Victoria: Swell Alert

23 Apr 2013 0 Share

Extended run of SW groundswell looms for Victoria’s Surf Coast

Forecast issued 23 April 2013, by Ben Macartney

- An active Southern Ocean storm track sets up a series of overlapping, long period SW groundswells across Victorian coasts over the coming week.

- The groundswells coincide with a moderate to strong west to north-westerly wind regime lasting throughout the outlook period, producing good to epic conditions across the Surf Coast.

It looks like a great week to pack up and head for the Surf Coast hills.

It looks like a great week to pack up and head for the Surf Coast hills.

If you’ve been thinking about taking a week off to go and sample a few of Victoria’s finest, right now is about as good a time as any to go and do it. The region’s long range swell window came to life last Friday following the development of an intense polar storm beneath the Kerguelen Islands. The system subsequently migrated eastward, carrying a broad area of westerly gales towards Western Australian longitudes over the weekend.

Source: BOM. A first deep extratropical low set up a first pulse of mid range SW groundswell arriving on Wednesday and Thursday.

Source: BOM. A first deep extratropical low set up a first pulse of mid range SW groundswell arriving on Wednesday and Thursday.

SW groundswell arising from this system arrives throughout Wednesday, generating clean three to five foot waves across the Surf Coast all day. The tail end of this pulse should hang in around the three to four foot mark on Thursday ahead of a second, slightly stronger, overlapping pulse of SW groundswell beginning to arrive throughout the afternoon. This second pulse should maintain wave heights around the three to five foot mark on Friday ahead of an even stronger increase setting in this weekend.

The source of the this impending, third pulse is another intense extratropical low riding the storm track eastward on the coattails of the previous storms. Tuesday morning’s satellite passes confirmed a gale to storm force W/SW fetch associated with this second system and it’s projected to sustain these wind speeds as it moves eastward overnight. The fetch goes to work upon an already highly active sea state, generating a large 40ft plus deepwater SW swell that spreads north-east to arrives across the region throughout Saturday, generating solid four to six foot sets across the Surf Coast all day.

Largest SW pulse speculatively peaks on Sunday

Based on latest GFS computer modeled projections, this activity will culminate in the fourth and largest episode, peaking across the region on Sunday. Latest model runs continue to capture the development of a final, gargantuan low pressure system intensifying on the cusp of Western Australian longitudes on Thursday before blowing up beneath the Great Australian Bight on Friday and Saturday. Although this suggests a larger six to eight foot SW groundswell will light up the region on Sunday, increasing divergence among key computer models creeps into the forecast over this period, so confidence isn’t overly high on this final pulse. Check Wednesday’s updated detailed forecast for more on this.

This deepwater virtual buoy reading for Victoria shows the succesion of SW groundswells inbound over the course of the week.

This deepwater virtual buoy reading for Victoria shows the succesion of SW groundswells inbound over the course of the week.


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