Submitted by Craig on Wed, 02/26/2014 - 11:25
Victoria Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday 26th February)
Best Days: Friday and Saturday mornings in protected spots east of Melbourne, Sunday at selected spots with a strong new SW groundswell, Monday and Tuesday east of Melbourne
Most locations across the Victorian coast offered great waves yesterday morning with a moderate to large SW groundswell and offshore winds. The best of it was seen before lunch, as a strong onshore change moved through around midday and destroyed the surf into the afternoon.
Today we're at a low point in swell activity with average winds, although the Torquay region saw early W'ly winds, favouring the protected reefs.
This week (Feb 26 -28)
Tomorrow afternoon's increase in SW groundswell has been downgraded a touch, but winds were onshore in any case with no options for a decent wave. The Surf Coast is now expected to be more in the 3-4ft range, while the Mornington Peninsula should see 6ft+ sets.
The swell should hold into Friday morning but winds will again be a problem, lingering from the SE, favouring only selected locations east of Melbourne.
This weekend onwards (Mar 1 onwards)
Of greater importance is the upgrade of Sunday's SW groundswell with the funky weather system linked to it maintaining its intensity longer than forecast earlier in the week as it moves towards us.
The great thing about the weather system responsible for this swell is that it began its life as Tropical Cyclone Guito between Madagascar and South Africa late last week. Over the weekend, Guito drifted south-east and made an extra-tropical transition before being swept up in the westerly storm track.
As ex-TC Guito was pushed further towards Antarctica it started to deepen and then formed into a deep and powerful polar low last night.
This low is now aiming a fetch of gale to storm-force (35-55kt+) W/SW winds towards us in our far swell window, south-west of WA (the evolution of the storm is shown right).
Earlier in the week the system was forecast to weaken quickly this evening, but recent updates have the low pushing east along the polar shelf, closer to us, while maintaining wind speeds in the 35-50kt range.
This will produce a very strong and powerful SW groundswell for Sunday that's expected to arrive during the morning and peak at an inconsistent 3-5ft on the Surf Coast (4-5ft at 13th Beach) during the day, with 6-8ft+ sets on the Mornington Peninsula.
The swell may not be there at first light but will be well and truly kicking by late morning.
The fly in the ointment will be the local winds on Sunday, with a light to moderate S/SE'ly limiting options for a good wave.
Monday will be much better though with winds swinging around to the E/NE during the morning, favouring locations east of Melbourne, but the swell may be a bit too big still for the beaches.
Tuesday morning looks great with a moderate amount of swell across exposed breaks and early N'ly winds ahead of a shallow change.