Rip Curl Pro Early Forecast
The Quiksilver Pro's done and dusted and we look ahead to the Rip Curl waiting period which kicks off next Wednesday, the 17th.
The Surf Coast has had a great start to the year, with consistent surf through summer and large, good quality swells into the start of autumn. In fact, one such swell just peaked across the state, but once it eases later this week, the region will go quiet.
For the Torquay region to pump we need Southern Ocean frontal systems to be steered up from under the Australian continent, onwards across Tasmania. When it happens with back-to-back systems, Torquay receives consistent size and favourable north-west to south-west winds with each passing front.
This generally happens when the Long Wave Trough - an upper atmospheric steering mechanism - strengthens over Victoria (see explanatory article here). Later this week through early next week we'll see one such node of the Long Wave Trough strengthening across Western Australia. This isn't ideal for the Surf Coast as Southern Ocean storms will be directed up and into Western Australia and onwards to Indonesia.
This pattern is too far away from the Victorian coastline to generate large swells, and the more northern storm track through our swell window results in a very westerly swells, which further reduce wave heights along the Surf Coast as the swell has to refract in harder around Cape Otway.
Instead, we'll be looking at smallish and inconsistent long-range westerly groundswell energy from day one of the waiting period (next Wednesday) through until the start of the Easter Long Weekend.
With the swell-generating storms being distant, local winds will take a more easterly bias instead of from the west which is also not ideal at all, creating devilish chops and bumps up the face.
The Easter weekend shows more promise swell-wise, though not wind-wise as the Long Wave Trough starts to move east towards Victoria aiming the storm track more favourably towards the state.
It looks to stall over South Australia directing undesirable winds across Victoria from the east along with some stronger groundswell energy.
So all in all it's not shaping up as classic Bells with patchy windows of swell and winds to sift through.
We'll keep you updated on the forecast outlook in the comments below and another article closer to the event.