Tony Butt’s 3 Day Outlook for Europe / UK

Surf report for Thursday 26 July 2012

Best bet      Northern Spain

General synopsis at 12:00 UTC

Today’s chart shows a large, flabby area of high pressure centred somewhere north of the Azores and covering the eastern two-thirds of the North Atlantic. There is a low around Newfoundland, but that isn’t sending any swell towards us at the moment. There is also a small low centred midway between Scotland and Iceland, moving steadily east-southeast with a weak fetch on its western flank, which could produce some sloppy surf for northern areas. Pressure gradients over local areas are pretty slack everywhere.

Forecast

Over the next few days, pressure decreases slightly in the north of the North Atlantic, squeezing that high further south, but the north-south pressure gradient is still very weak. The Newfoundland low moves towards Greenland, disappearing by Sunday, and the other low moves east-southeast, expected over northern Scotland by Saturday and in the North Sea by Sunday. The northwest fetch on its western flank strengthens for a while between Friday and Saturday. Local pressure gradients are weak, perhaps moderate, with a northerly flow over most areas.

South Coast of England

Friday:
Very small or flat, with windless conditions or light northerlies

Saturday:
Continuing very small or flat, with light to moderate northwest winds, turning westerly later

Sunday:
Small and choppy with some windseas generated at west-facing spots by moderate to fresh westerly winds

Channel Islands

Friday:
Very small or flat, with light north or northwest winds

Saturday:
Continuing very small, with some windseas generated by moderate perhaps fresh northwest winds

Sunday:
Small and choppy, with short-period windseas generated by moderate to fresh westerly winds

East coast of England and Scotland

Friday:
Almost totally flat everywhere, with light variable winds

Saturday:
Continuing flat, with moderate westerly winds

Sunday:
Flat practically everywhere, with light westerly winds

Southwest Norway

Friday:
A tiny long-period west swell might reach the most exposed spots, otherwise pretty flat with moderate southeast winds

Saturday:
Very small or flat, with windless conditions or light westerlies

Sunday:
Continuing very small or flat, with windless conditions or light southerlies

North Coast of Scotland

Friday:
A small west swell reaches the most exposed spots, with wave heights perhaps reaching three feet; winds are moderate southerlies

Saturday:
The swell continues, gradually swinging more north-westerly and filtering into more spots; wave heights up to about three feet with light easterly winds

Sunday:
A new lumpy swell arrives from the north, mixing things up a bit; winds are light northerlies and wave heights up to three feet

Western Scotland and northwest Ireland

Friday:
A lumpy swell with wave heights building all day, perhaps reaching five or six feet at the most exposed spots, with moderate to fresh west-northwest winds

Saturday:
Wave heights peak in the morning at six or seven feet and bumpy, and then begin to decrease during the day; winds are moderate to fresh north-westerlies

Sunday:
The swell swings more northerly in direction and continues to lose its punch but filtering into more north-facing spots; winds are moderate to fresh north-westerlies

Southwest Ireland

Friday:
A smallish northwest swell with wave heights reaching about three or four feet at exposed spots in the west, with moderate northwest winds

Saturday:
The swell turns north and fails to reach southwest-facing spots, but wave heights up to about three feet at northwest exposures in the west, with moderate northwest winds

Sunday:
The north swell continues, steadily dropping; winds increase to fresh perhaps strong west or northwest

Southwest Wales

Friday:
Very small or flat, with light northerly winds

Saturday:
Continuing very small or flat, with light becoming moderate westerly winds

Sunday:
Some small windseas affecting west-facing spots generated by moderate westerly winds; otherwise pretty flat

North Devon and Cornwall

Friday:
Very small and choppy, with moderate perhaps fresh northerly winds

Saturday:
Continuing small and choppy, with moderate west-northwest winds

Sunday:
Mostly very small and poor-quality, but some slightly more solid swell might start to reach exposed spots in the west; winds are moderate westerlies

Northwest France

Friday:
Small, wind-driven northerly swell, with wave heights up to about three feet and moderate perhaps fresh northerly winds

Saturday:
Continuing small northerly windseas, but some slightly more solid west swell begins to arrive later; winds are moderate perhaps fresh north-westerlies

Sunday:
Poor-quality surf with a small west swell mixed with local windseas generated by moderate to fresh westerly winds

Southwest France

Friday:
A small northwest swell with wave heights up to about three feet, with light northwest winds

Saturday:
The swell continues but is mixed with local windseas; wave heights about three maybe four feet and moderate west or northwest winds

Sunday:
Wind conditions improve, clean in the morning with light north-westerlies later, but the surf is very small and sloppy

North coast of Spain – east of Gijón

Friday:
A small, cleanish northwest swell with wave heights up to about three feet; windless conditions at first with light to moderate north-westerlies later

Saturday:
The swell continues but is mixed with local windseas generated by moderate northwest winds; wave heights about three feet and lumpy

Sunday:
Conditions become cleaner, with light or very light northwest winds, but wave heights are very small and the surf is very sloppy

North coast of Spain – west of Gijón

Friday:
A small, cleanish northwest swell with wave heights around three feet and light northerly winds picking up in the afternoon

Saturday:
The swell becomes mixed, but wave heights remain around three feet, with very light north or northeast winds

Sunday:
The surf becomes very small and weak, with light northerly winds

West coast of Galicia

Friday:
A small west-northwest swell struggles against locally-generated windseas driven by moderate perhaps fresh northerly winds; wave heights around three feet

Saturday:
The local north swell dominates, with wave heights around three or four feet at first but dropping steadily; winds are moderate to fresh northerlies

Sunday:
Winds drop momentarily to light or moderate northerlies; wave heights become quite small but a longer-period swell could arrive later in the afternoon

Portugal

Friday:
A small, cleanish northwest swell with wave heights up to about three or four feet at exposed spots and light northwest winds

Saturday:
The northwest swell gradually drops and is replaced by poorer-quality north swell; winds are light northerlies becoming moderate or fresh later

Sunday:
A predominance of short-period north swell generated by fresh northerly winds; wave heights up to about four feet at northwest-facing spots

Long-term prospects:

Not much happening on the charts until about mid-week next week, when a small cut-off low is forecast to appear somewhere around the British Isles and move northeast into the North Sea. This could produce some surf somewhere, although northern areas could be messy and southern areas might have quite strong trades as a pressure gradient build between the Azores high and relatively low pressure over southern Europe.

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