should ease back from 2-3ft while the Mid Coast will be tiny, ahead of a building windswell from the strengthening onshore winds.

Now, of greater importance is a larger SW groundswell due Friday. This swell, which may be seen late Thursday will be generated by a polar low strengthening south-west of WA this afternoon and evening. It'll project a fetch of severe-gale to storm-force W'ly winds through our swell window tomorrow before weakening and splitting.

This split will see a cold front projecting up into the Bight, then forming into a mid-latitude low Thursday, sitting just south-west of us.

The low will bring favourable and fresh N/NW winds on Friday as the groundswell peaks, with 3-4ft+ waves across Middleton, while the Mid will see some swell from the front proper, coming in at 1-2ft though wind affected.

The low is due to push east Saturday though we still might see a morning N'ly ahead of a SW change. Size wise the SW groundswell from Friday will be on the ease, so aim for the early.

Longer term, another similar low is due to fire up on the polar shelf late week, generating another good SW groundswell for early next week, though winds look average in the wake of the low (and change Saturday) with strong S/SE tending SE breezes. More on this Wednesday.


Perc04's picture
Perc04's picture
Perc04 Tuesday, 2 Feb 2021 at 9:30pm

It's been a super average run.

Nickerless's picture
Nickerless's picture
Nickerless Wednesday, 3 Feb 2021 at 10:50am

Would have been decent out west tho I reckon