Swell Alert: Victoria's Surf Coast Is About to Light Up.

28 May 2019 2 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

Issued Tuesday, May 28 2019

The final days of autumn are set to deliver big, clean surf by the truckload to Victorian surfers. The onset of a heavy SW groundswell over the next 48 hours looks like producing some of the biggest and cleanest conditions seen across the Surf Coast so far this year – but they’re not the kind of conditions that will be kind to the underprepared. Icy westerly winds up to 20 to 35 knots and air temps of 6 to 12 degrees will only add to the already challenging 6 to 10ft+ SW groundswell marching in along the Torquay reefs – so if you’re planning to take it on, think big boards and thick rubber.

Long, powerful SW lines and strong offshore winds will leave little in the way of user friendly options across the Surf Coast on Wednesday. Photo: Scanlon.

Long, powerful SW lines and strong offshore winds will leave little in the way of user friendly options across the Surf Coast on Wednesday. Photo: Scanlon.

Wednesday’s groundswell is linked to a large, complex Southern Ocean low that’s now in prime swell-producing position inside Victoria’s swell window. The storm commenced its lifecycle as a modest polar low that originated over the Southern Ocean, well south of Indonesia late last week. The system subsequently followed forecast guidance over the weekend; gradually growing in size and intensity as it migrated eastward below the mainland.

Tuesday's MSLP chart depicts the source of Wednesday's thumping SW groundswell. Source: BOM.

Tuesday's MSLP chart depicts the source of Wednesday's thumping SW groundswell. Source: BOM.

Although not quite as strong and broad as earlier model runs were suggesting, the storm has progressively carried a broad, 40+ knot SW fetch towards Bass Strait over the last two days; setting up an expansive area of 30 to 40ft seas and swell; the raw material from which a large SW groundswell is now being born.

An expansive area of seas and swell generated by the storm is now closing in on Bass Strait. Source: Wave Tracker.

An expansive area of seas and swell generated by the storm is now closing in on Bass Strait. Source: Wave Tracker.

A rising trend in wave energy follows throughout Tuesday afternoon, leading in a peak in size as longer-period energy in the 15 to 17 second band fills in at size; presenting scope for some long-lined 8 to 10ft sets at premier breaks like Bells and Winki throughout the day. As mentioned, winds will start out strong out of the west before gradually reorienting WSW to SW as the day progresses, so you’ll be well placed to brave the early freezing air-temps to capitalise on the straighter offshore breezes. The incentive to hit it early on Wednesday is further reinforced by pretty unappealing conditions shaping up for Thursday and Friday.

Although there will still be large SW groundswell on tap as this event gradually eases throughout Thursday, a straighter, 20 to 30 knot SW to SSW airflow will leave little to the imagination – and the same goes for Friday.

The bulk of long-period energy is on track to fill in across Victorian coasts throughout Wednesday, generating XL surf state-wide. Source: Wave Tracker.

The bulk of long-period energy is on track to fill in across Victorian coasts throughout Wednesday, generating XL surf state-wide. Source: Wave Tracker.


Tags: Swell Alert , Ben Macartney (create Alert from these tags)

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