Swell Alert – Europe – Surfline XXL Forecast – 03/7/12


There is a significant storm currently in the far north Atlantic between Greenland and Iceland.  Observations have confirmed the very large wave heights within this system.

The frontal boundary currently moving through the UK will slide through France and Spain overnight Wednesday.  High pressure will quickly build in behind this front, setting up over the Bay of Biscay on Thursday.  High pressure then extends from the Bay of Biscay towards western Europe on Friday.

Ireland and Scotland

Most of the winds/waves associated with this system are directed towards Ireland and Scotland, where the long period WNW swell will be greeted with strong/gusty SW/WSW winds.  Expect very solid WNW swell (285-300) to peak overnight Wednesday/early Thursday before easing through the remainder of the day on Thursday with smaller, but still solid WNW swell for Friday and into the weekend.


Long period W/WNW swell mix comes up quickly on Thursday and peaks during the middle/second half of the day.  Well exposed breaks will be dealing with W/WNW winds 10-15kts becoming SW/WSW in the afternoon.  Lingering, but still healthy, W/WNW swell mix eases on Friday.


Long period WNW swell (305-310) fills in rapidly during the second half of the day on Thursday with top deepwater spots seeing face heights in the 15-20′ range, possibly bigger by the end of the day.  The swell looks to peak late Thursday/early Friday before easing during the late morning and afternoon on Friday — better spots will see surf in the 15-18′ range early before easing.  Winds are N/NNE 10-15kts on Thursday.  Lighter E/ENE winds early on Friday become light/variable during the afternoon as high pressure sets up overhead.


Long period NW/WNW swell (305-320) builds rapidly during the second half of the day on Thursday with standout deepwater breaks seeing face heights in the 20′ range with plus sets possible at the top spots late in the day.  The swell looks to peak overnight Thursday with easing surf on tap for Friday but we should still see 15-18′ surf early.  Unfortunately, wind conditions are looking dicey on Thursday as the ridge builds in north of the region.  Expect N/NNE winds 10-15kts on Thursday to bend more ENE through the day — stronger winds are possible towards the NW coast of Spain.  More favorable E/ESE winds are expected on Friday as the swell fades.


Long period NW swell (325-330) fills in quickly during the afternoon on Thursday with better deepwater breaks in the northern part of the country seeing 15-20′ faces in the afternoon.  Winds are looking N 10-15kts on Thursday.  NW swell peaks overnight Thursday/early Friday morning.  The surf eases during the day on Friday but it looks like we will still see surf in the 15-18′ range at the better spots with standout deepwater breaks possibly seeing bigger surf first thing.  Conditions are looking favorable on Friday with light E/ESE winds in the morning.  Winds likely becoming light/variable in the afternoon on Friday.

Looking further out for Europe, it looks like the north Atlantic storm track will slow down, so we are not expecting any XXL swell for Europe over the weekend and into early/mid next week.