Submitted by Craig on Fri, 04/25/2014 - 11:23
Victoria Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Friday 25th April)
Best Days: Saturday morning west of Melbourne, possibly early Sunday around Torquay, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday morning
There was only a short period of clean conditions and small swell across the Surf Coast yesterday morning with early W/NW winds before a strong SW change moved through. This change was related to a vigorous and strengthening cold front pushing towards us, with satellite observations showing that a fetch of 35-45kt SW winds were generated in our swell window (right), stronger than the expected 35kts on Wednesday.
This resulted in a much larger than forecast increase in SW groundswell which peaked overnight and held into this morning to a solid 4-6ft+ across the Surf Coast and 6-8ft on the Mornington Peninsula under local offshore winds.
Cape Sorell has since dropped considerably and we should see the same trend occur across most spots during the day as winds persist from the N'th and swing N/NW late.
This weekend (Apr 26 - 27)
A very similar intensifying frontal system to the one we saw moving through yesterday, generating today's swell is due to push through tomorrow (pictured right), kicking up another large pulse of SW groundswell for Sunday.
Going on today's size I'm tempted to upgrade above the models forecasts and go with 4-6ft+ across the Surf Coast with 8ft sets on the Mornington Peninsula, but this time winds will unfortunately be average in the wake of the front. Most locations are expected to see S/SW tending SE winds, but there's a very small chance the Torquay region will see an early W'ly, so keep an eye on local wind observations.
Besides this possible small period early Sunday, tomorrow morning should offer fun reef and beach waves across the Surf Coast under a fresh NW'ly ahead of a change at 9/10am.
Next week onwards (Apr 28 onwards)
Sunday's close-range SW swell will ease through Monday but a long-range and reinforcing SW groundswell should keep medium to large levels of swell hitting both coasts as winds around to the N/NE. We should see easing 3-4ft sets on the Surf Coast and 6ft+ waves on the Mornington Peninsula with much smaller waves into Tuesday under a strengthening N'ly (N/NW on the Surf Coast).
A strong but very inconsistent long-range W/SW groundswell due on Tuesday has been pushed back a touch in timing with a peak now due on Wednesday.
This swell is being generated by a vigorous polar low in the Southern Indian Ocean, aiming a fetch of severe-gale W/SW winds through our western swell window (with stronger storm-force winds at its core).
The low will break down south-west of WA resulting in a lot of swell decay and very inconsistent swell, but in saying this we should see 2-3ft+ sets on the Surf Coast Wednesday with larger 5-6ft+ surf on the Mornington Peninsula.
A short-range W/SW swell will likely overpower the long-range energy though, generated by a strong mid-latitude front pushing across us Wednesday. Winds will accordingly swing from a fresh and gusty W/NW'ly around to the W/SW during the afternoon, favouring the Surf Coast.
Longer term we're looking at a flurry of strong frontal activity next week, generating plenty of SW groundswell, but we'll review this again on Monday.