Tony Butt’s 3 Day Outlook for Europe / UK

 

Surf report for Monday 13 August 2012

Best bet      Portugal

General synopsis at 12:00 UTC

Today’s chart contains a large, flabby area of low pressure slow-moving just west of Ireland. At the moment it has a weak fetch on its southern flank which might generate some sloppy surf for mid areas and down into the Bay of Biscay. South of here there is a weakish area of high pressure south of the Azores which extends across to the Iberian Peninsula and into southern Europe. There is also a cell of high pressure over Scandinavia. Local pressure gradients are moderate in the north, weak in the south.

Forecast

On Tuesday there is very little change on the chart, with that low drifting around just west of Ireland and the other features on the chart remaining almost unchanged. On Wednesday that low deepens considerably as a tight centre develops over Cornwall, producing some stormy conditions in mid areas. The system then moves north, expected just north of Ireland by Thursday. This will generate some large, poor-quality swell for mid areas. Local pressure gradients strengthen in the north and remain fairly slack in the south.

South Coast of England

Tuesday:
A small amount of longer-period swell from the west reaches the most exposed spots, with moderate southerly winds; wave heights up to about two feet

Wednesday:
Any swell is swamped by windseas generated by fresh to strong southerlies; wave heights up to about three feet and choppy

Thursday:
Wave heights increase at westerly exposures as another pulse of longer-period swell arrives; winds are fresh southerlies

Channel Islands

Tuesday:
Very small or flat in most places, but a tiny amount of longer-period swell might filter through, mixed with local windseas generated by moderate southerlies

Wednesday:
Winds increase to strong southerlies, generating choppy windseas which swamp any underlying swell; wave heights around two feet

Thursday:
Wave heights increase, perhaps reaching three or four feet as a more solid pulse of swell arrives; winds are moderate southerlies

East coast of England and Scotland

Tuesday:
A small amount of east swell mixed with southerly windseas; wave heights up to two or three feet with moderate south or southeast winds

Wednesday:
Conditions deteriorate as winds increase to fresh or strong east or southeast; wave heights up to around three feet and choppy

Thursday:
Small and choppy with virtually no swell and small windseas generated by moderate southerly winds

Southwest Norway

Tuesday:
Poor to average quality southerly swell with wave heights around two or three feet and moderate perhaps fresh southerly winds

Wednesday:
Conditions improve slightly as winds decrease to light southerlies, but the swell drops off to almost nothing

Thursday:
Winds increase again to fresh southerlies, generating more swell, mostly of poor quality

North Coast of Scotland

Tuesday:
Very small or flat in most places, apart from rare east-facing spots, which will get some nasty windseas generated by fresh southeast winds

Wednesday:
Very small or flat in most places, with choppy conditions at east-facing spots

Thursday:
Continuing very small or flat at most spots, but east-facing spots receive some more solid swell mixed with local windseas; winds are moderate south-easterlies

Western Scotland and northwest Ireland

Tuesday:
Very small or flat apart from the most exposed west-facing spots which might receive some small clean swell; wave heights up to two feet or so and moderate southerly winds

Wednesday:
Very small or flat in most places, with moderate to fresh easterly winds

Thursday:
Some poor-quality southerly windseas becoming more solid later, affecting west and southwest-facing spots, with fresh southerly winds

Southwest Ireland

Tuesday:
Small, average-quality west swell with wave heights up to about four feet at exposed, west-facing spots and moderate southerly winds

Wednesday:
Any decent swell becomes swamped by short-period southerly swell, accompanied by stormy conditions and fresh perhaps strong east or southeast winds

Thursday:
The southerly swell increases to six feet or more at exposed spots, with poor conditions and strong southerly winds

Southwest Wales

Tuesday:
Small, average to poor quality surf with wave heights up to two or three feet and moderate southerly winds

Wednesday:
Any swell is swamped by increasing windseas from the south, with moderate southeast winds veering southerly and increasing fresh or strong

Thursday:
A pulse of largish, lumpy swell arrives with wave heights up to five or six feet at first in the west, accompanied by moderate to fresh southerly winds

North Devon and Cornwall

Tuesday:
Small, average-quality swell with wave heights around two or three feet and moderate southerly winds, becoming light in the afternoon

Wednesday:
The small swell continues but becomes swamped by south-westerly windseas generated by strong perhaps gale-force south or southwest winds

Thursday:
Wave heights increase at southwest-facing spots as a pulse of poor-quality swell arrives, but northwest-facing spots remain quite small; winds are fresh southerlies

Northwest France

Tuesday:
Average to poor quality west swell with wave heights around three maybe four feet, accompanied by moderate to fresh southerly winds

Wednesday:
Winds increase to strong southerlies and wave heights gradually increase, reaching a very lumpy six feet or so at west and southwest-facing spots

Thursday:
Conditions improve slightly and the swell becomes a little more lined up; winds are moderate southerlies

Southwest France

Tuesday:
Small, weak swell with wave heights around two to three feet; winds are light southerlies at first but then picking up to moderate north-westerlies

Wednesday:
Wave heights increase slightly but conditions are poor, with moderate southerlies veering northwest and then north

Thursday:
The swell increases and becomes a bit more lined up, although still only of average quality; wave heights up to about five feet with light northeast winds

North coast of Spain – east of Gijón

Tuesday:
Small and fairly clean at first but then winds pick up to moderate northerlies; wave heights around two or three feet at west-facing spots

Wednesday:
The swell gradually increases but is hampered by local short-period seas; winds are moderate southerlies at first, quickly swinging northwest then north

Thursday:
A more solid swell arrives, with wave heights up to about four or five feet at west-facing spots, with moderate easterly winds

North coast of Spain – west of Gijón

Tuesday:
Some small, average-quality swell with wave heights around three feet at westerly exposures, with windless conditions or light easterlies

Wednesday:
Wave heights increase from the west, but the swell struggles to reach all but the most exposed, west-facing spots; winds are fresh south-westerlies

Thursday:
Conditions clean up considerably, with no wind or light northerlies late afternoon, and wave heights around four feet at west-facing exposures

West coast of Galicia

Tuesday:
Average-quality west swell with wave heights up to about five feet at exposed spots; light winds at first but moderate southerlies pick up quickly

Wednesday:
Wave heights increase to a lumpy six feet or more at west-facing spots, and winds increase to fresh perhaps strong south-westerlies

Thursday:
The swell decreases but becomes a bit more lined up; winds are fresh southerlies

Portugal

Tuesday:
Small, lumpy swell from the northwest, accompanied by moderate south or southwest winds; wave heights around three feet at exposed spots

Wednesday:
Wave heights gradually increase to four maybe five feet at northwest exposure but swell quality is average or poor; winds are moderate north-westerlies

Thursday:
The swell holds and becomes more lined up, and conditions improve with no wind in the morning and light north-westerlies in the afternoon

Long-term prospects

That low is forecast to continue drifting around until some time next weekend, perhaps producing further pulses of swell, after which pressure gradients over the North Atlantic become weaker again. Some long-term charts are beginning to show signs of tropical storms moving up from the Caribbean, so look out for those.

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