Building swell energy as winds deteriorate

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)

Victorian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Monday 20th December)

Best Days: Today protected spots, tomorrow, early Wednesday for the keen Surf Coast, keen surfers Thursday, possibly beaches on Friday morning

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Moderate sized, mid-period W/SW swell building this afternoon, holding tomorrow with NW tending variable winds, with a strong SW change pushing through early evening
  • Building W/SW-SW groundswell energy Wednesday afternoon, peaking overnight/early Thu
  • Moderate SW winds Wed (early W'ly on the Surf Coast), light-mod S tending S/SE Thu
  • Easing SW swell Fri with light E/SE tending S/SE winds
  • Small, mid-period SW swell Sun with strong S/SE winds


Windy though clean waves on the exposed beaches Saturday morning with 2ft+ leftovers, tiny on the Surf Coast.

An onshore change moved through during the day but it was shallow and backed off into yesterday morning with clean conditions on offer again through the morning. The new, inconsistent W/SW groundswell due into yesterday came in a little underdone unfortunately with small, slow 2ft sets on the Surf Coast and 3-4ft waves to the east. This favoured the exposed beaches before winds shifted westerly late morning.

Today, our reinforcing pulse of more consistent mid-period W/SW swell has come in much better and to 3ft+ on the Surf Coast (bigger magnets) and 4-6ft to the east, best in protected spots. The wind has really picked up now but should settle a bit into the afternoon from the W/NW before shifting W/SW late arvo/evening.

Blustery, full surf..

This week and weekend (Dec 21 - 26)

A strong frontal progression is currently moving in and under the country with multiple embedded fetches of gale-force winds.

The progression kicked off over the weekend with an initial strong, polar low generating gale to severe-gale W/SW winds in our medium-range swell window. As this low weakened, strong mid-latitude fronts fired up ahead of it, with the first moving through yesterday, bringing today's pulse of swell.

A secondary stronger front is now pushing in from the west, bringing strong to gale-force W-W/NW winds.

This will bring a further increase in mid-period W/SW swell for later today and tomorrow, bigger than today's energy and coming in around the 4ft+ range on the Surf Coast magnets and 6ft+ to the east. Conditions will be clean and good most of the day with a moderate NW breeze, due to tend variable through the afternoon ahead of a strong, early evening SW change.

Moving into Wednesday we're due to see some of the stronger groundswell energy filling in, with a further increase in size due through the day, with a peak in size from the polar low due overnight/early Thursday.

The Surf Coast looks to be around the 4ft range during Wednesday morning with 6ft+ sets to the east again, building to 4-6ft into the afternoon and 6-8ft to the east. Thursday will then see easing surf from a less consistent 4-5ft and 6ft to occasionally 8ft respectively.

Unfortunately winds aren't as favourable on Wednesday with a general moderate SW flow, with the Torquay regions seeing a period of early, short-lived W'ly winds. Thursday unfortunately looks average with light to moderate S'ly winds as a small high moves in from the west, shifting S/SE through the afternoon. While onshore there still should be some fun ones out there for the keen.

Lighter E/SE-SE winds are due on Friday (possibly variable) as the swell eases from the 3ft range on the Surf Coast and 4-5ft+ to the east.

Into the weekend a stronger high is expected to move in from the west, bringing increasing S/SW winds on Saturday, stronger from the S-S/SE on Sunday.

Swell wise there's nothing significant with some small, mid-period swell for Sunday.

This high looks to be the dominant feature into next week, with winds from the south-eastern quadrant, likely improving later week and swinging more north-east but with small, easing S/SW swell energy. More on this Wednesday.


Tubbabird's picture
Tubbabird's picture
Tubbabird Monday, 20 Dec 2021 at 11:33am

merry christmas craigos

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 20 Dec 2021 at 12:29pm

You too Tubba!