Poor weekend, upgrade in next week's groundswell

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Friday September 9th)

Best Days: Beginners at Middleton Sunday and the Mid Coast Monday, South Coast for the experienced Monday (from mid-morning) and Tuesday, exposed spots Wednesday with low expectations due to the wind

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Weak S/SW windswell tomorrow morning down South, easing with fresh but easing S/SW winds
  • Tiny Sun with W/NW winds, tending W/SW later and then S after dark
  • Large S/SW groundswell filling in Mon with moderate SW tending weaker S winds
  • Easing large S groundswell Tue with light N/NE-NE tending fresh E/NE winds
  • Easing S swell Wed with strong N/NE-NE winds


A small lift in inconsistent W/SW groundswell energy which showed best across the South Coast with 1-2ft sets across Middleton-Goolwa with great conditions yesterday. The Mid was wind affected and poor with sets to 1ft.

Today an onshore change hit the Mid early along with a mix of groundswell and building windswell to 1-1.5ft. Conditions were great early down South but have since deteriorated with the change moving through. It's all over for the day.

This weekend and next week (Sep 10 - 16)

A broad, slow moving mid-latitude low linked to our run of rain and at times severe weather in the north is now moving east, with today's change linked to us falling under it's back side.

We'll see the low kick up a very weak and short-lived S/SW windswell to 3ft across the South Coast tomorrow morning, easing through the day. The Mid should see 1-2ft surf this afternoon, easing from 1-1.5ft tomorrow.

Winds unfortunately look to linger onshore from the S/SW tomorrow across all locations, easing in strength during the day creating average conditions. With the weak swell it'll be a lay day.

Sunday morning looks cleaner down South with a W/NW offshore but there'll only be a weak 1-2ft leftover windswell in the mix. Leave it for the keen beginners across Middleton.

Later in the day a shallow S/SW change is expected, most likely into the evening, linked to a significant low that will fire up under the country on the weekend before moving slowly east.

Now, on Wednesday I pointed out that we'll likely see a downgrade in this swell generating low as we near closer to its formation as the American global forecasting model GFS seemed to be overcooking the strength and intensity as it often does.

Well I jinxed it and the European version EC has come into line with GFS and we're set to see quite a significant low forming south-west of us early tomorrow morning. This low is forecast to project a fetch of gale to severe-gale SW winds through our southern swell window before shifting slowly east on the weekend.

This low will generate a large, long-period S/SW groundswell for Monday, peaking into the middle of the day/afternoon across the South Coast.

Strong 6ft+ sets are due across Middleton with 8ft waves on the deep water reefs, tiny on the Mid Coast and to 1-1.5ft max.

Winds will unfortunately linger from the SW Monday morning, moderate in strength but ease and tend light S'ly through the day. This should open up some quality options with the strength of the S/SW groundswell. The Mid will be clean in the morning with SE offshores ahead of SW sea breezes.

Tuesday and Wednesday look cleaner (for selected spots) for the South coast as the swell eases slowly out of the S'th, dropping from 4-6ft Tuesday morning with a N/NE-NE offshore ahead of fresher E/NE winds into the afternoon. The Mid will be clean but tiny to flat.

Wednesday looks tricky on the exposed beaches with a strong N/NE-NE offshore and easing sets from 3ft across Middleton.

The surf is due to bottom out on Thursday, and a deepening mid-latitude low moving in from the east will bring a strong S/SE change and building windswell into Friday/Saturday. There'll be no size for the Mid Coast, but a distant, inconsistent W/SW groundswell looks to offer infrequent 1ft sets Thursday/Friday.

More on this Monday. Have a great weekend!