Victorian Surf Forecast (Friday 31st January)

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thermalben started the topic in Friday, 31 Jan 2014 at 9:09pm

Victorian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 31st January)
*sorry for the late forecast update.. we’re down-staff for the next two weeks*

Best Days: Sat/Sun east of Melbourne. Tues/Wed east of Melbourne.

Recap: Mainly onshore winds have dominated the Victorian landscape over the last few days, although Thursday morning saw offshore winds east of Melbourne up until about lunchtime. There’s been a reasonable moderate swell about the coast, with small peaky waves in Torquay and bigger chunky surf on the Peninsula and at Phillip Island. Size is now easing across the region.

This weekend (Feb 1-2)

We’re expecting similar sized swells over the weekend as a new W/SW swell moves into Bass Strait, generated by a strong frontal progression below WA earlier in the week. Freshening E’ly winds will write off most of the Surf Coast, however this will provide great conditions for the open beaches east of Melbourne.

Expect a steady increase all day with wave heights peaking in the 4-5ft range at the open beaches in the early afternoon on Saturday. A slow easing trend is expected on Sunday with similar winds, so expect almost a repeat performance on the Penisnula and at the Island. 

Next week (Feb 3-7)

A reasonably strong front pushing up close to the WA coast today is generating a renewal of W/SW swell that’ll arrive on Monday, ahead of a peak in size on Tuesday. However, a small developing low in eastern Bass Strait early Monday will bring about a gusty southerly change that’ll effectively write off conditions at all locations to kick start the working week.

Fortunately, this low will quickly clear to the east, bringing about a fresh E’ly airstream on Tuesday, and with a strong groundswell in the water there should be some good waves on offer at the open beaches east of Melbourne. This swell will then slowly subside through Wednesday with similar winds out of the east. So, overall it’s looking like a pretty poor run for the Surf Coast. 

A weak trough of low pressure is modelled to occupy the area through Thursday and Friday, with mainly small wave heights across most beaches. A small, distant long range groundswell is expected to arrive on Friday, generated by an intense polar low modelled to spin up east of Heard Island on Sunday - however it’ll aim the bulk of its energy towards Indonesia (and to a lesser degree, Western Australia) so this will result in initially small surf throughout Victoria. 

A secondary pulse of swell from the latter stages of this low pressure system (as it weakens under a broad zonal flow below the continent) will kick up a reasonably solid swell for the following weekend, but no major size is expected here (3-5ft east of Melbourne, 2ft+ west of Melbourne). It’s too early to have any confidence on next weekend’s winds but at this stage we cold be at risk of a return southerly flow as the trough clears to the east. So, keep your expectations low.

Beyond next weekend, it looks like we’ll have a steady supply of small to medium long range groundswells originating from a series of polar low/front combos traversing the waters well to the south of the continent. This should supply plenty of fun waves through much of the following week - you’ll just have to work around the local winds. More on this in Monday’s update.