Good run for the South Coast

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Monday May 17th)

Best Days: South Coast Tuesday, Wednesday morning, Friday through Monday morning South Coast, Mid Coast for the keen Sunday PM

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Easing S/SW groundswell tomorrow with moderate N tending N/NW winds, smaller Wed with fresher N/NW winds
  • Poor Thu with an increase in swells for the PM but with a shallow SE change
  • Better Fri as the swell peaks along with N/NE tending E/NE winds
  • Easing surf fresh N/NE winds Sat
  • New W/SW swell building Sun with fresh to strong N/NE winds, easing Mon with strong winds


Strong onshore winds and choppy, large surf across the South Coast Saturday, better Sunday with a drop in energy and lighter, morning W'ly winds.

The Mid Coast saw workable 2ft waves on Saturday for the keen with winds abating overnight from Friday, bumpy Sunday and back to 1-1.5ft.

Today we've got a new S/SW groundswell on the build across the South Coast with workable winds, bumpy and average on the Mid Coast.

This week and weekend (May 18 - 23)

Coming in cold off a couple of weeks break it looks like there's a good new S/SW groundswell on the build today which Ben talked about the last couple of updates.

This groundswell was generated by a strong polar low firing up over the weekend and we'll see it peaking later this afternoon/evening on the South Coast as winds shift more SW.

Tomorrow is looking great as the swell eases as winds swing back around to the N'th, light to moderate in strength and only tending N/NW into the afternoon. The size should still be up around 4-5ft+ across Middleton, easing through the day with tiny, bumpy offerings on the Mid Coast.

Wednesday will be smaller but still great with a moderate to sometimes fresh N/NW wind and easing 2-3ft sets across Middleton.

Into the end of the week we've got a couple new swells on the cards, the first being longer-period out of the SW, backed up by a smaller, more consistent, close-range S/SW swell as a tight, intense low fires up directly south-southwest of us.

The close-range swell doesn't look to offer much size, with the longer-range energy generated by a tight low that's currently east of Heard Island. This low should dip south-east and broaden tomorrow, generating a healthy fetch of W/SW gales in our south-western swell window.

Both swells are due to build late Thursday but peak Friday with fun 3ft to possibly 4ft sets due across Middleton, only 1ft on the Mid Coast max. Winds will shift from a morning N/NW breeze to the SE on Thursday afternoon with a trough and sea breeze, back to the N/NE on Friday morning, shifting E/NE into the afternoon.

We'll then see favourable winds into the weekend as the mix of swells ease from Friday, dropping from the 3ft range Saturday (on the sets) across Middleton with fresh N/NE winds.

Stronger N/NE winds are due Sunday along with a new, building mid-period W/SW swell, generated by a healthy fetch of pre-frontal W/NW winds and then post-frontal W/SW winds pushing under the country late week.

The swell looks to build through the day and peak into the afternoon with 2-3ft sets across Middleton and 1ft to possibly 2ft sets on the Mid Coast. Conditions will be bumpy-choppy though with that N/NE breeze.

Monday will see the surf easing with strong N winds ahead of a possible late change.

Longer term there's a fun mix of W/SW swells for next week from the front moving in later Monday, but more on this Wednesday.