Mid-week at the open beaches, otherwise a little while longer to go

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Victorian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Monday 25th October)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Slow improvement Tues with light winds
  • Wednesday the pick of the forecast period, east of Melbourne
  • Solid though junky windswell Sat
  • Better prospects for next week


Surf size remained very small on Saturday, and onshore winds freshened, becoming stronger into Sunday as a new groundswell built beneath. We've seen similar conditions today. Size topped out around 3ft west of Melbourne and 4-5ft east of Melbourne. Totally forgettable stuff.

This week (Oct 26 - 29)

There's not much to look forward to this week.

Easing winds will slowly improve surf conditions on Tuesday, but wave heights will also be abating and it's unlikely it'l show much form - perhaps some lumpy, wobbly 2ft+ waves west of Melbourne and 3ft+ east of Melbourne.

As a high pressure system develops in the western Tasman Sea and a trough of low pressure develops across South Australian longitides, we'll see north-east winds across Victoria on Wednesday. 

This should tidy up the open beaches east of Melbourne, and the arrival of a small long period swell - from a distance source west of Heard Island last week - should kick up the open beaches with inconsistent 3-4ft sets. Expect long breaks between waves.

Thursday will then see a return to average surface conditions as the trough crosses the coast, bringing moderate SW winds to all regions. They won't be too strong, but without any new swell there won't be much to get excited about (the models have weakened developing activity on the western flank of the low, downgrading its surf potential).

Friday has a whole bunch of curveballs on our way as a surface-trough-cum-cut-off-low sourced from the Bight moves across the Victorian region, delivering gusty winds from a couple of directions (early indications are E/NE, tending N'ly, then late SW, all at strength). However with only small background energy - plus some small swell from a minor fetch associated with Thursday's change - will mainly favour the open beaches. Expect major revisions between now and then. It's not worth putting into the diary.

This weekend (Oct 30 - 31)

Model guidance is showing a decent swell increase for the weekend, but I'm not buying it - as it's sourced from Friday's local low pressure system (see below). So the associated swell will be short range windswell (accompanied by gusty onshores) of poor quality, favouring very few locations.

Unfortunately, our primary swell window looks to be largely devoid of activity this week, so I'm not expecting much in the way of quality of new groundswell either - this local system is our only source of energy for the weekend. Whatever local mess we see Saturday will ease rapidly into Sunday with rapidly abating winds too.

So right now, I'd be cautious in your expectations for any surfing this weekend.

Next week (Nov 1 onwards)

The outlook for next week is a little better. 

A developing frontal stream through the Southern Ocean later this week should set up a modest groundswell for (about) Monday arvo or Tuesday, offering 2-3ft sets along the Surf Coast.

A stronger sequence of follow up systems behind this are looking good for a better round of groundswell later next week and into the weekend. 

But, that's a long time away - let's see how things are looking Wednesday.


thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Monday, 25 Oct 2021 at 5:19pm

No post-lockdown rewards yet, unfortunately :(

pigdog's picture
pigdog's picture
pigdog Monday, 25 Oct 2021 at 5:25pm

Us windsurfes disagree :) happy as a pig in poppies. Although gutsy winds predicted usually means rain/hail/shine and hard work. Re Saturday.

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek Monday, 25 Oct 2021 at 7:27pm

Been some nice riding/hiking weather too, great time of year even if the surf is shit

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek Wednesday, 27 Oct 2021 at 4:10pm

Lake Portsea is back, bloody hell usually unheard of this time of year