Victorian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 14th February)
Best Days: Saturday - some potential east of Melbourne with SE winds possibly going variable around the middle of the day. The Surf Coast may also see early onshores tend variable, which would work well for the beachies. Wednesday: strong swell due mid-next week with good opportunities for Torquay at this stage.
Recap: Inconsistent long range groundswell over the last few days, with variable winds across the coast as a complex trough of low pressure migrates eastward across the region.
This weekend (Feb 15-16)
Still not looking overly special for this weekend, however a small window of opportunity has opened up for Saturday morning, especially east of Melbourne.
Local winds have been slightly more favourable over the last few days than was anticipated (variable instead of a steady E'ly breeze), due to the presence of a broad trough of low pressure migrating east across South Australia and Victoria.
Computer models have slightly delayed the onset of an expected southerly breeze until later Saturday, and it’s now likely that we’ll see moderate SE winds possibly even tending variable for a period during the middle of the day before the southerly arrives.
However, the confidence of wind forecasts during the passage of low pressure troughs is much reduced, so if you’re prepared to risk a few lumps and bumps it might be worth checking the pre-dawn ons at South Channel Island and Aireys Inlet to see how conditions are fairing.
As for surf, we’ve got a renewal of SW groundswell due on Saturday, originating from a cut off low that formed in the wake of the strong low/front that created the Thurs/Fri groundswell. Wave heights should rebuild back into the 2-3ft range along the Surf Coast with 4-6ft surf east of Melbourne.
My pick would either be aiming for a lumpy beachie west of Melbourne, or some really solid beach breaks (with better surface conditions early) east of Melbourne. Could be quite OK through the middle of the day along both coasts if the wind eases back as is currently suggested by the computer models.
Sunday certainly looks to be a write off in all areas as a front crosses the coast, bringing fresh to strong S/SW winds in its wake. There probably won’t be enough size for protected spots either, so keep your expectations low if you are planning on getting wet.
Next week (Feb 17-21 onwards)
A ridge of high pressure will build from the west on Monday, swinging winds back to a light and variable pattern as a series of fronts approach from the west, and wave heights throttle back in size.
These fronts are expected to kick up a decent swell for the region mid-week - model guidance is divergent on the strength and timing, but at this stage it appears Wednesday will be the day with a strong increase in SW swell that should push above 4ft in Torquay, possibly higher (the European model is much more confident of a stronger, sustained fetch). Winds will veer SW at some point as the front crosses the region but I’m hopeful for a half-day of favourable winds prior to this. Let’s check back on Monday for a close analysis of the strength and timing of this next swell.
Thursday should see plenty of swell as this event reaches a peak and slowly winds down, with Friday likely to be well and truly on the backside of this pulse.
Long range (Feb 22 onwards)
Nothing amazing lining up for next weekend at this stage, however the Indian Ocean looks pretty active in the long term with good swell prospects in store for much of the following week. I’ll reevaluate this in more detail on Monday.