Large swell inbound but with poor winds for the South Coast

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday 21st)

Best Days: Mid Coast for the keen Saturday morning, dawn Sunday South Coast, Tuesday morning South Coast

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Large SW groundswell Fri with strong S/SW winds (S/SE on dark across the Mid)
  • Large, reinforcing S/SW swell Sat, easing with SE tending S/SE winds
  • Easing S swell Sun with dawn, variable winds ahead of freshening S/SE winds during the morning
  • Smaller Mon with fresh S/SE-SE winds
  • Small Tue with NE tending SE winds
  • Moderate sized surf mid-late next week


A funky day of winds down South yesterday, varying from NE to SE but mostly cross-offshore with fun options in protected spots, still 2ft this morning and with similar, favourable winds.

The Mid Coast was flat yesterday with a tiny trickle of swell to 0.5ft this morning.

This week and weekend (Feb 22 - 25)

Tomorrow is still due to be a lay day as the swell bottoms out under NW tending strong SW winds as a change moves through, linked to a strong mid-latitude low pushing in from the west.

As touched on in Monday's notes, this low is forming as the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Djoungou drift south-east into the Southern Ocean, merging with a cold front resulting in the rapid deepening of the storm.

The low looks a little tighter in scope, with a fetch of severe-gale W/SW winds due to be generated in our south-western swell window this afternoon and evening. This should generate a strong pulse of SW groundswell for Friday peaking into the afternoon, while some good, reinforcing mid-period S/SW swell is due Saturday morning owing to the low weakening but broadening while moving in towards Tasmania tomorrow and Friday morning.

Middleton should kick to a strong 5-6ft through Friday, easing back slowly from 4-6ft on Saturday morning and then down further from 3ft+ Sunday.

The swell for the Mid Coast looks a little tricky size wise and not quite as ideal with building sets to 2ft due Friday, easing from 1-2ft on Saturday morning.

We've still got those strong S/SW winds into Friday, creating poor conditions across all locations, tending S/SE on dark across the Mid Coast while Saturday will favour the gulf with morning SE breezes, freshening from the S/SE.

Sunday morning still looks best for the South Coast but the window of clean conditions will be small. Early variable winds are due to shift S/SE and then freshen through the morning, so go the early for the best conditions.

S/SE-SE winds will linger into Monday with smaller surf, cleaning up Tuesday but with a small, leftover 2ft of swell.

As touched on Monday, the longer term outlook is a bit more active as a healthy Southern Ocean frontal progression fires up to the south of Western Australia, bringing moderate + sized mid-period swell mid-late next week but with winds likely out of the southern quadrant. More on this Friday though.


Charlie Brown's picture
Charlie Brown's picture
Charlie Brown Wednesday, 21 Feb 2024 at 4:02pm

Any leftover swell for the Mid on Sunday Craig?
Surfing For The Disabled at Moana from 1pm, for anyone who wants to pull on a rashie and volunteer to help the kids

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 21 Feb 2024 at 6:05pm

Great work Charlie. Should just be enough hopefully for Moana peelers. 0.5-1ft.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 26 Feb 2024 at 6:42am

How'd it go Charlie?

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Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 26 Feb 2024 at 11:49am

Just saw some photos on Facebook, looked like a perfect and great day!

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam Friday, 23 Feb 2024 at 8:26am

Craig , was this almost a bombing low that blew up?
The j curve on the buoys is as steep as they get!
From one to 6metres in a matter of hours

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Friday, 23 Feb 2024 at 9:32am

Yep, close to but not quite!

There's a bit of windswell mixed in there, shown by the gap between the peak and average period but that's a strong and significant swell front!

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam Friday, 23 Feb 2024 at 6:38pm

Yeah not so big at whitefellas break looked surfable 6ft sideshore