Slow improvement in conditions with plenty of swell
Victorian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Wednesday 29th September)
Best Days: Friday morning, Saturday morning on the Surf Coast, Sunday morning
Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)
- Moderate sized, mid-period S/SW swell tomorrow with gusty E/SE winds pre-dawn, easing and tending light E/SE (then E/NE mid-late AM east of Melbourne) and back to the SE for the PM
- Moderate SE windswell for tomorrow AM, easing through the day
- New, moderate sized, mid-period S/SW swell for Fri PM with variable tending S-S/SW winds
- Easing S/SW swell Sat with W/SW tending S/SW winds (W/NW early on the Surf Coast)
- Easing S/SW swell Sun with varaible tending E/SE winds
- Small-mod W windswell building Mon PM with strengthening NW tending W/SW winds
After a great afternoon of surf across the beaches Monday, Tuesday continued the trend with a touch less size but great conditions. A new, mid-period swell kicked in through the day offering a touch more size then expected, to 4ft+ on the Mornington Peninsula and to 3ft on the Surf Coast. The models seemed to nail this one against my expectations regarding size.
Conditions were great until mid-afternoon, when freshening sea breezes kicked in. Today we've similar amounts of size and winds were more onshore but workable early. Conditions have since deteriorated though owing to strengthening winds from the SE.
This week and weekend (Sep 30 – Oct 3)
Firstly, winds for tomorrow, are they or aren't they going to be favourable? Well we're going to fall somewhere in between.
A broad mid-latitude low and inland surface trough running down the East Coast will squeeze a strong high to our south, bringing strong SE winds into this evening.
As the low moves slowly south-east, winds should more E/SE early tomorrow morning and only abate once the sun starts to rise. With this there'll be lots of lump/bump/chop across all locations for the dawny.
Hi-res modelling has winds easing and tending lighter E/SE across most locations, with the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island likely seeing winds even tending E/NE mid-late morning. This will create improving conditions which will be best just before afternoon SE sea breezes kick in.
Swell wise, we've got our new, medium sized S/SW swell due to fill in, generated by a great but not overly strong polar frontal progression under the country the past couple of days (right).
The swell should come in at a good 3-4ft on the Surf Coast tomorrow with 5-6ft sets to the east, while there'll also be some sizey SE windswell in the mix likely to 4ft on the sets across the Surf Coast, easing through the day.
Come Friday morning, a touch less size is due across all locations ahead of a secondary pulse of mid-period S/SW swell into the afternoon The source of this swell will be polar, strong to gale-force W/NW-W winds to the south-southwest of Western Australia yesterday evening and today (shown right). It should kick back to 3-4ft on the Surf Coast and 5-6ft through the mid-late afternoon, then easing from 3ft+ and 4-5ft+ respectively Saturday morning.
Winds look more variable on Friday morning, creating workable conditions across most locations, and indeed better than tomorrow morning, with winds shifting S-S/SW into the afternoon.
On Saturday we'll be on the backside of the south-east tracking low, resulting in moderate W/SW winds blowing through Bass Strait. The Surf Coast should see W/NW winds through the morning with S/SW breezes into the afternoon.
The easing trend in S/SW energy will be slowed slightly by a final frontal system firing up late in our swell window, south-west of Tasmania tomorrow, with Sunday providing easing 2ft+ waves on the Surf Coast, 3ft to possibly 4ft to the east.
Conditions will become favourable for all locations as the low clears further to the east, bringing variable tending locally offshore winds ahead of E/SE sea breezes.
Longer term, as touched on in the last couple of updates there's nothing major on the cards with a low point in swell due Monday morning ahead of some weak mid-latitude frontal systems. These may bring some weak W'ly swell into Monday afternoon/Tuesday but otherwise it looks a bit hit and miss as winds blow from the west, creating average conditions on the beaches which will be getting the most size.
Therefore make the most of windows of lighter winds and swell over the coming period.