Swell Alert: Victoria - Sunday 21st September

18 Sep 2008 0 Share

Wavewatch III model for Saturday evening.

Wavewatch III model for Saturday evening.

As with the West Australian coast, an active Southern Ocean storm track saw conditions more reminiscent of winter persisting across the Victorian coastline into mid September and this pattern continues over the outlook period as another heavy, long period WSW groundswell arrives over the weekend.

The weekend event is preceded by a fairly inconsistent WSW swell on Friday with wave heights forecast to be in the 3 – 5ft range on the exposed open beaches. This initial swell is a product of an extra-tropical low tracking east across The Bight from Monday 15th, being steered away from our swell window by a high pressure system located over southern Australia.

From Wednesday to Friday a second more significant low pressure system tracks slowly eastward across the south-eastern Indian Ocean. This new low drives a vast WSW fetch, exhibiting storm force winds (around fifty knots) near the centre of the low, throughout Wednesday and Thursday. These are flanked by a broader area of WSW gales stretching well over 1,000 nautical miles across its upper flank.

The new groundswell builds upon an active sea state with wave heights projected to be in the 4 – 6ft range on the Surf Coast and 6 – 8ft+ range at the more exposed open beaches on Sunday 21st. The southwest coast will receive the full brunt of the swell with wave heights forecast to be in the 10 - 12ft+ range, at the peak of the event.

Due to the initial heavy westerly direction of the swell an increase in wave height will be limited across the Surf Coast.

Westerly airflow
A persistent westerly airflow is established from Friday 19th with winds becoming strong at times from the NW – W, as a number of cold fronts pass across Bass Strait. As a result conditions on the Surf Coast are set to remain favourable across the weekend and early next week.

More swell for the Surf Coast from Tuesday 23rd
As the low tracks beneath The Bight on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th the fetch tends more southwest. A shift in swell direction to the SW will produce a consistent run of mid range surf across the less exposed Surf Coast between Tuesday and Thursday next week.

Tom Murray
Swell Forecaster

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