Poor run of winds and surf to come

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday February 23rd)

Best Days: This morning, South Coast for the keen Sunday morning, Wednesday and Thursday mornings next week down South

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Strengthening S/SE winds tomorrow and Fri with weak levels of S/SE windswell
  • Mix of S/SE windswell and SW swell on the weekend with fresh SE tending strong S/SE winds Sat, light W/SW tending S/SW Sun
  • Small S/SE windswell Mon and Tue with strong S/SE winds
  • Inconsistent SW swell building Tue, holding Wed, with a less consistent pulse Thu, easing Fri
  • Variable tending S/SE winds Wed, light E/NE-NE tending S/SW on Thu, fresh S/SW Fri


Plenty of swell with cleaner, peaky conditions across the South Coast yesterday morning and waves to 3ft+, easing back to 2-3ft this morning with a variable breeze and clean, fun peaks for the keen. The Mid Coast was 1ft yesterday, ideal for beginners and back to 0.5-1ft today.

This week and weekend (Feb 24 - 27)

Make the most of the light winds on offer down South this morning as a trough approaching from the west will signal a change in the weather and winds with persistent poor, S/SE-SE breezes due to hang around until around mid-next week.

This trough will be followed by a strong high filling in from the west, with it squeezed by inland surface instability to our east and west, squeezing pressure gradients. This will bring strengthening S/SE winds over the coming days, shifting SE through the mornings Friday and Saturday, with Sunday morning possibly seeing a lighter W/SW breeze in the morning before winds revert back to the S-S/SE on Monday.

Swell wise the surf will become small with localised levels of S/SE windswell being dominant on the South Coast while there'll be no meaningful swell for the Mid Coast.

Some small, mid-period SW swell is due Saturday, generated by a couple of weak fronts pushing under the country today and tomorrow, providing 2ft to occasionally 3ft sets across the Middleton stretch, easing Sunday. Those winds won't leave to many options though with Sunday morning the pick for a lumpy/wobbly wave easing from 2-3ft mostly out of the S/SE.

Into next week we should see some better, though inconsistent SW swell energy filling in from Tuesday and lasting through until Friday.

The swell will be generated by a broad, slow moving polar frontal progression from the Heard Island region over the coming days and weekend.

While weakening and not overly strong it should provide a prolonged, fun swell with building sets towards 3ft across Middleton later Tuesday, holding Wednesday. The swell looks to also hold Thursday as some less consistent, long-period energy fills in from the earlier, stronger stages of the polar frontal progression, easing Friday from 2-3ft.

The progression isn't ideal for the Mid Coast and positioned too far south with inconsistent sets to 0.5-1ft possible Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, easing Thursday.

Looking at the local winds and they should improve temporarily Wednesday, tending more variable in the morning with Thursday seeing a light E/NE-NE offshore ahead of another trough and S/SW change that will hold Friday.

Longer term it looks like we'll see increasing activity through the Southern Ocean into the start of March, but more on this Friday.


yahabo's picture
yahabo's picture
yahabo Wednesday, 23 Feb 2022 at 11:54am

This would have to be the worst SA summer since 2007. Absolute disaster!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 23 Feb 2022 at 12:06pm

Gotta say, this season really has brought back grommethood summer memories: long spells of tiny surf and south-easterly winds. I don't have a surf diary to corroborate, but remember endless weekend trips racking up hundreds of kays scouting the entire Fleurieu Peninsula for a rideable wave.

Aaaandy's picture
Aaaandy's picture
Aaaandy Wednesday, 23 Feb 2022 at 1:01pm

Reckon last Summer was worse. At least this summer we've had the odd day for a wave. For memory.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 23 Feb 2022 at 1:10pm

Yeah there's been a few more windows of lighter winds this summer.

john wise's picture
john wise's picture
john wise Wednesday, 23 Feb 2022 at 3:25pm

only a week to go and summer is behind us yew!

oldman's picture
oldman's picture
oldman Wednesday, 23 Feb 2022 at 3:29pm

Agree with yahabo, this year is the pits.
Light winds dont help much when it has been blowing SE for weeks.
A quick look at the forecast shows southerlies EVERY DAY for the forecast period.
This has been the same from 1st January apart from maybe 3 days

The MIDdleman.'s picture
The MIDdleman.'s picture
The MIDdleman. Thursday, 24 Feb 2022 at 9:42am

Been all-time sailing weather this summer.
You can pick up small fun craft for quite cheap.
It's helped getting me through the flat spells,)