Improving easing surf ahead of a new SW groundswell Friday afternoon
Victoria Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday 21st March)
Best Days: Beaches east of Melbourne tomorrow, Friday, swell magnets Saturday morning, Surf Coast Tuesday, exposed beaches Wednesday morning
Large powerful surf across the Victorian coast yesterday but only a handful of surfable options with gusty W/SW tending SW and then S/SE winds.
This morning the swell was still large and easing but options even more limited with a fresh to strong E'ly wind.
This week and next weekend (Mar 22 - 25)
Today's strong E'ly winds will swing more E/NE through tomorrow creating cleaner conditions across the exposed beaches east of Melbourne. The swell should become more manageable, easing steadily from 4-5ft at dawn, back to 3-4ft into the afternoon.
The Surf Coast will see an average mix of easing SW groundswell and SE windswell from today's winds with peaky 3ft waves across the beaches.
Friday morning will be smaller but cleaner with a N/NE offshore, tending variable early afternoon ahead of developing E/SE sea breezes.
The Surf Coast is only due to be around 2ft in the morning with 3ft+ sets on the Mornington Peninsula, but our new long-period and inconsistent SW groundswell should provide more size into the afternoon.
This swell has been generated by a strong small polar low earlier this week, east of Heard Island with satellite observations picking up a great fetch of severe-gale to storm-force W/NW winds in our swell window.
We should see inconsistent but strong sets to 3ft Friday afternoon on the Surf Coast (if not for the odd sneaky bigger one into the evening) and 4-5ft on the Mornington Peninsula.
Into the weekend we'll see the groundswell easing from 2ft to occasionally 3ft at swell magnets on the Surf Coast and 4ft on the Mornington Peninsula under N tending N/NW winds.
Sunday will be poor with no real swell and strengthening W/NW winds as a vigorous mid-latitude low pushes in from the west.
Next week onwards (Mar 26 onwards)
The mid-latitude low pushing in Sunday will stall as it approaches us, producing a slow moving fetch of W/SW-S/SW gales directly south-west of us early Monday morning, kicking up a stormy increase in swell through the day.
The morning will likely see some initial W/SW swell from the earlier stages of the low under strong W/NW winds, with a W/SW change mid-morning bringing with it building surf to 4-5ft on the Surf Coast and 6-8ft on the Mornington Peninsula.
The low is expected to clear off quickly to the east on Tuesday resulting in winds tending back to the NW through the morning as the SW swell eases rapidly.
We'll continue to see the surf ease into Wednesday under N/NE tending NW winds as another mid-latitude storm approaches.
This and following Southern Ocean frontal activity will intensify later week, owing to a strong broad node of the Long Wave Trough moving in from the east during next week.
We'll have a closer look at what this means for our region on Friday though.