Very active period ahead
Victorian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Monday 20th September)
Best Days: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, early Saturday, Sunday morning
Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)
- Mod-large mid-period W/SW swell building this afternoon with strong W-W/SW winds
- Large W/SW groundswell peaking tomorrow AM, easing into the PM and Wed with strong SW winds tomorrow, easing a touch and tending W/SW mid-late afternoon
- Moderate W/NW winds Wed AM, tending variable into the PM
- Small mid-period SW swell arriving late Wed PM
- Stronger SW groundswell building Thu, peaking into the PM with strong NW winds, easing a touch and tending W/NW into the PM
- Easing SW groundswell Fri with strengthening N/NW tending W/NW winds
- Mid-large SW swell for Sat with early W/NW tending strong SW winds, easing Sun with W/NW tending SW winds
Our inconsistent and distant SW groundswell due Saturday didn't really show with any size at all across the coast. It wasn't the most reliable swell, but still wave heights struggled to get above 2ft on the Surf Coast where it was cleanest.
Sunday started a touch slow as well with our new, moderate-large sized mid-period W/SW swell coming in a touch delayed. It did fill in through the morning though with some great waves reported both east and west of Melbourne before winds shifted more NW and stronger into the afternoon, favouring protected spots.
Today the swell is holding around 3-5ft on the Surf Coast, 6ft+ to the east with gusty W/NW winds. We should see larger levels of mid-period W/SW swell building through the afternoon as winds shift W-W/SW. More on this below.
This week and weekend (Sep 21 - 26)
Yesterday's mid-period W/SW swell was generated by the first of two lows firing up under the country late last week and over the weekend. This afternoon's building mid-period W/SW energy ahead of some stronger groundswell tomorrow morning are linked to the second low.
This second low formed a little further south compared to the first, but was mainly positioned in our western swell window. With this low acting on top of the active sea state of the low before it, it requires less energy to kick up a larger open ocean sea state. So with a fetch of severe-gale W/SW winds (reaching storm-force at times) projected towards us through the weekend, weakening on approach today, we'll see a large W/SW groundswell arriving overnight and easing tomorrow. Ahead of this this afternoon though we'll see moderate-large mid-period energy arriving, building to 4-5ft+ on the Surf Coast and 6-8ft to the east as winds shift W-W/SW.
Tomorrow morning should reveal the most size with 6ft waves on the Surf Coast, 8ft to the east, easing through the day.
Unfortunately the backside of the low will project strong SW winds up into us overnight, leaving strong SW winds across the coast tomorrow morning, shifting more WSW into the afternoon while easing a little in strength, creating a slight improvement in conditions. There'll also be moderate amounts of S/SW swell in the mix from this trailing fetch.
Conditions should improve further into Wednesday morning with a W/NW offshore, and weak, variable sea breezes. Size wise the W/SW groundswell and mid-period S/SW swell will be back to 3-4ft on the Surf Coast, 5-6ft to the east.
Later in the day some new mid-period SW swell may be seen, generated by an initial fetch of W/NW gales firing up in our south-western swell window, south-southwest of Western Australia today, but this will be the precursor to a more significant fetch of severe-gale W/NW winds moving under the country tomorrow, producing a larger SW groundswell for Thursday/Friday.
While not ideally aimed through our swell window, its placement southward towards the polar shelf should allow for some decent sized swell to spread radially up and into us.
Later Wednesday's swell looks to be below the size seen in the morning, but come Thursday we'll see the groundswell building gradually through the day. The morning looks to be 3ft to possibly 4ft on the Surf Coast, 4-5ft+ to the east, but increasing to a strong 4-5ft and 6-8ft respectively into the afternoon.
Friday morning looks to be a little smaller, likely easing back from 3-5ft and 6ft+ respectively to the west and east.
Winds look favourable for protected spots still, with a strong NW breeze Thursday morning, easing a little and shifting W/NW into the afternoon, then strong N/NW early Friday, shifting W/NW while increasing further ahead of a late W/SW change.
This strengthening wind will be linked to a strengthening frontal system on the back of the activity generating Thursday/Friday's swell. A great, broad fetch of W/SW gales are forecast to be projected north-east through our south-western swell window, producing yet another moderate sized + swell for Saturday. This looks to be around 4-5ft+ on the Surf Coast and 6-8ft to the east along with early W/NW winds, tending strong SW mid-late morning. More on this in the coming updates though.