Steve Pike forecast


The southern storms of winter are channelling most of their energy towards Indo and Australia, with a succesion moving below the country over the next few days. 

Two large storms are starting to from from Friday and peaking into the weekend. The first deepens below the country with a massive 1,500 mile fetch that points up into the underbelly of the country. This is a strong and long South swell that won’t impact too much on Durban.

The next storm has an inkling of hope for the Good Wave depending on how the forecast transpires in the coming days. A fierce SE fetch forms around the storm, as it interfaces with the unusually southern situated Indian Ocean High, but the storm is forecast to be too far to the east by then, with the wind fetch pointing more towards Madagascar or the Maldives, and not properly towards Durban, although some residual periphery swell from the propagation arc may be felt.

If it changes, by deepening earlier and facing more towards South Africa, we’re looking at a long range SE swell in the middle of next week. We’re watching that one.


A series of high pressure systems are sinking into place just off the East Coast of South Africa, creating a week of NE onshores and deflecting the approaching autumn storms to the south. These low pressure cells are dipping below South Africa, tracking around the bottom of the High, before pushing up into the Indian Ocean. This is good for the eastern perimeter of the Indian Ocean from Indonesia to Western Australia, but not for Durban. 
The High off the coast is due to strengthen and grow in size over the next five days, until by Thursday evening, a large easterly fetch has formed across the top of the system, sending a lot of easterly windswell towards KZN, particularly the North Coast and Mozambique. However, this is not a good swell direction for Durban. 
By Saturday, another large high pressure system sinks in south of Cape Town, adding to the Indian Ocean high to create two neighbouring High pressure cells. This continues to repel the Roaring 40s storms, with no warmer cyclonic activity in the north. Eventually, the two systems move east and merge together into one large High. This opens the gap for a small storm to approach Cape Town, but again, it sinks south, with wind directions facing the wrong way for Durban. 

A strong SE swell has pushed into KZN from a strong storm that has been passing slowly below the country, interfacing with a very south-placed High pressure system. The storm currently sits SE of Durban, and the winds continue to blow in the SE swell for the next two days. 
The interaction between the High pressure cell and the low pressure cell has resulted in the more direct swell direction. Over the last few days, strong SSW to SW winds have been blowing, and the buster is set to continue blowing into Friday, when wind and swell slowly begin abating. 
By the weekend, both are gone, leaving light winds and much smaller swell in their wake. By Sunday, the High pressure cell is south of the East Coast, and the approaching autumn storms are giving it a wide berth, pushing most of their energy into the Indian Ocean towards Indo and Australia. 
No cyclones visible either. By the weekend, 

There has been a lull in cyclone activity in recent weeks after the flurry of surf created by Cyclones Dineo and Enawo.
Autumn conditions are locking in, and a SW buster arrives on Thursday, bringing some SW groundswell to the open coast and a taste of winter.
By the weekend the storm has moved off to the east and weakened, but begins to strengthen again as it mingles with a High pressure area to the SE of Madagascar.
However, it lacks the easterly component to effect Durban.
By next week, the easterly trades are back, but no cyclone action, barring a twirly that develops next Wednesday south of the Maldives far off the NE tip of Madagascar.
They normally track towards the SW, so we’ll watch that one. 

“There is minimal tropical storm action east of Durban at least until around 7 March, according to the current charts. A large High pressure system – with strong east winds – has moved into place in the wake of Cyclones Carlos and Dineo, and in the short term, Durban gets a lot of east windswell ranging from two to five foot this week. 
Winds blow strong SSW to S from Sunday 19 to Tuesday 22 February this week, and lots of 4′ ESE windswell. Then, expect three days of light winds and clean conditions Wednesday 23rd to Friday 25th. Fun 3-4′ peaks possible Wednesday – perhaps bigger at first – with 4′ surf Thursday and 3′ surf on Friday this week. A buster arrives this Saturday and a steady stream of 3′ easterly windswell persists into the weekend and next week.
A small tropical depression 300 miles southeast of Durban is worth watching. It forms Friday 24 February and deepens over the weekend, but not by a lot, and the fetch is facing the wrong way. It’s one worth watching though, because it may change.”
For more about the update process go to:

Leave a reply

The Cell C Goodwave is a WSL Speciality Event sanctioned by Surfing South Africa. The event waiting period opens on February 1, 2017 and is held at the New Pier in Durban South Africa.


Get in touch on: