Forecaster Blog: Victoria’s Surf coast to pump for days

7 Apr 2016 0 Share

Ben Macartney

Chief Surf Forecaster

COASTALWATCH FORECAST | Forecaster Blog

Issued Thursday, 7 April 2016

There’s a whole lotta swell inbound down south. By down south, I’m talking Australia’s southern coastline – and in particular, Victoria’s Surf Coast. Every once in a while all the synoptic elements come together to produce consecutive days of good surf – as was seen across the NSW coast over the Easter long weekend and, more notably, across southern Queensland throughout January and February.

This time, it’s Victoria’s turn. The onset of a sustained run of sizeable, long-period SW groundswell coincides with favourable WNW winds; turning on the entire Surf Coast for days at a stretch. As discussed in the Weekend Forecast, this event is set to come to a head this weekend as SW groundswell builds throughout Saturday and peaks in the 6ft plus range on Sunday.

SEE ALSO: Weekend Surf Forecast 8 - 10 April 2016

There are days of good waves in store for Victorian surfers this weekend - not to mention next week. Photo: Judith Scanlon.

There are days of good waves in store for Victorian surfers this weekend - not to mention next week. Photo: Judith Scanlon.

The broader synoptic driver of this epic run of surf is a static high-pressure system that’s been anchored over the south-eastern Indian Ocean all week. A series of strong polar fronts skirting the southern boundary of the high are being steered north-eastward, up below the Great Australian Bight – and it’s the pressure gradient between the high’s south-eastern flank and the adjacent low pressure that’s fuelling an extensive, gale-force westerly fetch spanning the Southern Ocean.

The sustained duration and wide-reaching coverage of this fetch have spawned a vast wave-field that’s already impacting Victorian coasts. Although the swell is forecast to drop a notch on Friday, another larger SW pulse is on track to reinforce surf-heights state-wide over the weekend; producing an interim peak ranging either side of 6ft across the Surf Coast under ideal WNW winds.

SEE ALSO: Surf Forecast & Breakdown, Drug Aware Margaret River Pro 

Wednesday's MSLP chart depicts a succession of polar fronts work in conjunction with a quasi-stationary high pressure system southwest of the Margaret River region to aim a sustained run of SW groundswell at Victoria. Source: BOM.

Wednesday's MSLP chart depicts a succession of polar fronts work in conjunction with a quasi-stationary high pressure system southwest of the Margaret River region to aim a sustained run of SW groundswell at Victoria. Source: BOM.

Latest Wave Tracker model runs display the deepwater SW swell below the Bight travelling northeast.

Latest Wave Tracker model runs display the deepwater SW swell below the Bight travelling northeast.

Although a slow decline in SW groundswell follows early to mid next week, this long-enduring episode will continue to deliver powerful surf across the region over this time frame. Going on latest model runs, this sustained run of swell is set to culminate in one final, large, long period SSW groundswell; progressively building in during Wednesday afternoon ahead of a peak in size on Thursday morning.

Given the extended lead-time on these projections there’s still plenty of scope for changes to this scenario, so check back on for updates over the next few days.

Latest virtual buoy readings for Victoria reflect the sustained run of SW groundswell about to make landfall over the coming week.

Latest virtual buoy readings for Victoria reflect the sustained run of SW groundswell about to make landfall over the coming week.


Tags: victoria , forecast , swell , ben , macartney , topnews (create Alert from these tags)

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