Large S/SW groundswells inbound, tricky working the winds

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)

Victorian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Friday April 5th)

Best Days: Keen surfers Sunday, Monday Surf Coast, Wednesday morning Surf Coast, Thursday morning Surf Coast, Friday Surf Coast

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Large S/SW groundswell building tomorrow PM with easing E winds, freshening from the E/SE into the PM
  • Easing swell Sun with moderate S/SE tending S/SW winds
  • Smaller Mon with freshening W/NW winds ahead of an evening SW change
  • Moderate + sized mid-period SW swell Tue with fresh S/SW winds (possibly light W early)
  • Easing swell Wed with W/NW tending fresh S/SW-SW winds
  • Large S/SW groundswell building Thu with S/SW-SW winds, likely W/NW early
  • Easing S/SW swell Fri with W/NW tending SW winds


Wednesday's increase in swell held into yesterday with bumpy, onshore conditions across most spots, workable for the keen.

This morning we've got more size as a new pulse of mid-period SW swell peaks, but a fresher south-east wind is creating lots of chop and bump on the Surf Coast, cleaner to the east in selected spots.

Chunky sets this AM

This weekend and next week (Apr 6 - 12)

This morning's pulse of mid-period SW swell is due to ease into this afternoon, smaller tomorrow morning and back to 3ft or so on the Surf Coast, 4-5ft to the east.

This will only be a temporary drop, with a strong pulse of S/SW groundswell due to arrive through the morning, building towards a peak into the late afternoon/evening.

The source of this groundswell was a strengthening fetch of gale to severe-gale W/NW winds moving under the country, though a stronger low pressure developed, with storm-force winds recorded at its core.

This will bump the swell into the large size range, with the Surf Coast now due to reach 6ft later tomorrow, 6-8ft on the sets to the east, easing Sunday from 4ft and 6ft respectively west and east of Melbourne.

Looking at the local winds, and strong overnight E-E/SE winds are due to abate into tomorrow morning, tending moderate E'ly, freshening again into the mid-afternoon from the E/SE.

Sunday looks dicey as the low drifting down the East Coast pushes further down past Tasmania, bringing moderate S/SE winds that are expected to shift S/SW through the afternoon and freshen later.

Monday is still looking clean on the Surf Coast with a freshening W/NW offshore along with a further drop in size. The Surf Coast should still be around 3ft, with 4-5ft sets to the east, with winds likely holding until dark, ahead of a fresh SW change.

This change will in its earlier stages, by a good swell generating frontal system, with it forming just east of the Heard Island region today.

A healthy fetch of strong to near-gale-force W/NW tending W winds should generate a moderate + sized pulse of mid-period SW swell for Tuesday, coming in around 4-5ft on the Surf Coast and 6ft+ to the east.

Unfortunately, beside a possible period of early W'ly winds on the Surf Coast, fresh S/SW winds look to make a mess of the swell, with more of a chance for an early W/NW breeze due Wednesday as the size eases.

For the rest of the week and next weekend, further pulses of moderate to large S/SW groundswell are due as a series of strong polar fronts fire up to the south-west of Tasmania, under the influence of a strong node of the Long Wave Trough moving across the southern Tasman Sea.

The first pulse of S/SW groundswell is due Thursday, peaking into the afternoon, likely to 6ft on the Surf Coast and 6-8ft to the east but with persistent S/SW-SW winds (W/NW likely early as the swell builds).

Friday morning looks the pick at this stage with a W/NW offshore and with 4-5ft of easing S/SW swell.

Another large pulse is due Saturday but we'll have to confirm this on Monday as the models diverge a little. Have a great weekend!


Tubbabird's picture
Tubbabird's picture
Tubbabird Friday, 5 Apr 2024 at 11:21am

thank you for your blessings Craigos!

only-sams's picture
only-sams's picture
only-sams Friday, 5 Apr 2024 at 12:01pm

Hey Craig, what are you reading into size predictions that other forecasts aren't?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 5 Apr 2024 at 12:04pm

Wouldn't all of that information be contained above?

Weatherman's picture
Weatherman's picture
Weatherman Friday, 5 Apr 2024 at 5:50pm

Looks like the switch has finally been flicked to Autumn on the Surf Coast. Swell and Westerly quadrant winds. Hopefully a few NW days some time soon too.