Active swells, though winds let us down
Victorian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday January 13th)
Best Days: This morning, Surf Coast tomorrow morning for the keen, protected spots later Sunday for the keen, Surf Coast Monday morning
Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)
- Easing mix of swells tomorrow and an early W/NW breeze
- Building mix of W/SW swells Fri PM with gusty morning W/NW tending strong W/SW winds
- Moderate sized S/SW swell building Sun PM with strong SW winds, easing Mon with a morning W/NW breeze
Poor conditions across all locations yesterday with a fresh to strong onshore wind in the wake of Monday evening's change.
Today we've got a mix of weak, new localised mid-period swell and more distant, building W/SW energy with lighter winds and fun waves across all locations. Surf to 4ft+ is being seen on the Mornington Peninsula, 3ft to the west with a touch more size and strength due into the afternoon but with sea breezes.
This week and weekend (Jan 14 - 17)
Today's and more so this afternoon's mix of swells will ease into tomorrow morning, with the size due to drop back from 2ft to possibly 3ft on the Surf Coast swell magnets, 4ft to the east under a morning W/NW breeze, favouring the Surf Coast. Winds will shift onshore late morning but without too much strength ahead of a strong SW'ly late afternoon.
Into Friday morning the swell will be at a low point and a fresh W/NW breeze will again favour the Surf Coast, but it'll be a slow 2ft at best on the sets. We'll see winds shift W/SW late morning and strengthen as a mix of inconsistent W/SW groundswell and localised W/SW swell fill in.
The groundswell has been generated by a healthy, though distant polar low that formed east of Heard Island, with the remnants of this system due to project into us through Friday while generating a fetch of strong W/SW tending SW winds. The track of this secondary intensification isn't too well aligned for swell production with most of the energy due to be aimed west of Cape Otway. In any case we'll see some W/SW swell spreading off this, arriving later Friday and easing Saturday.
Size wise, the Surf Coast is due to build to an inconsistent 3ft+ later Friday with the inconsistent groundswell and the localised swell isn't due to top this, with 4-6ft sets developing on the Mornington Peninsula. Winds will be onshore and strong from the W/SW in any case.
The mix of swells are due to ease Saturday from a similar size, 3ft+ on the Surf Coast and 4-6ft to the east but winds will be strong from the SW, tending W/SW through the day which will only favour a select few locations.
Sunday looks more likely to offer an early W/NW'ly on the Surf Coast (SW elsewhere), though small, with winds reverting back to the SW and strengthening through the morning west of Melbourne. A new mid-period S/SW swell should build into the afternoon, peaking late in the day/evening, generated by another strengthening polar come mid-latitude front pushing up from the south-west.
A persistent fetch of strong to near gale-force SW tending S/SW winds should produce a moderate sized swell, building to 4ft+ by dark on the Surf Coast, 6ft+ to the east but with those onshore winds. The morning will be much smaller and more so around 2-3ft and 4ft respectively.
The swell will ease Monday but still be fun in size, dropping from 3-4ft on the Surf Coast and 5-6ft to the east and winds will hopefully be light from the W/NW through the morning, SW into the afternoon.
We'll then see another strengthening polar front developing late in our swell window , more to the east as the activity pushes up into the Tasman Sea (under the influence of a node of the Long Wave Trough) but locally winds will go S'ly Tuesday, though we'll review this in the coming updates.