Tony Butt’s 3 Day Outlook for Europe / UK

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Surf report for Thursday 07 June 2012

Best bet
Southwest France

General synopsis at 12:00 UTC

The main feature on today’s chart is a tight area of low pressure centred in the Celtic Sea and moving quickly northwards. It is producing some stormy conditions over the British Isles and sending some lumpy swell into the Bay of Biscay. Just off Newfoundland there is a developing low, and south of the Azores there is a large high occupying the southern half of the North Atlantic. Local pressure gradients are fairly strong, particularly in the north.

Forecast

Over the next day or so the Celtic low will move northwards and then stall over Scotland before slowly drifting into the North Sea and losing its punch over the weekend. The Newfoundland low will start to move out into the open Atlantic, but then quickly fizzle out as the upper airstream becomes very weak. A small peripheral low is forecast to develop in the Bay of Biscay on Saturday, and high pressure will persist south of the Azores. Local pressure gradients will be moderate or strong at first, becoming weaker on Sunday.

South Coast of England

Friday:
Largish windseas with some longer-period swell mixed in; wave heights up to six feet at exposed spots and strong perhaps gale-force southwest winds

Saturday:
The swell drops fast, down to three or four feet at exposed spots, with lumpy conditions and fresh southwest winds

Sunday:
Winds switch to fresh north-easterlies, then light or moderate north-westerlies, and the swell becomes very small or flat in many places

Channel Islands

Friday:
Largish, lumpy surf with some longer-period swell mixed with local windseas; wave heights up to five or six feet with strong perhaps gale-force westerly winds

Saturday:
Wave heights drop fast, down to two or three feet by the end of the day, with moderate southwest winds backing south

Sunday:
Very small and lumpy in most places, with winds picking up from the northwest, fresh perhaps strong later

East coast of England and Scotland

Friday:
Short-period southerly windseas driven by fresh or strong southerly winds; wave height up to five feet or so and very choppy at southwest-facing spots in the north

Saturday:
Wave heights decrease, becoming very small or flat in most places, with strong west or southwest winds

Sunday:
A small north swell increases during the day, perhaps reaching three feet or so at the most exposed spots; clean conditions with light winds

Southwest Norway

Friday:
Very small and choppy with windseas driven by moderate to fresh southeast winds

Saturday:
A largish south swell arrives, with wave heights hitting five or six feet at exposed spots, accompanied by fresh to strong southeast winds

Sunday:
The swell gradually drops, and winds continue from the southeast, mostly moderate

North Coast of Scotland

Friday:
Poor-quality surf with easterly windseas driven by fresh to strong easterly winds; wave heights up to about four feet

Saturday:
Winds gradually back northerly, moderate to fresh and conditions remain choppy; wave heights increase slightly at north-facing spots

Sunday:
The swell becomes a little more lined-up and a little more northerly, and winds remain from the north or northeast, moderate perhaps fresh

Western Scotland and northwest Ireland

Friday:
Very choppy conditions with a poor-quality northwest swell mixed with local windseas; wave heights up to six or seven feet at exposed spots and strong westerly winds

Saturday:
The wind decreases to moderate or fresh westerly and wave heights decrease with it, down to about three or four feet at exposed spots later

Sunday:
Conditions clean up with light west winds, veering north later; wave heights are small and weak, flat in many places

Southwest Ireland

Friday:
Largish, poor-quality swell with wave heights up to eight feet or so at exposed spots in the west of the area, and strong west or northwest winds

Saturday:
Conditions clean up with light southerly winds, and the swell drops off fairly quickly; wave heights around three or four feet at west-facing spots

Sunday:
A new pulse of southwest swell arrives, small but more lined up; winds are light south-westerlies

Southwest Wales

Friday:
Stormy conditions with strong to gale-force west or southwest winds and wave heights exceeding six feet at exposed spots, but very choppy

Saturday:
Winds decrease to moderate or fresh south-westerlies and wave heights drop to about three feet and lumpy at exposed spots by the afternoon

Sunday:
Mostly very small or flat, but a tiny southwest swell starts to show last thing in the afternoon; winds are light to moderate west or northwest

North Devon and Cornwall

Friday:
Nasty conditions with strong perhaps gale-force westerly winds and a large, lumpy swell with wave heights hitting eight feet or so at exposed spots

Saturday:
Winds back around to the south, moderate to fresh, and wave heights drop quickly to about three or four feet by the end of the day

Sunday:
A new pulse of smallish swell arrives from the southwest; winds turn northwest, light to moderate

Northwest France

Friday:
Poor-quality conditions with fresh to strong westerly winds and a largish, lumpy swell mixed with local windseas; wave heights up to about eight feet at first

Saturday:
Wave heights drop very quickly, down to three or four feet by the end of the day, with moderate to fresh southerly winds

Sunday:
Wave heights pick up again as short pulse of poor-quality swell arrives from the west, accompanied by fresh west or northwest winds

Southwest France

Friday:
Lumpy swell with wave heights up to six or seven feet and light west-northwest winds

Saturday:
Conditions clean up with practically windless conditions, and the swell drops but then steadies out; some reasonable peaky beachbreak surf

Sunday:
More swell arrives, lumpy again with wave heights back up to six feet or so, and light northwest winds

North coast of Spain – east of Gijón

Friday:
Poor-quality surf with wave heights up to six feet or so at exposed spots, accompanied by moderate to fresh northwest winds

Saturday:
Conditions clean up, with some reasonable beachbreak surf; wave heights up to four or five feet and light to moderate east or northeast winds

Sunday:
More swell arrives, pushing wave heights up again, but wind conditions are poor, with moderate north-westerlies

North coast of Spain – west of Gijón

Friday:
A decreasing, poor-quality west swell with wave heights up to five or six feet at exposed spots, accompanied by light to moderate west or northwest winds

Saturday:
The swell decreases and then steadies off, with wave heights about four or five feet at exposed spots; winds are light to moderate southerlies, swinging west later

Sunday:
The swell holds and winds become very light; some reasonable peaky beachbreak surf

West coast of Galicia

Friday:
Average-quality dropping swell with wave heights up to about eight feet at first at exposed spots, and light to moderate westerly winds

Saturday:
Winds back around to fresh southerlies and then veer west again later; wave heights drop a notch then remain steady at about five or six feet at exposed spots

Sunday:
The swell holds but remains fairly lumpy; wave heights around four or five feet at exposed spots and moderate westerly winds

Portugal

Friday:
Average-quality west swell with wave heights exceeding six feet at first at exposed spots, and moderate to fresh north-northwest winds

Saturday:
The swell loses size and quality, down to about three or four feet at exposed spots later, with moderate west or northwest winds

Sunday:
The swell continues, boosted by another short pulse from the northwest; winds are moderate north-westerlies

Long-term prospects:

After a short slack period after the weekend, things look like they could improve for a while towards the end of next week, with a stronger upper airstream and the possibility of at least one low pressure forming south of Greenland and swinging into the middle of the north Atlantic. This should produce at least some surf for most areas on the west side.

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