Victorian Surf Forecast (issued Wed 23rd Apr)

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Craig started the topic in Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 at 11:25am

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

Best Days: Friday, Monday morning, Tuesday west of Melbourne

Recap

Monday afternoon's pulse of long-range W/SW groundswell eased back into yesterday to 3ft on the Surf Coast and 5ft on the Mornington Peninsula under freshening NW winds. An onshore SW change moved through around midday, writing off the surf for the rest of the day.

Today a reinforcing W/SW groundswell has filled in, keeping 3-4ft sets hitting the Surf Coast, while the Mornington Peninsula saw larger 4-6ft sets. Conditions are great across slightly protected locations with a NW breeze and this should persist all day.

This week (Apr 23 - 25)

Tomorrow's increase in SW groundswell has been upgraded a touch due to the frontal system moving in from the west this evening, reaching a greater intensity than forecast Monday.

A fetch of SW gales will be projected into the state this evening and tomorrow morning, kicking up 3-5ft of swell across the Surf Coast tomorrow, and 6ft to occasionally 8ft on the Mornington Peninsula that is expected to peak during the afternoon. Winds will only be offshore for a very brief period at dawn across both regions and from the NW before a strong SW change moves through, writing off the surf for the rest of the day.

Friday is looking much better on the Mornington Peninsula and Surf Coast beaches with a dropping swell from 3-4ft and 6ft+ respectively under N/NE winds. A late shift to the N/NW is likely on the Surf Coat, creating cleaner conditions on the reefs.

This weekend onwards (Apr 26 onwards)

Saturday will become a low point in swell activity and there won't be too many surfing options under a strong NW'ly ahead of a mid-morning SW change.

This change will be related to another strong cold front deepening as it approaches us, generating a late increase in windswell Saturday that should peak Sunday morning to 3-4ft on the Surf Coast and 6ft+ on the Mornington Peninsula. Winds will remain average though and linger from the S/SW with an outside chance of an early W'ly around Torquay.

Monday will still continue to see plenty of SW groundswell as the front linked to Sunday's increase stalls off the south-west of Tassie, aiming a fetch of SW gales through our swell window until Sunday afternoon before moving off under Tassie into the evening.

Winds should tend more variable on Monday morning creating clean/gassy but possibly lumpy conditions that will improve across the Mornington Peninsula during the day as they pick up from the NE.

Longer term a strong but inconsistent W/SW groundswell is due across the state on Tuesday, generated by a vigorous polar low pushing through the Southern Indian Ocean from today until this weekend before breaking down south-west of WA.

Size wise we should see extremely inconsistent 3-4ft sets on the Surf Coast with 5ft bombs at 13th Beach and larger 6ft to occasionally 8ft waves east of Melbourne into Tuesday afternoon.

Beyond this there's a couple of large swells on the cards for Wednesday/Thursday and then the following Sunday as a new node of the Long Wave Trough starts intensifying across the Bight, but we'll review this Friday.

Jake1991's picture
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Jake1991 commented Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 at 7:00pm

Hi Craig, just wondering it's saying it's going to be around 5-6 ft around phillip island tomorrow . If so where would be a good spot around there to go that will be a bit smaller and better for a beginner surfer. Cheers

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 at 7:50pm

Try Smiths Beach, Jake. That's probably your best bet and where a lot of the surf schools have their lessons.

Jake1991's picture
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Jake1991 commented Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 at 8:23pm

Thanks mate

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Craig commented Friday, 25 Apr 2014 at 12:10am

Yeah as Ben said, should be great all day, enjoy!

keegz's picture
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keegz commented Friday, 25 Apr 2014 at 9:37am

Severely under gunned myself this morn thanks to the forcasts haha..

Last time i checked an 8ft heaving slab looked nothing like a fat 4fter at 13th.

Good thing i only took my dominator hahaha. ;(

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Friday, 25 Apr 2014 at 9:59am

Yeah, a lot bigger than I expected!

Ascat shows winds reached 45kts as that front strengthened while pushing towards Tassie, a lot stronger than was forecast Wednesday.

Interestingly this front was upgraded from Monday's notes as per this quote:

"Tomorrow's increase in SW groundswell has been upgraded a touch due to the frontal system moving in from the west this evening, reaching a greater intensity than forecast Monday."

And usually when a system is upgraded coming closer to the event, it will continue to intensify further rather than back off (contrary to strong storms forecast long-range that then back off closer to the event). But even so I wouldn't of expected 6-8ft surf at 13th.

Here's the satellite pass:

brutus's picture
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brutus commented Friday, 25 Apr 2014 at 11:10am

is there anywhere harder than the Surf coast to predict??

keegz's picture
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keegz commented Friday, 25 Apr 2014 at 11:15am

What kind of window do we have tomorrow with the wind at this stage? (13th again that is).

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 25 Apr 2014 at 11:20am

It definitely has it challenges but if you fall into the rhythm of each frontal progression and subsequent ebbs and pulses of swell it's not that hard.

If you do fall out of sync though you're a goner as it's hard to play catch up. Today's swell was a total curve ball, and with a similar front pushing through tomorrow, generating a swell for Sunday we may see it repeating (detailed in my latest update here: http://swllnt.com/1rqeZOx).

I find the hardest swells to forecast are the long-range westerly numbers from just under WA and further west!

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Friday, 25 Apr 2014 at 11:22am

Keegz, 13th will be terrible tomorrow. Ocean Grove should be cleaner or head to Jan Juc/Torquay. Should be clean up until 9am or so.

keegz's picture
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keegz commented Friday, 25 Apr 2014 at 11:55am

Thanks craig always appreciate your helpm