Good run of swells and conditions ahead of uncertainty next week
Victoria Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday 29th July)
Best Days: Thursday morning protected spots for the keen, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday
Average to poor conditions across all locations yesterday morning with a fresh onshore wind, improving through the afternoon as winds backed off and tended more variable.
Today we've got much cleaner conditions and an easing swell from 2-3ft on the Surf Coast and 3-5ft to the east. Early variable winds will shift NW into the afternoon and hold.
This week and weekend (Jul 30 – Aug 2)
From tomorrow through the weekend we'll see fun and moderate pulses of W/SW swell across the state, with tomorrow morning being the weakest (mid-period energy), ahead of less consistent groundswell energy into the afternoon and through Friday-Sunday.
The source of these swells is a conveyer belt of mid-latitude fronts from the Indian Ocean, moving through our western swell window with various fetches of strong to gale-force W/SW-W/NW winds moving east.
An initial strong front is now moving in from the Bight while weakening and this will produce tomorrow's mid-period energy ahead of the groundswell into the afternoon.
Building surf to 3ft is due through the day on the Surf Coast (undersized early), 4-5ft to the east and a morning W/NW breeze will favour protected spots ahead of SW-S/SW winds into the afternoon.
The less consistent but stronger groundswell should provide better 3ft+ sets Friday morning on the Surf Coast with 5-6ft sets to the east and winds look favourable all day and out of the N/NW, possibly variable from the N/NE into the afternoon opening up more options east of Melbourne as the swell starts to ease.
Another similar sized pulse of swell should be seen Saturday to that 3ft range and 4-5ft on the Mornington Peninsula, if not for the possibly bigger bomb on either coast at times. This is being generated by the pre-frontal fetch of W/NW winds highlighted in the image above.
Conditions will remain favourable with a freshening N-N/NW'ly breeze, possibly similar Sunday but here's where the models start to diverge (discussed further below).
An approaching cold front projecting up from under WA towards the Bight is expected to produce another pulse of W/SW swell for Sunday, with a stronger long-period groundswell building Monday from its earlier stages around the Heard Island region.
Size wise Sunday's pulse looks similar to the ones before, with Monday afternoon's a touch stronger and to 4ft on the Surf Coast (inconsistent) and 6ft on the Mornington Peninsula but the local winds are really tricky as the models diverge wildly into next week.
What looks to be the most likely is a trough projecting up and across South Australia, developing into a broad cut-off low which will then stall just west of us. This would see N'ly winds persisting Monday and maybe Tuesday ahead of an onshore change and with some tricky S/SW swell. More on this Friday when the models hopefully start to line up.