Plenty of action but with tricky winds
Victorian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday 27th)
Best Days: Selected spots through the day tomorrow, beaches Friday, Monday at stages across both regions
Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)
- Stormy E/SE-SE windswell tomorrow with strong E/SE winds, easing Fri with E/NE tending NE winds
- New, inconsistent W/SW groundswell building late Sat, peaking Sun but with onshore S/SW tending S/SE winds
- Easing W/SW groundswell Mon with a light NE tending N/NW breeze ahead of an afternoon change
- Reinforcing W/SW swells for next week though winds look mostly onshore from the SW
Poor surf across all regions yesterday with the swell dropping out in size along with a strong onshore breeze, remaining poor today though with a touch more size. It's just localised, low period windswell with no power or quality.
This week and next (Jan 28 - Feb 5)
We've got an interesting and dynamic couple of days ahead with the surface trough linked to yesterday's change due to feed into a deepening inland surface trough to our north.
This trough and another to the west will squeeze a strong high that's moving east, under Tasmania resulting in a strong to gale-force fetch of E/SE winds setting up through Bass Strait this evening (right) and more so tomorrow.
We'll see a rapid increase in E/SE-SE swell through the Strait, kicking tomorrow to 4ft+ across the Surf Coast with 3ft to possibly 4ft sets on the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island beaches.
Conditions will be a stormy mess on the Surf Coast with the associated wind, while selected locations to the east may offer some slight protection at times through the day (less likely dawn).
The troughs are due to combine and form into a weak low to our west while drifting south as the high under Tasmania continues to shift to the east. This will see winds shift E/NE through Friday morning, more NE through the afternoon and even possibly N/NW late on the Surf Coast.
The E/SE-SE windswell will drop rapidly though as winds do a similar shift around the compass in Bass Strait, cutting off the swell generating potential. Size wise the Surf Coast looks to ease from 3ft+ early Friday, with 2-3ft sets east of Melbourne, much smaller into the afternoon.
Saturday should offer clean conditions on the Surf Coast with a morning W/NW offshore, but the swell will be tiny.
We then look at the inconsistent, long-period W/SW groundswell due into Sunday. The low linked to this swell is currently generating a great fetch of severe-gale to storm-force W'ly winds, just east of the Heard Island region. The low will weaken today while dipping east-southeast, leaving a strong, inconsistent and good long-period W/SW groundswell to travel out towards us.
The swell is due to arrive Saturday and will slowly build through the day, likely reaching 2-3ft by dark on the Surf Coast, 4-5ft to the east though with strong SW winds in the wake of the low moving east across us through the day.
Sunday should see infrequent 3-4ft sets on the Surf Coast magnets, 5-6ft to the east if not for the odd rare bigger one at times across both regions, but winds will remain onshore and fresh out of the S/SW tending S/SE in the wake of Saturday's change.
Monday looks better with a dawn E/SE breeze due to swing NE through the morning, then N/NW ahead of another trough and stronger afternoon S/SW change. The groundswell will be on the ease though, dropping from 2-3ft and 4-5ft respectively.
Into the afternoon and more so Tuesday, a reinforcing W/SW swell is due, produced by a secondary polar front firing up on the back of the current low, generating a fetch of W/SW gales in our distant swell window. This front will weaken but maintain a fetch of strong W/SW winds under the country on the weekend, followed by yet another frontal system Sunday.
Fun levels of reinforcing swell are due, with the first peaking Tuesday morning to 3ft+ on the Surf Coast magnets, 4-5ft+ to the east though strong SW winds look to spoil things. Similar sized surf is likely Wednesday though with no letup in the local winds, possibly cleaner Thursday. We'll take a closer look at this on Friday though.