Submitted by Craig on Fri, 02/28/2014 - 08:21
Victoria Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Friday 28th February)
Best Days: Sunday at selected spots, Monday morning east of Melbourne, Tuesday
Onshore winds spoilt a good new SW groundswell that filled in yesterday and reached 3-5ft in the Surf Coast and well over 6ft across the Mornington Peninsula.
This morning the swell was still holding plenty of size but a moderate to fresh S/SE'ly didn't leave many options for a decent wave on the Surf Coast, while locations east of Melbourne saw slightly more favourable SE winds.
This weekend (Mar 1 - 2)
There's been no real change to the weekend's outlook, with Sunday's strong and powerful SW groundswell still on track. Saturday isn't worth worrying about with an easing swell and moderate to fresh SE winds.
The only issue is the local winds and they will most definitely spoil an otherwise great swell event. This large swell has been generated by the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Guito dropping south from Madagascar, into the westerly storm track before deepening into a vigorous polar low east of Heard Island during the middle of the week.
Satellite observations confirm a fetch of 35-55kt W/SW winds being aimed in our swell window, and while the system has since weakened a touch while moving east along the polar shelf, it is still continuing to generate winds up to 35-50kts.
This swell should arrive during Sunday morning and pulse to a strong 3-5ft on the Surf Coast (4-5ft+ at 13th Beach) and 6-8ft+ on the Mornington Peninsula during the middle of the day. S'ly winds are the main issue, and you'll have to think outside the square to maximise the potential for scoring a decent wave.
Next week onwards (Mar 3 onwards)
A slow drop in swell is expected into Monday and unfortunately a high pressure system moving in from the west will be stalled a little resulting in winds only swinging E'ly across the Mornington Peninsula and remaining from the E/SE on the Surf Coast (but only light).
The size will probably still be too big for the beaches so hunt out semi-protected spots for the best waves.
Tuesday is looking great though as winds swing offshore across both regions with an easing swell from 2ft to possibly 3ft on the Surf Coast and 3-5ft on the Mornington Peninsula.
From the middle of next week onwards we'll see a noticeable change in the direction of incoming swells from the SW around to the W/SW.
This will be a result of the storm activity in the Southern Ocean shifting away from the polar shelf and moving further north in latitude up towards WA under the influence of the Long Wave Trough.
A node of the Long Wave Trough is forecast to stall just south-west of WA and this will direct polar fronts up from the Heard Island region towards WA (pictured right).
This isn't favourable for us, with longer-range, less consistent and smaller W/SW groundswells due to make their way from WA, under the Bight and into Bass Strait from next Wednesday onwards.
The strongest pulse of swell is due Thursday morning but poor S/SE winds will limit options across the state. Cleaner conditions are due into next weekend with an intermediate long-range SW groundswell within the W/SW groundswell pulses, so it may be worth planning your diary around some surf time then.