| Get surf report

Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Mon, 8 January 2018

A long period east swell has set Durban in its sights as Cyclone Ava begins to peep out from SE Madagascar after her weekend of rabble rousing down the island's east coast, writes Spike.


EXTREME WIND BAG: Ava will tonight be packing gusts to 56 kts. Screengrab Windy.com

Three days ago, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) issued a cyclone alert for Ava - the first tropical cyclone of the season - as it deepened off the NE tip of Madagascar. Ava made landfall in the NE part of Madagascar on Friday, and spent a rabble-rousing weekend of wild weather carousing down the east coast.

Heavy rain and widespread damage came with wind speeds of more than 150km/h. As predicted by meteorologists, she accelerated rapidly as she approached her hell-raising run then slowed spitefully to maximise her effect.

Early yesterday, Ava began to detach from the coast, and began to rejuvenate herself, fed by warm oceans and nice moist conditions, deepening again to 990mb. This central pressure holds steady as she slowly tracks south to southeast. Tonight she packs 50 knot gusts, and produces a 16 second groundswell that radiates westwards towards the KZN and Mozambique coast.


The swell starts to arrive on Friday, building all day to potentially 4-6' on New Pier with a direction a few degrees north of straight east, slowly becoming almost due East from when the storm moved south. However, at the moment, a fierce spate of beasterly east onshore is due to kap Durban, so don't hold your breath for epic surf.

With the waiting period for the Cell C Goodwave due to open on 20 January, this is an interesting early heads up, and hopefully an earlier harbinger that augurs for a cranking cyclone season.

Réunion and Mauritius are getting some intense daily tropical downpours todayAs Ava departs Madagascar, life-threatening flooding and mudslides have apparently continued to impact the region, while Réunion and Mauritius are getting some intense daily tropical downpours today. Rainfall is apparently going to be heaviest on Réunion. Already Saint-Denis has been inundated with more than 400 mm betweeen last Wednesday and Saturday morning.

The SW Indian Ocean cyclone season officially begins on 15 November and ends 30 April. Last year we had a quiet one, with just five systems reaching ‘tropical storm’ status.

Incidentally, according to Wikipedia, "Hurricane Ava (as part of the naming convention that alternates every four years and in different oceans) was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. It was the first named storm of the 1973 Pacific hurricane season.

"Forming in early June, Hurricane Ava eventually reached Category 5 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, the first Pacific hurricane to do so in June and the earliest ever in a season. Its central pressure made it the most intense known Pacific hurricane at the time. Despite its intensity, Hurricane Ava stayed at sea without significant impact."

Add comment

Please don't say anything you would not say to a real person, and please use your real name.

Security code

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio

Wavescape on Twitter

Thu Sep 20 17:37:20 +0000 2018

Batten your britches brus. One hell of a swell is heading our way this weekend from a 953mb storm that peaked early… https://t.co/pVcrEfX6Jx
Mon Sep 17 15:59:30 +0000 2018

About 220 people paddled out at Muizenberg yesterday to honour local restaurant owner and surfer Dave Jones, who pa… https://t.co/jRnKHsPFuq
Mon Sep 10 12:29:28 +0000 2018

The forecasts were on the button as cranking 3' lines graced the Surf Ranch Pro presented by Hurley for four straig… https://t.co/Y6eMyjxKA3
Fri Sep 07 12:29:17 +0000 2018

Cape Peninsula -- // Cloudy and cool with showers Friday with fresh SSE winds puffing strong at times along exposed… https://t.co/0FyTMBfQCx
Fri Sep 07 12:11:22 +0000 2018

West Coast -- // Friday calm start, with light S winds puffing moderate and sideshore. A tiny to small to not very… https://t.co/BwEq6cf1JP
Fri Sep 07 12:00:43 +0000 2018

It's an effort to score 8.50 in a wave pool, but Kelly Slater was the man to do it on Day 1 of the first Surf Ranch… https://t.co/tqjMPCgoPy
Follow Wavescape on Twitter

Wavescape friends and partners Isiqalo Foundation DIFF CSIR Isiqalo Foundation Surfing  South Africa Save Our Seas Shark Centre Isiqalo Foundation Red Bull Media House DIFF National Sea Rescue Institute Shark Spotters ASP Africa