thermalben

Inbound: lots of swell, lots of wind

Victorian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 16th October)

Best Days: Sat/Sun: very large swell, with brief windows of W/NW winds early morning in Torquay (more likely Sat than Sun). Best suited to sheltered spots all weekend. Mon: strong though easing swell with abating winds. Tues: smaller and cleaner. 

Recap: Tuesday saw tiny conditions, with a very late arrival of new swell preceding a peak in size this morning. Wave heights came in pretty much within expectations, though the inconsistency was a major factor, delivering extremely long breaks between waves (this was not unexpected either). The Surf Coast saw occasional 2-3ft sets, with the Mornington Peninsula seeing 4-6ft surf, and conditions were clean for the first half of the day before the sea breeze kicked in after lunch (though it’s not affecting everywhere yet).

Fun though very inconsistent lines at Torquay this afternoon

This week (Oct 14 - 17)

The publish time of these Forecaster Notes will be erratic this week, as Craig’s on annual leave. To receive an email when they go live, please edit your user settings here: www.swellnet.com/user

Righto. We’ve got a blustery period ahead as a classic winter frontal progression sweeps across the state. Winds will alternate from the NW to the W/SW, generally at strong to gale force strength though there could be higher wind gusts at times close to each frontal passage. 

Our inbound swell from the parent low won’t really kick in until the weekend. As such, Thursday and Friday’s surf prospects look a little grim: when you take into account today’s inconsistency, start to ease back the size, and then load it up with 25kts of W/NW breeze, it’s hard to imagine the Surf Coast being very attractive. But there’ll be small windy waves early if you’re keen. Everywhere east of Melbourne will be even less platable.

Smaller surf is expected on Friday with similarly windy conditions redeveloping through the day as another front approaches from the west, bringing a W’ly change late. 

A small front riding through the Bight today is too far north to generate any notable swell for our region, so the only increase we’ll see will be locally generated (for that matter, Melbourne surfers can consider Bayside options once the wind’s up over 30kts).

Model guidance is showing the leading edge of our large weekend swell pushing into Bass Strait late Friday but I still think we won’t see an appreciable size increase until Saturday morning.

This weekend (Oct 18 - 19)

There’s been a small downgrade for the weekend’s swell. But, it’s still looking to be very large and quite windy.

The structure of this system is very much the same, but core winds around the main polar low - responsible for Sunday morning’s peak in size - won’t be quite as strong as Monday’s guidance suggested, and it’s now unlikely to display the same swell-window-slingshot I was anticipating. The strongest winds will also be better aimed up into South Oz (see below).

Nevertheless, the trend will will be all day Saturday, peaking overnight or perhaps early Sunday morning, and then easing through the afternoon. Starting off a little smaller early morning (say, 4-5ft), the Surf Coast should reach maximum surf size around the 6-8ft mark whilst the open beaches east of Melbourne will be pushing 10ft+, offering the best options inside Western Port under gale force conditions. 

As for conditions, we can expect mainly gusty W’ly winds across locations east of Melbourne (slightly more W/NW early morning, especially Saturday), but the Surf Coast should see a more effective, pronounced morning period of W/NW or even NW winds on Saturday morning. Of course, this will occur during the ‘low point’ of the weekend’s swell trend, and although Sunday morning may see a brief W/NW wind, it’s likely too be much shorter in length (if it shows at all). 

Additionally, as mentioned on Monday, these temporary pockets of favourable winds may only just clean up the wave faces, thanks to three days of persistent westerly gales through Bass Strait maintaining wobbly lineups for the most part. So, keep a lid on your expectations this weekend - it'll be very solid, blowy and difficult at most breaks. But well worth scouting the coast for a wide variety of protected corners, coves and points. 
 
Next week (Oct 20 onwards)

Sunday afternoon’s easing trend will be slightly arrested on Monday by a minor pulse of swell from the tail end of the main weather system over the weekend.

Winds will also ease in strength and we’ll see morning W/NW breeze on the Surf Coast with abating 4-5ft+ surf here, bigger in the 6-8ft+ range east of Melbourne and once again best suited to Western Port. 

Smaller surf will then hold out into Tuesday and early Wednesday, ahead of a series of long range groundswells pushing through from Wednesday afternoon onwards (leading edge should be in early morning), generated by a broad storm series way our near Heard Island over the coming days. This will be better aimed to Indo and WA than Victoria but we’ll see some nice groundswell lines through the second half of the week, holding into the weekend.

Unfortunately, a couple of cold fronts are also expected to push through around this time so winds may be less than idea. But I’ll have more on that in Friday’s update. 

Comments

love surfing hate surfers's picture
love surfing hate surfers's picture
love surfing ha... commented Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019 at 4:05pm

Hey Ben when do you reckon that swell might peak out in far western Vicco? Is it a pretty southerly swell?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019 at 4:23pm

Arrival time difference between western and central Vic isn't particularly large, especially in swells with more S in 'em (though this one should be SW). So just a little earlier.

Walk around G's picture
Walk around G's picture
Walk around G commented Thursday, 17 Oct 2019 at 6:49pm

Really......? Whatever. Ben you shouldn't have even replied :(

yourightgeezer's picture
yourightgeezer's picture
yourightgeezer commented Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019 at 4:26pm

WHAT THE! Do I see a downgraded weekend swell in the forey notes!? @tubbabird better start polishing off that glass barby, we’ve been fooled again!

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019 at 4:58pm

Slightly off topic, Wednesday arvo about 4pm, the wind has come into it, SW or SSW, sunny with what looks like a small system/trough down in the Strait, cumulus type clouds some rising vertically and an underlayer of low grey cloud moving in from the W

Have we got a little trough in Bass Strait? I had a look at windy to confirm, because the sky looks pretty cool with everything going on at the moment - I can see a trough stretching between the Prom and Flinders Island. The main event front is still south of Adelaide.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019 at 5:13pm

Yeah a trough has moved through, can see storms on the trough line and change in wind direction..

Tubbabird's picture
Tubbabird's picture
Tubbabird commented Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019 at 7:07pm

Scrap the weekend surf fellas! Time to polish off the see through didgeridoo

UTFS

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Thursday, 17 Oct 2019 at 11:05am

Hi all. I’m heading down to Torquay way next week from QLD. Just wondering if a 3/2 wettie is gonna cut the mustard in the 15 deg water temps or am I dreaming thinking I can surf in Vicco in Oct in a 3/2 wettie?? BTW I’m rather lean so my body doesn’t cope well with being cold for long. Thanks.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 17 Oct 2019 at 11:08am

Main consideration is that you're Qld acclimatised. In my experience, whilst some Vicco surfers would be OK in a 3/2, I suspect you'll feel the cold way more than usual. And if you're lean, even more so.

I see crew on the Tweed Coast wearing a 3/2, even in the spring/autumn months (when it's still boardies weather). Crazy stuff.

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Thursday, 17 Oct 2019 at 12:10pm

Everyone wears 2/2 short arms from November 1st.

It’s mandatory.

Hopefully your trip down doesn’t cross the line.

I am the bone

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Thursday, 17 Oct 2019 at 1:03pm

Then boardies and rash top / 1mm vest only from 1 Dec through to end of Feb. Good luck.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Thursday, 17 Oct 2019 at 2:14pm

Is it then nude from 1 Jan?

seanboz's picture
seanboz's picture
seanboz commented Thursday, 17 Oct 2019 at 2:32pm

Mate just pop in to baines crescent and get yourself a quik bong curl at 70% off rrp (Recommended RiP off)
The seams might even last you the whole week of your trip...

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 17 Oct 2019 at 3:13pm

Don, Watertemps are still cool but the worst of it is behind us. I'm happy swapping the 3/2 fluffy wettie and a 4/3 old tech dawn patrol at present.

A lot of it will depend on the weather on the day: front approaching, sunny, nice warm northerlies, you will think the air is a dry QLD, only with a refreshing cold water. Front goes over, you are out a long way, it's windy, you are freezing between sets.

Maybe take (or buy at the seconds) an extra 1mm under-rashie thing, and layer accordingly.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 17 Oct 2019 at 3:23pm

In addition, when a front goes over it can be up to a 20 degree turnaround in temps so anticipate that. Personally, I love that kind of thing.
Eg today feels very wintery in the cold wind, and the puffer jackets were out on Pako St in G-town. But last few days really quite nice until yesterday which felt like autumn/winter in the water with the westerly before it turned SSW.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Friday, 18 Oct 2019 at 8:17am

Looking forward to your updated forey, Ben. Heard you got the NSW one up nice and early. Craig might be out of job at this rate.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 18 Oct 2019 at 8:52am

On the road this AM, won't be till mid arvo.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Friday, 18 Oct 2019 at 9:19am

No worries. Thanks. Looks like a slight downgrade to me.