Tony Butts Surf Forecast

Surf report for Monday 11 February 2013

 

Best bet

Northwest Ireland

 

General synopsis at 12:00 UTC

Today’s chart shows a large high pressure centred over the Azores, associated with a ridge in the upper airstream. Either side of this ridge are troughs, with low pressures associated with them, the first centred just off Newfoundland, moving steadily northeast, and the second over France, moving southeast. Local pressure gradients are moderate in most places with a north-westerly flow pushing down into the Bay of Biscay.

 

Forecast

Over the next few days that high will drift slowly eastwards and weaken, expected just west of Portugal by Thursday. At the same time the Newfoundland low will move northeast and deepen, expected just southwest of Iceland by Wednesday with a reasonable westerly fetch on its southern flank, before weakening on Thursday. Another similar system begins to develop and follow in its path on Wednesday and Thursday. The low over France moves off into southern Europe and local pressure gradients weaken over southern areas, and strengthen in the north.

 

South Coast of England

Tuesday:

Mostly very small or flat, although the most extreme westerly exposures might get some tiny long-period swell; winds are moderate north-easterlies

Wednesday:

Very small or flat with moderate to fresh south-easterly winds

Thursday:

Winds pick up to fresh perhaps strong southwest, veering west, and some small, short-period swell picks up

 

Channel Islands

Tuesday:

A pulse of long-period swell that peaked on Monday drops off steadily; wave heights around three feet or so with moderate northerly winds

Wednesday:

The swell almost disappears completely, leaving small and increasingly poor conditions as winds pick up to fresh southerlies

Thursday:

Winds swing to fresh perhaps strong southwest or west, generating some poor-quality short period windseas

 

East coast of England and Scotland

Tuesday:

Average to poor quality swell from the east, accompanied by local windseas; wave heights up to four feet or so at the most exposed spots, with fresh southeast winds

Wednesday:

The swell drops off at first, then winds pick up during the day to strong perhaps gale-force southerlies, generating some short-period southerly windseas

Thursday:

Winds swing to moderate westerlies, and the southerly swell holds for a while before dropping

 

Southwest Norway

Tuesday:

Small, long-period northwest swell, hitting the most exposed spots with wave heights up to about three feet and windless conditions

Wednesday:

The northwest swell disappears and is replaced by increasing windseas from the south; wave heights below three feet in most places with fresh southerly winds

Thursday:

Winds increase to severe-gale south-easterlies and surfing conditions become very stormy, with large, short-period windseas from the south

 

North Coast of Scotland

Tuesday:

A cleanish west swell decreasing gradually during the day; wave heights up to about four or five feet at the most exposed spots with moderate perhaps fresh southerly winds

Wednesday:

The west swell drops off and winds pick up to strong to gale-force southerlies; wave heights drop below three feet at most places

Thursday:

Small at first but then more west swell begins to arrive at westerly exposures; winds are moderate to fresh southwest or west

 

Western Scotland and northwest Ireland

Tuesday:

Good quality west-northwest swell that peaked on Monday gradually drops off; wave heights around five or six feet at exposed spots with light southeast winds

Wednesday:

The swell drops off but continues to be surfable at exposed spots, with wave heights around three feet or so, and light winds from a southerly quarter

Thursday:

More swell arrives from the west, pushing wave heights up to six feet or so at westerly exposures, accompanied by moderate to fresh westerly winds

 

Southwest Ireland

Tuesday:

Average quality, decreasing west-northwest swell, with wave heights up to ten feet at exposed spots in the west at first, with light to moderate westerly winds

Wednesday:

Small at first, but picks up again later as more swell arrives from the west, accompanied by moderate to fresh westerly winds; wave heights around four or five feet

Thursday:

The swell increases a notch and becomes more solid, exceeding six feet at exposed spots, with light to moderate westerly winds

 

Southwest Wales

Tuesday:

A clean, long-period swell that peaked on Monday drops off steadily; wave heights up to about three feet at exposed spots with light easterly winds

Wednesday:

The swell disappears and is replaced by short-period windseas from the south, accompanied by fresh perhaps strong southerly winds

Thursday:

Conditions clean up again as winds decrease to light westerlies; wave heights around three feet but lumpy

 

North Devon and Cornwall

Tuesday:

A largish, quite clean swell that peaked up Monday steadily decreases; wave heights up to about six feet at exposed spots with light easterly winds

Wednesday:

The swell drops off and winds pick up to fresh or strong southerlies; wave heights down to about three feet and choppy

Thursday:

More swell arrives, pushing wave heights back up to four feet or so, and winds decrease to light westerlies

 

Northwest France

Tuesday:

A large, lumpy swell that peaked on Monday steadily decreases; wave heights up to ten feet at first, with moderate northerly winds

Wednesday:

The swell continues to drop, down to perhaps four or five feet by the end of the day, with moderate southerly winds

Thursday:

More swell arrives from the west, accompanied by moderate to fresh westerly winds, making conditions lumpy

 

Southwest France

Tuesday:

Large, stormy surf that peaked overnight drops off steadily; wave heights over ten feet and very lumpy, with light to moderate westerly winds

Wednesday:

The swell continues to drop and never really cleans up; wave heights averaging around five or six feet and lumpy with light variable winds

Thursday:

The lumpy swell continues, with winds increasing again to moderate westerlies

 

North coast of Spain – east of Gijón

Tuesday: 

Very poor surfing conditions with strong to gale-force west-northwest winds and a large, short-period swell; wave heights exceeding ten feet but barely surfable

Wednesday:

Winds drop to moderate northerlies and the swell drops steadily, but never cleans up; wave heights around six or seven feet and very messy

Thursday:

The swell continues to drop gradually and perhaps cleans up slightly; winds are light west or northwest

 

North coast of Spain – west of Gijón

Tuesday: 

A large, poor-quality swell that peaked on Monday steadily drops; wave heights above ten feet at most spots but very lumpy, with moderate westerly winds

Wednesday: 

Wave heights continue to drop but the swell never really cleans up; wave heights around six or seven feet with moderate westerly winds

Thursday:

The old swell continues to die, and a newer, cleaner swell begins to arrive, with light variable winds

 

West coast of Galicia

Tuesday:

A large, poor-quality swell gradually drops off but struggles to clean up; wave heights exceeding ten feet and very lumpy, with light southerly winds

Wednesday:

The swell continues to drop and remains very lumpy; wave heights down to below ten feet with light to moderate northwest winds

Thursday:

The old swell dies off and some new, cleaner swell arrives, with reasonably good conditions in light northerly winds

 

Portugal

Tuesday:

Big and lumpy with poor surfing conditions in many places; wave heights exceeding ten feet at exposed spots, with fresh perhaps strong northwest winds

Wednesday:

The swell drops and winds turn to moderate or fresh northerlies; wave height averaging around eight feet at exposed spots

Thursday:

The surf cleans up as the old swell is replaced by a new, long-period swell, accompanied by light northerly winds

 

Atlantic coast of Andalucia

Tuesday:

Largish, messy surf with wave heights up to five or six feet and fresh northwest winds

Wednesday:

Wave heights drop to three feet or below at many spots, and the swell doesn’t really clean up much, with light to moderate northwest winds

Thursday:

Things improve dramatically, as winds change to light north-easterlies and a new long-period swell arrives

 

Long-term prospects

Not a great deal of action as pressure gradients over the North Atlantic generally remain relatively weak for this time of year. The good news is that the upper airstream doesn’t show signs of developing any large meanders, so expect at least some small to medium surf for west- and northwest-facing coasts

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