Submitted by Craig on Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:31
Victoria Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday 19th March)
Best Days: Thursday, Friday, possibly early Sunday on the Surf Coast, early Monday on the Surf Coast, Tuesday east of Melbourne
A medium sized W/SW groundswell slowly built through yesterday with clean 2-3ft waves on the Surf Coast while the Mornington Peninsula saw more size to 4-6ft but bumpy conditions with a fresh NW breeze. The swell muscled up further into the afternoon but conditions deteriorated with an onshore change across most spots.
Today a large long-range W/SW groundswell has pushed in across the coast, offering inconsistent 3-5ft waves on the Surf Coast and 6-8ft sets on the Mornington Peninsula under light W/NW winds, favouring selected locations.
A shallow change is now moving through and this will bring slowly increasing onshores to the region as the swell slowly eases.
This week (Mar 19 - 21)
This morning's peak in strong but inconsistent W/SW groundswell will ease into this afternoon and further tomorrow (from 3ft to occ 4ft on the Surf Coast and 6ft+ on the Mornington Peninsula) but conditions will be excellent across most of the state with local offshore winds that are expected to tend variable into the afternoon.
The swell will become smaller into Friday and winds should be good again for both coasts, being variable before developing some form of easterly component into the afternoon.
This weekend onwards (Mar 22 onwards)
There's been two main changes to the swell due over the weekend. The first is that it's been upgraded in size and intensity, but with this unfortunately we'll see onshore winds instead of the nice offshores expected on Monday.
The source of this swell is a polar low that's currently south of WA, and this system will track east along the polar shelf over the coming days while aiming a fetch of SW gales through our swell window.
A moderate pulse of SW groundswell will result that's expected to peak Saturday afternoon, but the reason for the average winds is a deepening surface trough drifting in from South Australia Friday evening, bringing with it fresh S/SW winds Saturday. These should back off into Sunday but remain onshore from the SW, writing off the entire weekend for surfing. There's a slim chance for an early W'ly breeze across the Surf Coast Sunday morning, but I wouldn't plan the weekend around this.
Into next week we should see a medium sized pulse of SW groundswell for Monday, but under the size of Saturday's swell and with persistent onshore winds. This time though, Torquay is more than likely to see an early W/NW breeze, while Tuesday will be best on the Mornington Peninsula as winds swing back around to the E.
Unfortunately longer term there's nothing major on the cards with an upper atmoshperic block setting up across southern Australia, with us falling in between two amplifications of the Long Wave Trough, one being in the Southern Indian Ocean and the other being over New Zealand. This is illustrated right, with cold fronts being steered into the Southern Indian Ocean but then away from us under the country and then back up towards New Zealand.
Therefore, make the most of the coming days of swell and favourable winds and check back Friday for another update.