Coupla good days in the mix; long term remains active

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Victorian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 7th May)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Easing surf Saturday, tricky winds
  • Strong new swell for Sunday, good winds at most coasts
  • Strong onshores developing Monday
  • Mix of swells Tues with lighter winds, OK waves west of Melbourne
  • Another spell of strong surf due next Fri/Sat/Sun


Thursday was clean east of Melbourne with occasional 5-6ft sets, whilst west of Melbourne suffered under an early E’ly breeze - it eased into the afternoon and the waves cleaned up a little, but better conditions have developed today under a light regional N’ly flow. A new long period groundswell has come in at the lower end of forecast expectations, arriving later than expected and certainly not increasing the consistency of the surf as anticipated. East of Melbourne delivered a brief morning peak around 4-6ft whilst west of Melbourne increased to 3ft, occasionally 3-4ft at some of the swell magnets. Wave heights are now starting to ease.

Fun lines at Torquay this morning

This weekend (May 8 - 9)

*Today’s Forecaster Notes will be brief as Craig is away*

With today’s surf size coming in a little smaller and less consistent than expected, and seeing we're looking at a slow decrease into the weekend, I’m revising Saturday’s size to a slow 2ft+ west of Melbourne. Winds will freshen W/NW through the morning, tending SW during the afternoon, so aim for an early paddle for the best waves. 

This size range and wind outlook really won’t be suitable for many spots east of Melbourne. 

Sunday is still looking very good across the region, as winds become light NW in the morning, freshening gradually through the day. However, I’m going to pull back my size expectations a little (for the reasons given on Wednesday), and aim for clean 3-4ft sets across most of the Surf Coast, pushing an occasional 4-5ft at the regional swell magnets. Rather than originating from a single swell source, there’ll be a mix of overlapping swell trains in the water so this should hopefully up the consistency a little.

Exposed beaches east of Melbourne may initially still feel the effects of Saturday’s onshore breeze, however conditions should improve through the morning. Open beaches are looking at a peak around 6ft+ so you’ll probably need to aim for some shelter for the best waves anyway. 

Next week (May 10 onwards)

The models have wiped the cut-off low in the Bight for early next week.

Instead, we’re looking at a series of fronts at about 40-45S (Tasmanian latitudes) over the weekend, travelling rapidly east, supplying Victoria with westerly swell for a couple of days. It’s a poor direction for the Surf Coast but we may pick up some 2-3ft sets - however gusty SW winds in the wake of one of the fronts will maintain poor conditions on Monday (brief chance of early W/NW winds). East of Melbourne will be too windy to bother with. 

Tuesday should see better conditions as a high pressure ridge moves in from the west, allowing conditions to slowly improve under a moderate southerly that’ll become variable by the afternoon. There’s an outside chance for an early W’ly west of Melbourne but I’m not especially confident it’ll occur.

Tuesday will also see a secondary S/SW push through, for a polar low developing below SA (off the ice shelf) on Sunday.  This will be a better direction for the Surf Coast, and we may pick up occasional 3ft+ sets from it. East of Melbourne should manage 4-5ft+ surf through this period, easing slowly into Wednesday as winds swing around to the east.

Mid-next week looks like the best time to be looking to surf across the Peninsula and Island with wave heights an ideal size range for the open beaches.

Wednesday’s easing size will bottom out into Thursday, ahead of a building trend from Friday into the weekend from an amplifying node of the Long Wave Trough SW of West Oz early in the week, which will move under the continent by mid week (see below). This is pointing to another round of typical fun autumn/winter surf favouring the Torquay region, early size indications are around the 4ft mark.

Have a great weekend, see you Monday!