Craig

Generally average westerly swells until next week

Victoria Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday 27th May)

Best Days: Beaches Friday afternoon and for the keen Sunday, Surf Coast for the keen Sunday and possibly Monday morning, mid-late next week

Recap

A peaky mix of easing SW swell and small SE windswell yesterday morning to 2ft on the Surf Coast, 3ft to occasionally 4ft to the east, cleaning up and easing further through the day.

This morning the swell was smaller again, with background energy keeping the beaches to the east round 2ft to occasionally 3ft, and 1-2ft on the Surf Coast swell magnets.

This week and weekend (May 28 - 31)

Tomorrow morning will remain tiny, even though the models are showing an uptick in size. The source of this swell was a strong low firing up off WA but remaining too north of our swell window to generate any size.

Later into the afternoon though an inconsistent mix of W/SW-SW groundswell should start to show, peaking on Friday. The source being distant but strong polar storms around the Heard Island region over the weekend, followed by a spawning front pushing off the activity towards WA.

The Surf Coast may see inconsistent 2ft sets later in the day but more so Friday, with infrequent 3-5ft waves on the Mornington Peninsula. Conditions tomorrow will be best on the Surf Coast (with the tiny swell) with a moderate to fresh NW tending W/NW breeze, while Friday could be a little wind affected on the Mornington Peninsula in the morning, improving into the afternoon with a N/NW breeze before lunch, shifting N/NE into the afternoon (remaining N/NW all day on the Surf Coast).

The weekend looks generally small and tricky with strong mid-latitude systems developing over WA, but weakening and tracking south-east once pushing through our swell window.

The first of these is due this evening, generating a burst of strong to near gale-force W/SW winds from south of WA while dipping south-east.

The swell from this system is due Saturday morning but only to 2ft+ on the Surf Coast and 4-5ft to the east.

A secondary strong system will follow the same track but aim a patch fetch of W/NW gales in our western swell window. This won't provide any new decent kick in swell for the afternoon any more, likely just maintaining very inconsistent slightly smaller sized surf across both coasts Sunday to 2ft on the Surf Coast and possibly 3-4ft+ to the east.

Winds will be favourable in direction but not strength for the beaches with strengthening N/NE winds Saturday as a vigorous but weakening mid-latitude front approaches from the west.

Sunday will then see winds weaken a touch though remain gusty from the NW tending N/NW as the front slips south-east.

It's tricky to decipher the swell pulses from the weakening mid-latitude front but we'll see a burst of strong to gale-force W/SW winds generated right south-west of us Saturday evening, likely kicking up a late increase in small W/SW swell Sunday, peaking Monday.

Again no major size is expected with 2ft+ sets on the Surf Coast Monday morning, 3-5ft or so to the east. A possibly stronger mid-latitude low is forecast to move in behind this activity on the weekend, though the models diverge on the strength and positioning. EC doesn't look great and will relate in a weak and onshore windswell event.

Of greater importance is some follow up larger and more powerful SW groundswell from a polar storm moving under the country, but we'll have to have a closer look at this Friday.

Comments

ShaneK's picture
ShaneK's picture
ShaneK commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 9:42pm

Interesting east of the Surf Coast this evening. It was only small - head high - but it packed a punch. Saw a broken leggie and a broken board in the space of a few minutes - 20 second period. Unfortunately, the beachies generally don't manage that very well - a lot of close outs.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 8:42am

Yeah, I'm surprised at the size getting into the Surf Coast seeing the swell source was this very strong but poorly aligned low (remnants of Tropical Cyclone Mangga for those interested)..

Though with periods like that it would help the swell diffract into Bass Strait.

Dan M's picture
Dan M's picture
Dan M commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 11:07am

Hi Craig, Will having more swell energy in water than expected currently upgrade this afternoon / tomorrow’s swell from 2ft on surf coast or no effect as so inconsistent?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 12:51pm

No it shouldn't as they're seperate swells.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 8:53am

Here's a tip folks. When you see the swell period over 17 seconds, it's a very good sign the surf is going to be really really inconsistent on the Surf Coast. A long swell period is nothing to get excited about. It's a sign that household chores should be done, footy should be watched, or east of Melbourne is a better option.
Thanks, and hello to all my friends on PI and the MP.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 10:48am

Here’s another tip. An inconsistent clean 3fter is still the better than bumpy, closeout 6fters on the beachies in the east. West coast always best coast ;-)

Stok's picture
Stok's picture
Stok commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 10:55am

When you say and inconsistent clean 3fter, you forgot to mention the fact that there will 4 people already on the wave, 5 people down the line starting to paddle for it, 10 kooks throwing their boards to get under it and one SUP foiler out of control way out wide.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 12:49pm

So true Stok. Meanwhile, Woolamai and Gunnamatta would be absolutely firing. If I was based in Melbourne, I'd never go to the Surfcoast. It would be those sweet empty barrelling beach breaks for me every time.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

ShaneK's picture
ShaneK's picture
ShaneK commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 10:48am

There are not many beachies that have deep enough gutters to manage the really long period swells. But they can be really good, If it's just you and a friend that is...

NorthWestSouth's picture
NorthWestSouth's picture
NorthWestSouth commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 10:50am

Tell that to the 40 Muppets surfing 2ft wiki at the moment.

Stok's picture
Stok's picture
Stok commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 11:03am

Let's face it, Victoria sucks. It's cold, usually inconsistent, rarely barrels, overcrowded with frothers, all overexposed/no secret spots, and lacks that 'fun factor' which only short period, punchy beachies can provide. It also lacks the perfection of coral reef or the sand point breaks that our Northern States enjoy.

We've got a selection of fat point breaks, rippy close out beachys or raw & unforgiving slabs to to chose from. All of which will be packed if they're actually 'working'.

May as well shut down the Vicco report/forecast section - it's never really worth it anyway and won't be much of a loss.

P.S. if you're a learner it's not so bad. The surf coast is great to learn the 'joys' of surfing! Shivering amongst the crowd at 2-3ft Bells while waiting 20 mins for a set!

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 11:16am

Yep, much better off on the gold or sunny coast I reckon

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 12:52pm

See those barrels at Burleigh the other day geek? It's like that 4-5 days a week up there. What I'd give for those pits in warm water. Open up the borders you bastards.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Weatherman's picture
Weatherman's picture
Weatherman commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 11:40am

Thanks for the tip VL, I hope everyone takes your advice. I might just scout around, you never know what you might find.

mark

willibutler's picture
willibutler's picture
willibutler commented Friday, 29 May 2020 at 7:12pm
Tubbabird's picture
Tubbabird's picture
Tubbabird commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 3:42pm

Don’t try bring positivity to this whinefest! The vicco swellnet notes are for complaing and getting angry at Craig when he get a prediction wrong

UTFS

Stok's picture
Stok's picture
Stok commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 3:56pm

Looks like typical Vicco...mostly fat, backwashy and lumpy. Maybe the odd head dip or ramp here and there if you're a pro....but sheesh, they're really good surfers and they aint making it look like THAT much fun out there.

Meanwhile up North average Joe's are locking into pristine 10 second tubes on ruler edge 4fters.

Melly's picture
Melly's picture
Melly commented Friday, 29 May 2020 at 2:16pm

No there not

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 3:59pm

"The vicco swellnet notes are for complaing and getting angry at Craig when he get a prediction wrong"
So not true, Nobody complains when Craig misses a swell. I must admit, I've had the occasional whinge when he overcalls them.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 4:30pm

You whinging? Nah never

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 5:19pm

I know it's hard to believe goofyfoot, but occasionally I get a little grumpy. Peace out brother.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 4:52pm

When did Ando sneak down to vicco or old footage?

willibutler's picture
willibutler's picture
willibutler commented Friday, 29 May 2020 at 7:13pm

.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 6:43pm

That was a couple of pretty fun days, didn't expect the swell really. Got going fast. Saw the 20s period and wondered if something was waaay west of Heard island, but was it really the exTC that just smashed Perth? Wow. Saw some great pics from Metro during that event too. Everyone stoked.

"Tomorrow morning will remain tiny, even though the models are showing an uptick in size. The source of this swell was a strong low firing up off WA but remaining too north of our swell window to generate any size."

There was actually a bit more than you might think Craigos, must've been a hell weird angle.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 29 May 2020 at 6:31am

Yeah I'm really surprised the swell got in at all, but those 20s periods make all the difference.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Friday, 29 May 2020 at 9:02am

So will a swell get further around coastlines etc when it has a bigger period? And a bigger period is produced by more extreme winds for more fetch in the core of a system? What % of the swells generated make 20s or larger periods (must be an outlier on a bell curve)? I've heard some crazy great-circle stuff (maybe it was a SN article?) where a hurricane off Florida can great circle swell that hits SW WA!

FWIW there were quite big lulls, so where we were sitting appeared just swelling through, and when a real set came through it was either like a great wave where you were in the right position, or cop it on the head if you weren't. Lulls meant that surging current/rip from the last set would either push you out of position, or do nothing at all and let you be lined up. My grom got the craziest drop, was being pitched and covered with white water on takeoff, found the time to gently adjust his outside rail with his hand, pushing the inside rail further into the face, seemed to take the drop closer to sideways as it bowled out, then off into multiple turns and hits. I've woken happily bright today after being knackered after that surf! BTW I reckon the swim and photos you got are solid contender for article of the year, well done.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 29 May 2020 at 9:25am

Yeah because it has more energy burried deep in the water column to 'feel' the bottom topography and be steered by it, then refracting into the coast. Where as a local windswell will be very directional and not turn the corner and wrap in as much.

Not sure on the % there good question, but it'd be on the lower end as you need those 50kt+ fetches.

And thanks, much appreciated re the article, been an insane week with all the large surf and pumping waves to follow.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 29 May 2020 at 9:28am

Also checked the ASCAT sat images of the remnants of Mangga, and it doesn't look the source. Wind speeds under WA didn't reach storm-force. Must have been a very distant storm in the Indian Ocean..

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Friday, 29 May 2020 at 9:57am

Thanks so much Craig - that was what I suspected, looking at the lulls and distance between sets! Cheers for explaining the long period swells getting further down the water column & feeling the bathymetry, now I can conceptualise the relative strengths of swells in 3d :)