Plenty of action from the Southern Ocean

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Victorian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 14th May)

Best Days: Plenty of great waves west of Melbourne right throughout the forecast period. 

Recap: Pumping waves in Torquay in and around the 3ft+ mark with offshore winds. Much bigger east of Melbourne but partly wind affected. Easing size this afternoon. 

This week (May 15-16 onwards)

*note: forecast notes will be somewhat brief this week as Craig is on leave*

No change to Monday’s notes - we’ve got plenty of great waves expected to finish the week, thanks to a conveyor-belt of cold fronts passing below West Oz over the last few days. The strong west component in the swell direction will continue to heavily attenuate size across the Surf Coast - as well as reduce the consistency quite a bit - but winds will freshen from the NW, meaning this will be your best destination. 

The leading edge of the first swell is due in on Thursday morning, (so expect undersized waves at dawn), with the bulk of the swell filling in throughout Thursday afternoon. This swell is expected to ebb and pulse through Friday in the 3ft+ range across the Torquay reefs (maybe some bigger pulses from time to time) however I can't stress the inconsistency enough here - there will be long waits for the bigger sets. 

Wave heights will be considerably larger east of Melbourne due to the swell direction (i.e. open beaches holding between 6ft and occasionally 8ft at times) but the wind will create problems at exposed spots and the swell direction will somewhat limit size penetration into Western Port. 

This weekend (May 17-18)

On Monday, I mentioned the chanced for a small short wave trough to clip the coast on Saturday. It’s now expected to pass just south of the state, meaning we’ll see continuing NW winds right across the weekend (although they will become quite gusty at times on Saturday morning). 

Overall, we’re looking at a slight easing trend throughout Saturday with a renewal of new groundswell due early Sunday that should maintain wave heights in the 3ft+ range throughout Torquay for much of the weekend. There’s certainly a possibility for a few bigger waves at times (associated with the new swell due overnight Saturday), as well as a temporary easing trend ahead of the new swell's arrival (ie later Saturday) but I’ll firm up the timing of all this in Friday’s notes.  

East of Melbourne, there won’t be any shortage of swell but winds will play a crucial factor. There’s a chance for a brief slackening of the pressure gradient later Saturday as the front slips south of Tasmania and this could provide a window of clean conditions across the open beaches - which will be sizeable - however in general the surf is expected to be a little lean inside Western Port due to the size and direction (Sunday is probably your best chance of the two days). So make sure you've got a NW-wind-friendly spot under your belt before committing the truck to the highway.

Long term (May 19 onwards)

Yet another trailing front in this week’s Southern Ocean series is expected to kick up another solid swell on Monday afternoon, once again into the 3ft+ range across the Surf Coast. Winds are looking good too (moderate to fresh NW) thanks to a stubborn ridge of high pressure across the eastern states and into the Tasman Sea. 

Looking beyond this and the Southern Ocean is expected to remain very active next week, which should continue to supply plenty of swell right through the rest of the week, and possibly into the weekend. I’ll have more on this in Friday’s notes.