Average forecast period

Victoria Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Monday 23rd April)

Best Days: East of Melbourne tomorrow morning, possibly early Friday Surf Coast, possible windows of light winds each morning on the weekend


Not much in the way of surf across any coast over the weekend with small to tiny waves Saturday and then a slow increase in long-range and very inconsistent W/SW groundswell yesterday.

This swell has peaked today in the 2ft range on the Surf Coast and a much better 3-4ft on the Mornington Peninsula with favourable winds.

Today’s Forecaster Notes are brought to you by Rip Curl

This week and weekend (Apr 24 - 27)

As touched on in Friday's update, there's nothing of significance due for our region until later in the week.

We'll see today's infrequent W/SW groundswell dropping through tomorrow from 1-1.5ft (max) on the Surf Coast and an inconsistent 3ft on the sets on the Mornington Peninsula. A N'ly breeze should hold most of the morning east of Melbourne, creating good conditions, with N/NW winds on the Surf Coast, tending NW ahead of a mid-afternoon W/SW change across all spots.

Wednesday looks clean across both regions again with variable breezes through the morning but hardly any swell.

A small spike in SW swell is due late in the day but more so Thursday morning, produce by a short-burst of strong W/SW winds through our swell window tomorrow as a mid-latitude low dips south-east.

We may see the Surf Coast kicking to 1-2ft late Wednesday but with onshore winds, and 2-3ft on the Mornington Peninsula, coming in at a similar size Thursday morning.

Into Thursday afternoon we'll start to see some better W/SW energy building, generated by a relatively weak but good fetch of strong W/SW winds projected south of the Bight and towards us tomorrow evening and Wednesday.

This front will break off a stronger polar frontal progression that's currently south-west, with an average increase in mid-period W/SW swell due Thursday afternoon ahead of some better W/SW groundswell on Friday.

We may even see an additional SW swell from a small embedded low racing in on the back of the weak W/SW fetch Thursday.

Size wise the Surf Coast is expected to build 2ft+ later Thursday and 4ft on the Mornington Peninsula but with SW winds (likely W/NW early on the Surf Coast), with Friday coming in at 3-4ft and 6ft respectively.

Winds will remain an issue though with S/SW tending S/SE breezes across most locations Friday and only an outside chance of an early W/NW'ly around Torquay.

We'll see the swells ease off into Saturday and a high looks to move in from the west, creating very light SE breezes. We'll have a closer look at this Wednesday to see if there's any chance of local offshores to kick in.

Into Sunday we may see SE winds lingering as we sit between a high to our south-west and low over New Zealand.

A new W/SW groundswell is due produced by a strong but stalling storm south-southwest of WA later this week.

We'll see a fetch of gale to severe-gale W/SW winds generated in our western swell window, with a small initial increase in W/SW swell through Sunday ahead of the swell proper Monday.

Size wise we're looking at 3-5ft waves on the Surf Coast Monday with 6ft+ sets to the east but with easterly winds. More on this Wednesday.


dead kennedy's picture
dead kennedy's picture
dead kennedy commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 11:50am

Where are you getting your models from Craig? Magic seaweed are calling 10 foot bomb sets at magnets on Wednesday and they're usually spot on.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 12:03pm

10ft surf in Vicco on Wednesday?

Which coast are these 'magnets' on? (i.e. Surf Coast, Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island etc).

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 12:23pm

Haha. Had too see this for myself. It just says 2-3ft for Portsea? Didnt check for further West but minda skeptical

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 12:24pm

By the way, let's unpack the 'Magic Seaweed are usually spot on' comment. These kinds of claims can only be addressed in real time, so everyone can individually vouch for the data (or not).

Let's assume we all agree that under most swell scenarios, the MP is usually a couple of feet bigger than the Surf Coast. Today's a classic example: Torquay surf reports came in at 1-2ft, and the MP came in 3-4ft. Fairly standard. 

MSW have Bells Beach estimated at 3-5ft this morning. Now, most people don't seem to realise that MSW surf heights are 'face feet' (so, 3-5ft is closer to 2ft+ in 'surfers feet', which is what Swellnet use).

So, it's an overcall - but not as bad as you'd think if you assumed MSW were calling a couple of feet overhead (which is what Swellnet's 3-5ft is).

MSW then have a peak in swell on Friday (is this the swell you've mixed up for Wednesday?) around 6-9ft. So, 3-4ft+ or maybe 3-5ft in Swellnet's heights (which is very close to what Craig's estimating above). 

But.. check out their Portsea data - they estimated 2-3ft today (1-1.5ft in Swellnet heights). So a major undercall. But worse - they're estimating that Portsea is half the size of Bells Beach today. It simply ain't the case.

As for the Friday swell (where their Bells estimate is 6-9ft), MSW's Portsea forecast is calling 4-6ft, or just 2-3ft in Swellnet heights. Again, a major undercall (our model is calling 6ft surf, or 10-12ft in MSW heights), but also significantly smaller than Bells Beach, which is unlikely to be the case.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 1:23pm

Must be Portsea front beach ;)

dead kennedy's picture
dead kennedy's picture
dead kennedy commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 1:56pm

Looks like this debate can only be settled with the old adage "agree to disagree". We could argue over what the charts are saying all day Ben but I think a better use of our time would be preparing for Wednesday's swell. I'll wax up the 8'6 rhino chaser and head far west at dawn.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 1:59pm

No worries mate. Look forward to seeing the photos.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 25 Apr 2018 at 9:24am

How’d you go mate? Email through your photos if you took any... [email protected] Thanks!

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 1:37pm

Haha yeah right.

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 6:48pm

surely trolling..

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 7:26pm

Magic Seaweed are usually spot on?

Ha ha ha that’s hilarious.

suckin-sand's picture
suckin-sand's picture
suckin-sand commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 8:33pm

MSW is pretty accurate but there’s an art to reading it, which I’m not going to give away here. Only tip is if you want to know how big bells is. Don’t look at bells. It’s ALWAYS over estimated.

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