Don't you just love it when the Med turns on? A mostly tideless, vast sea that connects eastern and southern Europe to Africa and the middle east. So when there's a swell pulse, we're talking about potentially having waves that light up three continents. And there is something completely mind blowing about that.
Last Saturday, a pulse ripped across the eastern Med, sending swell into Israel for one of the best days of the season so far. That Israel gets waves isn't (nor should it be) a surprise, there's been competitions there for years – and the surf culture is anything but burgeoning. But it is always great to see barrels in the Med, as evidenced below.
“It's been a weird winter with long flat spells and bad storms, usually we get days like these four or five times a season,” says local surfer Artur Rashkovan. “But now it's already spring so the water is warming up and no one expected such epic conditions on Saturday.
“The wind backed off making for some glassy conditions that ran until midday and I was actually running a little surf project in this spot so I had to froth out side for a few good hours until I got out there.
“I've seen so many barrels, the shape of the waves has been the best I have seen in years. Luckily I got out eventually and scored a few, it was truly epic and by far the day of the season. And we expect another one this coming Friday…. the froth meter is at new levels.”
About this Med swell, MSW forecaster Tony Butt said: "The swell originated from an area of low pressure that deepened over Turkey on Thursday 11, and a strong pressure gradient that developed between its western flank and relatively high pressure over the western Mediterranean. This created a passage of strong northwest winds in the Aegean Sea on Thursday, which moved towards the far eastern Mediterranean on Friday. The strong winds and dynamic fetch generated a large, short-lived pulse of swell which hit Israel and surrounding coasts on Friday.
"The swell peaked early Friday, with wave heights well over six feet at exposed spots, and steadily dropped through Friday and Saturday, with wave heights around three feet by the end of Saturday. Winds were onshore on Friday and dropped to light and variable on Saturday."
And there's more on the way too. "An area of low pressure has been hovering between Romania and the eastern Black Sea over the last few days, combined with relatively high pressure to the southwest, has resulted in strong winds from a westerly quarter affecting various different areas in the Mediterranean," says Tony.
"Tomorrow [Friday March 19] should see an extended area of westerly winds in the eastern Mediterranean, generating swell for westerly exposures. Wave heights are expected to be biggest in the north of the area, for example in Lebanon and Cyprus, but winds remain onshore for the duration of the swell. Further south in Israel, however, conditions clean up, with expected wave heights of around three or four feet and light variable winds."
Cover shot is of Jonathan Jacobovitch from yesterday by @a.schesto