Fun surf on the beaches ahead of more action to the west from late week

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)

Victorian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Monday February 19th)

Best Days: Tomorrow morning on the beaches, Wednesday morning exposed spots for the keen, Friday morning, Saturday morning, Sunday morning

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Small-mod sized, mid-period SW swell for this afternoon, peaking overnight, easing tomorrow
  • E/NE tending N/NE winds tomorrow ahead of sea breezes
  • Smaller Wed with light, local offshore winds (northerly bias)
  • Tiny Thu with strong N tending N/NW winds ahead of a SW change
  • Large W/SW groundswell for Fri with W/NW tending strong SW winds
  • Easing W/SW-SW swell Sat with W/NW tending gusty S/SW winds (check Wed/Fri for confirmation)
  • Easing swell Sun with variable winds ahead of S/SE sea breezes


The weekend wasn't perfect conditions wise with lingering onshore winds each morning but a fun mix of background swells to 2ft to occasionally 3ft on the Surf Coast, 4ft to the east.

Today the swell was a little smaller early and still bumpy, best to the east for the desperate, though some new mid-period SW swell looks to now be building with it due to peak this evening (discussed below).

This week and weekend (Feb 20 - 25)

Today's building mid-period energy was generated by a strengthening frontal system under the country on the weekend, with it now passing off to the south-east east of Tasmania.

The swell should build to 3ft on the sets across the Surf Coast this afternoon, 4-5ft to the east before peaking overnight and easing back tomorrow from 2-3ft and 4ft+ respectively.

The beaches to the east look to be cleanest tomorrow with an E/NE tending N/NE breeze through the morning ahead of afternoon sea breezes, smaller Wednesday but with light, local offshore winds (N/NW to the west and N/NE to the east) tending E/NE and then SE later in the day.

A low point in swell is due Thursday with strong N tending N/NW winds ahead of an afternoon SW change as a deepening mid-latitude low moves in from the west.

As touched on last Friday, a significant mid-latitude low is due to form under the Bight during this week, with the catalyst for the strong storm being the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Djoungou (currently in the Indian Ocean) drifting south-east into the westerly storm track, combining with a cold front.

The low will deepen rapidly, with a fetch of severe-gale W/SW winds due to develop Wednesday evening, south of South Australia. As the low moves closer to us it'll weaken, but it'll be slow moving, resulting in a prolonged, large groundswell event that will come from the W/SW on Friday and tend more SW in direction through the weekend. EC has the low a little weaker than GFS at this stage and less size forecast along with a quicker easing trend. So check back here on Wednesday for a clearer idea on how it's tracking.

Keeping this in mind, the Surf Coast looks to build 6ft on Friday with 8ft+ sets to the east, easing back slowly from 4-5ft+ and 6-8ft respectively on Saturday morning, easing more steadily Sunday from the moderate size range.

Local winds look favourable Friday morning and W/NW, shifting SW and strengthening through the day, while the winds Saturday depend on which way the models go. If GFS's way, we'll see W/NW winds again in the morning on the Surf Coast but EC has poor S/SW breezes. Sunday looks clean with light, variable winds and local offshore winds but we'll confirm this and the swell sizes on Wednesday.

Longer term more swell is due mid-late next week but check back here Wednesday for the latest.


only-sams's picture
only-sams's picture
only-sams Monday, 19 Feb 2024 at 11:54am

How glorious is the water temp right now? Had nearly 3 hours Sunday afternoon in boardies - don’t remember it being this warm same time last year

Dx3's picture
Dx3's picture
Dx3 Monday, 19 Feb 2024 at 12:13pm

Yeh it’s magic in the water at the moment. Has been a really fun month, especially by summers standards, with more swell on the way. Cheers Craigos!