Lots of south swell as winds slowly improve, bigger next week

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday October 25th)

Best Days: Friday morning South Coast, Saturday morning South Coast, Sunday afternoon for the keen Mid Coast, early Monday South Coast, Mid Coast next Wednesday and Thursday morning

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Weaker S'ly swell tomorrow with strong S/SE winds, abating
  • Moderate sized, mid-period S swell filling in Fri (undersized early) with NE tending E/SE winds
  • Easing S swell Sat with mod-fresh N tending stronger N/NW winds ahead of a late S/SW change
  • Tiny W/SW swell for Sat PM
  • Small-mod sized W/SW swell building Sun. easing Mon
  • Variable offshore winds ahead of sea breezes Sun, strengthening W/NW Mon
  • Mod-large mix of swells building Tue next week with strong W/SW-SW winds, easing Wed with S/SE winds


Strengthening W'ly winds created poor conditions across most locations yesterday with a building windswell across the Mid Coast to 2-3ft while the South Coast built to 3-4ft into the afternoon.

The mid-latitude trough/low linked to the wind and swell has moved south of us today, aiming strong S'ly winds into the South Coast, producing today's sizey swell. Conditions are a mess though with early W/NW winds that have since shifted SW. The Mid Coast was a little cleaner than yesterday but really junky with easing 2ft sets.

This week and next (Oct 26 – Nov 3)

The mid-latitude system responsible for yesterday's and today's swell is moving to the east and with this we're seeing strong S'ly winds aimed into the South Coast but not to the strength of yesterday evening.

This will result in a drop in swell tomorrow back to the 4ft range across Middleton while the Mid Coast will become tiny, fading from 1-1.5ft max.

A polar front being dragged up from the south, through our southern swell window today should generate a reinforcing pulse of mid-period S'ly swell during the day Friday, with the morning likely coming in at 3ft, pulsing back to 3-4ft through the day and then easing from 2ft to possibly 3ft Saturday morning. The Mid Coast will become tiny Friday, while some distant background W/SW swell may generate 0.5-1ft surf Saturday afternoon.

Looking at the local winds and tomorrow will see strong but easing S/SE winds across the South Coast, lighter SE on the Mid Coast in the morning, while Friday should see winds tending NE, cleaning up the South Coast ahead of afternoon sea breezes.

Saturday looks great with a moderate to fresh N'ly wind, strengthening from the N/NW ahead of a late S/SW change. The swell will be small and fading though so surf early.

Sunday is a little funky with the swell reaching a low point in the morning under variable winds, while into the afternoon some new mid-period W/SW swell is due, generated by a slow moving, weak mid-latitude front that will pass under Western Australia Friday, us on Saturday.

Afternoon sea breezes will kick in across both coasts but the Mid should build to 2ft on the sets while the South Coast only looks to reach 2-3ft, fading Monday.

Winds will start to strengthen from the W/NW on Monday (variable early), while a strong W/SW-SW change is due overnight along with a large pulse of swell from the swell generating front on Tuesday/Wednesday.

As touched on last week this Southern Ocean frontal progression looks most favourable for the Mid Coast with SW winds at the peak of the swell, followed by S/SE-SE winds as it eases Wednesday/Thursday. We'll have a closer look at this on Friday.