Plenty of swell, with windows of good conditions
Victoria Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Friday 20th March)
Best Days: Saturday morning for keen surfers at selected spots, Sunday, early Monday morning east of Melbourne (from mid-late morning to the West), Wednesday morning both coasts
Small clean and easing 1-2ft waves across the Surf Coast yesterday with 2ft+ sets on the Mornington Peninsula under offshore winds that persisted most of the day ahead of an onshore change.
Today the beginners of a new W/SW groundswell was starting to show across both regions, with small clean 2ft waves around Torquay and bumpy 4-5ft sets on the Mornington Peninsula. Winds have since shifted onshore everywhere and we can expect the swell to kick solidly this afternoon/evening to 3-5ft on the Surf Coast and the 8ft range across the Mornington Peninsula.
This weekend (Mar 21 - 22)
This afternoon/evening's strong kick in W/SW and SW groundswells were generated by a vigorous frontal system pushing in from the west.
This front is now pushing across Tassie with a weakening fetch of SW winds trailing behind it, resulting in a steady drop in size from tomorrow morning, through the rest of the weekend.
The Surf Coast should still offer 3-5ft sets through the morning and 8ft sets across the Mornington Peninsula, but winds will be average and light to moderate from the S/SE, tending E/SE through the afternoon. There's an outside chance for variable winds at dawn on the Surf Coast, but don't count on it.
Sunday is the day to surf with developing offshore N/NE winds and an easing swell from 3ft on the Surf Coast and 4-6ft on the Mornington Peninsula. Early morning may still be a little unorganised, but conditions should be great from mid-morning.
Monday onwards (Mar 23 onwards)
As touched on Wednesday, some very long-period SW groundswell is due to arrive Sunday afternoon/evening but it will have no size to it, generated in our far swell window around Heard Island.
The secondary developments on the low that generated this long-period swell is of greater interest, with it positioned south-west of WA, generating a fetch of weakening gale to severe-gale W/SW winds through our swell window.
This system will push east today and tomorrow while slowly weakening, producing a moderate sized SW groundswell for Monday. The swell should build through the morning, peaking during the middle of the day to 3-4ft on the Surf Coast and 6-8ft on the Mornington Peninsula (smaller early).
You'll have to time your run though as fresh and gusty N/NW winds through the morning are due to swing W/NW late morning ahead of a strong W/SW change mid-afternoon.
So late morning/midday across the Surf Coast will likely be the best time to surf.
This change will produce an additional moderate plus sized SW swell for Tuesday, as it directs a fetch of S/SW gales through our swell window as it pushes towards us Monday.
The models are combining this new swell and the SW groundswell already in the water, over-forecasting the size for Tuesday morning, with the Surf Coast likely to be in the 3-5ft range and Mornington Peninsula 6-8ft.
Winds will be poor with a fresh to strong but easing SW'ly, with an outside chance of early W'ly breezes around Torquay at dawn.
Wednesday should be much better with local offshore winds and a dropping swell from 3ft and 5-6ft respectively.
Into the end of next week we should see moderate amounts of SW groundswell into Thursday but winds are a little tricky with a deepening mid-latitude low possibly stalling just to our west. We'll have a closer look at this on Monday though. Have a great weekend!