Victoria Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Monday 3rd March)
Best Days: Tuesday, early Wednesday west of Melbourne, Sunday
The tune of the weekend was to onshore winds, with an easing swell from late last week on Saturday and then a strong increase in long-range SW groundswell through Sunday. Sunday morning started off a little slow but the swell kicked strongly into the afternoon although S'ly winds left only a couple of options for savvy surfers.
Today the swell was on the ease, but again onshore winds created less than perfect conditions, but the light nature in some areas still provided fun glassy conditions.
This week (Mar 3 -7)
The long-period SW groundswell seen the last couple of days will continue to ease tomorrow, but both coasts will offer fun clean waves during the morning with N'ly winds that should tend variable into the afternoon.
A small and inconsistent pulse of long-range W/SW groundswell is due tomorrow afternoon and Wednesday but this will just keep small to medium waves hitting both coasts. Get in early Wednesday morning though as early NW winds will give way to a fresh S/SW change.
Moving into Thursday, a much stronger increase in W/SW groundswell is due across the state, generated by a strong frontal system that's currently south-west of WA, aiming a fetch of strong to gale-force W/SW winds through our swell window.
This system will track under the Bight during the next couple of days but continue to weaken resulting in a medium sized W/SW groundswell for Thursday. The main issue with this swell will again be the winds and unfortunately they'll be moderate to fresh from the S'th leaving no decent options for a wave, while Friday will continue the trend with S/SE winds and a dropping swell.
Next weekend onwards (Mar 8 onwards)
As touched on in last Friday's update, the coming weekend is looking good with the arrival of a strong but very inconsistent SW groundswell under favourable winds.
This swell will begin its life in the Southern Indian Ocean in the Heard Island region as a vigorous polar low forms today close to the polar shelf. This system will generate a fetch of gale to storm-force W/SW winds in our distant swell window (pictured right) before moving slowly east and weakening before fading south-southwest of WA during Wednesday.
Due to this large distance between the source of the swell and our state (some 4,000km away), the swell will lose a lot of size and be extremely inconsistent, but the strong core wind speeds should over-ride this somewhat.
The swell will only arrive later Saturday and winds will be average and strong from the E/SE in any case, but when the swell peaks on Sunday to an inconsistent 4-6ft on the Mornington Peninsula and 2-3ft on the Surf Coast, more favourable N'ly winds are expected favouring exposed spots across the state.
Longer term we'll see plenty of W/SW groundswell into next week, but we'll look at this again in more detail on Wednesday.