Aim for Saturday morning

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Ben Matson (thermalben)

Victorian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 2nd January)

Best Days: Saturday: clean waves at open beaches early before winds swing onshore mid-late afternoon. Wednesday: strong groundswell across the east coast with E'ly winds. 

Recap: A brief window of light offshores early Thursday gave way to freshening southerlies (a few hours earlier than expected). Conditions have improved markedly across the open beaches east of Melbourne this morning though, thanks to an E’ly airstream. Surf size is small west of Melbourne and the winds aren’t doing many favours either (however they’re not overly strong). 

This weekend (Jan 3-4)

*forecast notes will be brief this week*

The main feature for this weekend is an advancing cold front that will create southerly winds and bumpy conditions for Sunday.

A pre-frontal trough ahead of it will also swings to the south-west late Saturday afternoon, so the weekend’s surf focus is to surf on Saturday morning while winds are expected to be moderate to fresh northerly.

As for surf - we’re not expecting much change in size from the last few days. A small front passed below Tasmania mid-week and it generated a small new swell that’ll provide ideal peaky beachbreak waves on Saturday, a little slow at times but somewhere in the 2ft+ range west of Melbourne, and 3-5ft at open beaches east of Melbourne. 

The latest model guidance has Saturday's SW change into Torquay around 4-5pm, and the Mornington Peninsula 5-6pm, but ahead of the change it’s likely that we could see a weak coastal sea breeze. So, early bird and the worm etc.

Another new W/SW swell is expected to arrive on Sunday, albeit without any major size. In any case southerly winds will render most breaks very bumpy and there probably won’t be enough size for most of those protected spots that enjoy this wind. 

Next week (Jan 5 onwards)

A high pressure system ridging beneath Tasmania early next week will create fresh SE winds for most regions on Monday and Tuesday, which will consequently make surfing conditions rather average and tricky.

As the high moves east during the middle of the week, winds should go E’ly (by Wednesday) which should provide plenty of good options at the open beaches east of Melbourne.

However, as for surf, the Mon/Tues sou’east airstream is expected to be accompanied by small residual swell energy (so, no great loss there).

Of more interest is a series of strong Southern Ocean fronts migrating in the waters well SW of West Oz over the weekend, that are expected to generate a strong groundswell arriving Wednesday morning

In fact, this should deliver some sizeable waves to east coast beaches, probably in the 6ft+ range so you’ll certainly have your work cut out for you at these spots. It’s a shame that we’re looking at E’ly winds at this time because we’re likely to see good quality lines along the Surf Coast somewhere around 3ft+ (although very inconsistent) - but even with a slight wind shift to the north-east, the reefs are still likely to be wind affected, so the beachies will be your only option. L:et’s see how Monday’s model data pans out.

Otherwise, a large high pressure system is expected to migrate from the southern Indian Ocean through the Southern Ocean below the continent later next week, and is likely to bring a gusty, sustained period of southerly winds to the region aroujnd Friday or Saturday, holding through next weekend

So if you only have weekends up your sleeve, make the most of what’s in front of you tomorrow morning! More on all of this in Monday’s update.