Submitted by Craig on Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:02
Victoria Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday 16th April)
Best Days: Thursday at exposed beaches, Friday on the Surf Coast, early Saturday on the Surf Coast, Sunday on the Surf Coast, Monday, Tuesday morning on the Surf Coast
A moderate sized pulse of SW groundswell filled in yesterday across both coasts to 3ft+ west of Melbourne, with larger 5-6ft sets at exposed spots to the east. Conditions were favourable across 13th Beach and the beaches east of Melbourne with lighter E'ly winds during the morning ahead of strong S'ly sea breezes into the afternoon.
Today the swell has eased back a notch and lighter and more variable winds creating glassy but slightly lumpy conditions that were best east of Melbourne.
This week and weekend (Apr 16 - 21)
Tomorrow morning will be the lowest point in swell activity for at least the next week with a series of strong groundswell pulses due from Friday right until next weekend.
This will be related to two strong amplifications of the Long Wave Trough across Western Australia, the first being the strongest and leading to the largest pulse of swell on Saturday.
Currently a strong node of the LWT is moving across the southern coasts of West Oz, with an initial vigorous mid-latitude front falling under its influence setting in motion a medium sized W/SW groundswell for Friday.
Size wise, we should see inconsistent 2-3ft waves across the Surf Coast with the odd bigger set likely at 13th Beach and Bells/Winki while the Mornington Peninsula should see 4-6ft waves. Winds will only be favourable for the Surf Coast though with a strengthening NW breeze ahead of a late afternoon SW change.
Now of greater importance is the large and powerful W/SW groundswell due Saturday and there's been no real change to the expected size or makeup of this swell.
This swell is being generated by a large and broad polar front firing that formed west of Heard Island at the start of the week that's since been steered by the LWT up towards WA.
A fetch of gale to severe-gale W/SW winds are being generated through our swell window and will continue into this evening before the frontal system breaks down in the Bight tomorrow.
This swell should fill in Saturday and peak during the middle of the day/afternoon to 6ft+ across the Surf Coast while the Mornington Peninsula should see larger 8-10ft+ sets.
Winds aren't looking as favourable now on Saturday as Friday's cold front leaves a lingering and fresh SW breeze across the coast Saturday morning, but local effects should steer this W'ly early around Torquay, with less favourable W/SW winds developing mid-late morning.
Sunday will be better west of Melbourne with a morning NW'ly and afternoon W/SW winds with an easing swell from 4-5ft on the Surf Coast and 6-8ft on the Mornington Peninsula.
A reinforcing and medium sized W/SW groundswell is due on Monday, keeping fun 3-5ft sets hitting the Surf Coast and larger 6ft+ waves on the Mornington Peninsula, generated by a much smaller and trailing polar low in the wake of the system responsible for Saturday's swell.
Winds will become more favourable for selected locations east of Melbourne and great for the Surf Coast with a moderate N/NW'ly that should tend variable into the afternoon.
Next Tuesday onwards (Apr 22 onwards)
Monday's reinforcing swell is expected to ease slowly into Tuesday under pre-frontal NW winds ahead of a SW change around midday, with small-moderate levels of SW swell expected to pad out the rest of the week.
Winds will remain favourable for Torquay early Wednesday with a local offshore, while the rest of the state is expected to see light to moderate onshores in the wake of Tuesday's change.
Come Thursday the Mornington Peninsula will come pack into play as winds go back to the N'th, but the rest of the week will see winds return to the western quadrant. Check back here on Monday for more specifics on next week though.