Tony Butt’s 3 Day Outlook for Europe / UK

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Surf report for Thursday 10 May 2012

 

Best bet

Portugal

 

General synopsis at 12:00 UTC

Today’s chart shows a large area of high pressure centred between the Azores and Newfoundland, influencing practically the entire North Atlantic. There is a developing low just southwest of Newfoundland and another, weaker low over eastern England. Pressure gradients over local areas are moderate.

 

Forecast

Over the next few days that English low shifts off into the North Sea as the high moves eastwards and stalls, becoming an elongated system stretching westwards from the Bay of Biscay by about Sunday. At the same time the developing low near Newfoundland will quickly track around the northern periphery of the high and deepen, expected over Iceland by late Saturday with a strong westerly fetch on its southern flank. This will then continue to deepen as it moves into the northern North Sea. Local pressure gradients will become strong in the north.

 

South Coast of England

Friday:

A dying southwest swell accompanied by fresh westerly winds, veering northwest later; wave heights up to four feet or so at the most exposed spots

Saturday:

The swell almost disappears apart from the most exposed spots in the far west; wave heights below three feet everywhere with light northerly winds

Sunday:

Very small or flat everywhere, with light winds picking up to moderate westerlies

 

Northern France and Channel Islands

Friday:

A small westerly swell affecting west-facing coasts, with wave heights up to about three feet and moderate to fresh northwest winds

Saturday:

Winds turn to moderate or fresh northerlies and the swell disappears, leaving very small, choppy surf

Sunday:

Very small or flat almost everywhere, with light northwest winds

 

East coast of England and Scotland

Friday:

Small, average-quality north swell with wave heights up to about three foot at exposed spots and fresh north or northwest winds

Saturday:

Things improve as the north swell becomes more solid and winds turn to light westerlies; wave heights up to four or five feet at exposed spots

Sunday:

The swell disappears fairly quickly and winds turn to fresh south-westerlies

 

Southwest Norway

Friday:

Some small south swell reaches southwest-facing spots, but winds pick up to gale-force north-westerlies later; wave heights around four feet but larger at north-westerly exposures

Saturday:

Winds continue strong to gale-force north-westerlies at first, decreasing later, and a poor-quality northwest swell predominates, with wave heights up to six feet or so

Sunday:

Wave heights drop and winds turn southerly, moderate at first, fresh or strong later; mostly poor-quality surf

 

North Coast of Scotland

Friday:

Poor-quality north swell with wave heights around five feet and fresh or strong north to northwest winds

Saturday:

The swell swings northwest and becomes even more mixed up as winds also turn to fresh westerlies; wave heights around three or four feet

Sunday:

Wind conditions improve, with fresh perhaps strong southerlies, but still not much quality swell; wave heights begin to pick up from the west later

 

Western Scotland and northwest Ireland

Friday:

A very average quality north swell with wave heights up to about four feet and moderate to fresh northerly winds

Saturday:

The north swell disappears and wave heights go down below three feet in many places, picking up from the west later; winds are moderate to fresh westerlies

Sunday:

Winds pick up to strong perhaps gale-force south-westerlies and wave heights pick up to a very choppy eight feet or more from the west

 

Southwest Ireland

Friday:

A decent quality south swell with wave heights up to about five feet at exposed spots, and moderate to fresh northwest winds

Saturday:

The south swell drops pretty fast, leaving very small or flat surf in many places, with light to moderate westerly winds

Sunday:

Very small or flat on south-facing coasts but some choppy west swell reaches west-facing coasts, accompanied by fresh to strong west-southwest winds

 

Southwest Wales

Friday:

Some reasonable south swell with wave heights up to about four feet at exposed spots and moderate to fresh northwest winds

Saturday:

The south swell drops off to practically nothing, maybe two feet or so at exposed spots, with light northwest winds

Sunday:

Very small or flat in most places, becoming choppy later as winds pick up to fresh or strong west or south-westerlies

 

North Devon and Cornwall

Friday:

Poor quality surfing conditions with wave heights around four feet or so from the southwest, accompanied by strong south or southwest winds

Saturday:

Wave heights decrease but conditions clean up on southwest-facing coasts of Cornwall as winds veer to moderate or fresh north-westerlies

Sunday:

Wave heights drop to almost nothing and winds decrease to light or moderate northerlies

 

Northwest France

Friday:

Reasonable southwest swell hitting southwest-facing spots, with wave heights up to four or five feet and moderate northerly winds

Saturday:

Wave heights go right down to three feet or lower, and winds veer northeast, moderate to fresh

Sunday:

Very small or flat in most places, with light easterly winds, going northwest later

 

Southwest France

Friday:

Small, very average surfing conditions with wave heights around three feet and light northwest winds

Saturday:

Very small and choppy with short-period windseas from the north and virtually no long-period swell; winds are light northerlies

Sunday:

Very small or flat with light perhaps moderate northwest winds

 

North coast of Spain – east of Gijón

Friday:

Very small west swell with wave heights barely reaching three feet, and moderate northerly winds

Saturday:

Any longer-period swell disappears and is replaced by short-period northerly swell; wave heights around three feet with light to moderate northerly winds

Sunday:

The poor-quality north swell continues, with light to moderate northeast winds

 

North coast of Spain – west of Gijón

Friday:

Some small west swell reaching exposed spots on the west of peninsulas; wave heights around three feet and moderate northeast winds

Saturday:

The west swell almost disappears and is replaced by short-period north swell; wave heights about four feet and choppy with moderate to fresh northeast winds

Sunday:

Short-period northeast swell driven by moderate to fresh northeast winds; wave heights about four of five feet and lumpy at north-facing spots

 

West coast of Galicia

Friday:

Some average-quality west-southwest swell reaching west-facing spots, with wave heights up to six feet and moderate to fresh north-northeast winds

Saturday:

Any longer-period swell practically disappears and is replaced by short-period windseas driven by fresh to strong northeast winds; wave heights up to six feet and choppy

Sunday:

Largish, very lumpy north-easterly windseas with fresh north-easterly winds; wave heights around six feet or so at north-facing spots

 

Portugal

Friday:

Average-quality west swell with wave heights around three or four feet and light northwest winds in the afternoon

Saturday:

The west swell gradually diminishes and becomes mixed with some poor-quality north swell; winds pick up to moderate northerlies

Sunday:

Small, average to poor quality north swell with wave heights around three feet and moderate northerly winds

 

Long-term prospects:

After the weekend that large low will move northwards but take quite a few days to disappear, pumping some good swell into northern and eastern areas. The high in the North Atlantic gradually builds as the upper airstream weakens and moves north, bringing us into more typical early summer conditions.

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