Craptacular week ahead, but the weekend looks alright

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 23rd October)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Generally craptacular surf along both coasts for the rest of the week
  • Fun, improving waves on Saturday: small on the Mid, better at Victor
  • Potential widow of northerlies Sunday with small clean waves at Victor
  • Decent prospects for next week


The whole period has been onshore at Victor, with poor surf conditions all round (how’s the brown sludge at the Bay!). The Mid was tiny on Saturday, but a small groundswell filled in on Sunday, offering slow 1-2ft waves at the reefs at times though it wasn’t really worthwhile. We’ve seen a slight easing today though the reefs did see a brief pulse through the lunchtime period for keen surfers (see below).

Small (empty!) waves on the Mid around lunchtime today

Anyone keen? Yeah, didn't think so

This week (Oct 25 - 28)

It’s not a good week for waves.

The synoptic pattern responsible for our current SE airstream is consolidating as a low pressure system over south-eastern SA, though it’ll remain very slow moving for a couple of days. This will swing the wind to the south on Tuesday, before tending westerly on Wednesday, freshening into Thursday and Friday.  

Despite the likely strength of the local onshores, the short length of the associated fetch means we’ll only pick up short range windswell from it on both coasts. And with accompanying winds, conditions will remain poor. 

So, the abridged forecast for this week is poor easing surf on the South Coast Tuesday (tiny on the Mid with no new swell), holding small thru' Wednesday as the wind swings to the west, then building windswells for the last two days of the working week, just a small round of energy on the Mid (certainly not enough to get the stormy haunts up and running), with poor conditions at Victor.

Honestly, you’ve got better things to do this week than grovel along either coast. 

For the record, Friday will see some groundswell fill into the mix, sourced from a deep low currently pushing east of Heard Island, well to the south-west of WA. It’s just a shame that local winds will spoil conditions. 

This weekend (Oct 29 - 30)

The weekend looks alright.

Friday’s westerlies should clear to the east as a high ridges in from the west, allowing for light variable winds Saturday, ahead of some tricky weather on Sunday as a pre-frontal low pressure trough develops out west (which should provide a window of northerlies down south).

Saturday should see a peak in SW groundswell with inconsistent 2-3ft sets at Middleton, even the Mid should see some small rideable waves around 1-2ft on the more favourable parts of the tide. With light winds it’ll be lumpy but otherwise reasonable.

Smaller surf is expected Sunday, though the potential northerly breeze could provide good options at Victor, ahead of another onshore change expected late in the day.

I’ll firm up the timing in Wednesday’s notes. 

Next week (Oct 31 onwards)

Looks like the Southern Ocean storm track will finally get back into a rhythm next week. 

Model guidance is suggesting a well positioned but slightly off-axis low under the continent over the weekend that should (as a minimum) provide us with fun groundswells for the first half of the week, whilst the second half of the week is lining up for more typical spring synoptic patterns providing workable winds and intermittent groundswells for both coasts. 

See you Wednesday!


Jasper Ashmoore's picture
Jasper Ashmoore's picture
Jasper Ashmoore Monday, 24 Oct 2022 at 6:23pm

Hey Ben, we have the Robe bodyboard bash this Saturday. What will swell and wind conditions be like over that way? Cheers

David.Green's picture
David.Green's picture
David.Green Monday, 24 Oct 2022 at 6:35pm

There was one lone paddler duck diving Cappuccino Heads on the MP cam just after lunch. Not for the faint-hearted!

john wise's picture
john wise's picture
john wise Tuesday, 25 Oct 2022 at 2:37pm

hey that might stick, (chuckle), given all the water pouring out of the mouth over the next 3 months