Tomorrow, June 19, is International Surfing Day -- not that you need another reason to go for a dip in ol' big blue today.
This year's message centres around the theme of 'the beach is for everyone'. But what good is that if you haven't been keeping tabs on the forecast? Right here we asked MSW forecaster Tony Butt to break down this weekend's outlook for Europe. The good news? There could be a couple fun sessions over the next few days, depending where on the Old Continent you're parked.
"The North Atlantic is currently showing a developing low pressure system just west of Newfoundland, and a very large, slow-moving anticyclone straddled north and south of the Azores.
"Over the next 24 hours or so, the low is expected to move eastwards around the northern periphery of the high, then dip southeast, expected off Galicia by Sunday. An area of fresh to strong westerly winds on its southern flank will generate some swell, the bulk of which will hit Galicia and northern Portugal on Sunday, accompanied by pretty lumpy conditions.
"In northern areas such as northwest Ireland, Saturday sees small, poor-quality swell, picking up a bit on Sunday, perhaps reaching four feet at exposed spots. Winds are east or northeast, light, becoming fresh on Sunday.
"In southwest Ireland and southwest UK, it’s a similar story, with small, weak surf on Saturday, becoming a bit more solid on Sunday, perhaps reaching five feet at the most exposed spots, with light to moderate winds, mostly from an easterly quarter.
"Down into southwest France, and the eastern half of northern Spain, the remains of the swell that peaked mid-week arrive over the weekend, with wave heights around four feet or so on Saturday, dropping to below three feet on Sunday, with peak periods down to nine or ten secs. Winds are light and variable in the mornings with onshore breezes in the afternoons, but moderate southerlies on Sunday in Spain.
"In northwest Spain and northern Portugal, not much action on Saturday, with weak swell mostly below three feet, and moderate northerly winds. But things pick up big-time on Sunday, hitting eight or ten feet at exposed spots by afternoon, with stormy conditions in strong southwest winds.
"In southern Portugal, the remains of that previous swell hang around on Saturday, with exposed spots a lumpy six feet or so, initially dropping on Sunday, before picking up again last thing as that new swell arrives. Conditions are poor, with fresh gusting strong west or northwest winds."
International Surfing Day has been organised by the Surfrider Foundation, but has found its own place in cultures over the world since its inception. For more info, go here.
Cover shot by Saltshots