Rip Curl Pro Bells: Updated Forecast
Last week our early forecast identified a poor blocking pattern for the Rip Curl Pro waiting period which starts on Wednesday. Unfortunately, even with a few more days of data the signs are still no better for the upcoming event.
It's not really the lack of swell – there'll be many days of 3ft (head-high) waves - but more so the poor winds that will affect Victoria.
A moderate sized south-west groundswell is due to fill in tomorrow (Tuesday) across the Surf Coast and then ease off through Wednesday (the first day of competition) and further into Thursday.
Bells and Winki should offer 3ft waves on Wednesday morning with the chance for the odd bigger set, backing off into the afternoon and further again into Thursday. Thursday morning will be around 2 ft+.
On Wednesday morning winds will be moderate to fresh from the north, creating some slight bump on the reefs, but from late morning they should swing more north-west, remaining offshore into the evening.
From Thursday conditions will become poor as a strong onshore change pushes through before dawn, kicking up moderate windswell during the day. The windswell will ease Friday but winds will remain poor from the east.
A small inconsistent south-west groundswell is due Saturday building to the 3ft range, followed by pulses on Monday and Wednesday of similar size. However, once again the winds will spoil the party. Saturday should see a light north-east devil wind, while Sunday could be a good day to run under lighter northerly breezes. The swell will probably be easing from an inconsistent 3ft.
Come Monday poor conditions will return with a fresh southerly change, persisting from the south-east to south for the rest of the week as a large blocking high stalls to the west, directing relentless onshore winds into Victoria.
There is still hope for a large swell to end the period, but winds associated with this swell look to be onshore as well.
Backup locations such as 13th Beach, Johanna and Woolamai come to mind when the outlook at Bells is poor. However, the organisers are limited in where and when they can move so they'll have their work cut out for them.
We'll continue to keep a close eye on how this tricky period plays out. //CRAIG BROKENSHA