Small Victorian week ahead, best suited to open beaches

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Victorian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 3rd March)

Best Days: Tues/Wed: E'ly tending NE winds and good options across the open beaches east of Melbourne. Thurs/Fri: winds around to the north but probably still best suited to open beaches east of Melbourne. Small inconsistent waves in Torquay on Friday.

Recap: The weekend’s large swell kicked in as expected with solid 8ft+ sets across the Surf Coast into Saturday afternoon, and considerably larger waves elsewhere. Early offshores west of Melbourne swung onshore throughout the day. Size eased from 6ft+ Sunday morning in Torquay though winds remained light to moderate southerly so conditions weren’t great. Today we’ve seen a further major drop in size and winds are around to the east, favouring the open beaches east of Melbourne.

This week (Apr 4 - 7)

Note: these Forecaster Notes will be brief this week as Craig is on annual leave

E'ly winds and steadily easing swells will favour the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island on Tuesday, with great conditions across the open beaches. Light winds from the NE will swing variable on Wednesday, maintaining this region as the best for waves. 

Winds will swing slowly north on Thursday and freshen into Friday

A series of modest fronts through the Southern Ocean now and over the coming days (pushing east of Heard Island at the moment) will produce some small new swells for the second half of the week though no major size is expected. 

Friday is probably the pick size wise with perhaps some 2-3ft sets across the Surf Coast (very inconsistent though, owing to the long range nature and W/SW direction), however with winds expected to remain straight northerly, it should be workable east of Melbourne (where surf size will be larger around 4-5ft+). But set waves will be very, very inconsistent.

This weekend (April 8 - 9)

The weekend looks a little tricky.

Wind wise, we’ll see possible NNW winds early Saturday tending S'ly during the day as a weak trough crosses the region. Whatever long range SW swell makes landfall on Friday will ease throughout Saturday, so this suggests size will be best suited to exposed beaches east of Melbourne - but local winds may make this a tricky decision. There is a chance for periods of variable winds through the day though.

On Sunday, a vigorous front is expected to cross the coast, bringing SW gales and a decent increase in short range swell - though nothing huge and possibly not enough to get the protected points working properly. Let’s hope the models upgrade this system in the coming days otherwise the entire weekend could be a write-off.

There’ll also be a building long range groundswell in the mix on Sunday, generated by an earlier incarnation of the same storm (east of Heard Island from Wednesday onwards). At the moment it’s not worth considering in too much detail but in the event the local wind outlook improves, this would be the likely source of decent surf, rather than Sunday's post-frontal fetch.

Next week (Apr 10 onwards)

The storm track looks active next week, but only below 50S which will restrict size across the Victorian coast. However despite a lack of size, large swell periods should maintain a high quality in the swell signal, if very inconsistent at times. This suggests small to moderate levels of swell for the Surf Coast.

However, when the storm track is so far south, this increases the risk of local easterlies through Bass Strait associated with a high pressure belt. So, we could be looking at a couple (or more) of days best suited to the open beaches east of Melbourne. 

The super long range forecast for Easter suggest a generally climatically average sized swell (in and around 3-4ft Torquay, 4-6ft Mornington Peninsula), and reasonably good conditions on the whole with at least two days of NE thru’ N’ly winds. Let’s see how much this moves around over the coming days!


Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone Monday, 3 Apr 2017 at 3:45pm

Ill happily send a slab your way Ben if that easter forecast comes to light!