Ex-Hurricane Leslie will quite possibly have the honours of producing more decent mid-sized surf than any storm we can remember and this weekend continues that theme with Europe copping a dose.
All photos of the European finale for Leslie (from Scotland to Spain and anywhere else the swell lands) stand a chance to win the photographer a trip to the Maldives. Click here for more information.
Leslie’s transition to a cold core North Atlantic storm hasn’t been flawless from a surfer’s perspective. Initially steered to the north east by a strong jetstream, the main recipient from her early stages was a far from surf starved Iceland. The bulk of swell to Europe will come from a developing second stage as the wind re-intensifies with the necessary fetch to send swell south and east today (Thursday 13th).
With the brunt of the swell heading east the biggest numbers will be directly in her path. Mullaghmore cops an out of season swell potentially in the standout range (albeit with likely poor winds) and this theme continuing all the way round to Thurso with potential for 20ft+ of swell with some north in it as it arrives accompanied by the same strong westerly winds.
Heading south the swell is a lot smaller – but well situated in the window for many European locations with North Cornwall perhaps seeing 5-6ft@14 seconds when the swell peaks on Saturday morning. South facing breaks in Cornwall, Devon and Wales will suffer from the northerly swell direction and see considerably reduced numbers, albeit with some potential wrap in from the long period. Winds in the UK were originally looking extremely favourable as high pressure looked likely to hold over the weekend. We’re now seeing a greater chance of this moving and the edge of the Leslie storm system directly affecting the surf with a light to moderate westerly airflow onshore at many spots:
Further south into France and Spain we’re looking, again, at small to medium sized longer period swell from a favourable NW direction with sunny skies and offshore winds. Although on the latest forecast this pulse is simply a warm-up for a slightly better jet-tip induced swell developing around Greenland immediately behind Leslie and potentially bringing larger more powerful surf later next week.