For those of us situated along Blighty’s Atlantic coastline, a quick browse of the local forecast this morning reveals the most rare of phenomena- sustained offshore winds for the foreseeable future!
Yep, that’s right, surfers from Bournemouth to Freshwater West look set to be blessed with a run of Easterly winds for at least the next week and for the south west, the accompanying swell from now until Sunday looks very nice indeed.
An explanation for this most jubilant of meteorological moments landed in our laps this morning when we happened across a Insta post by Dan Crockett, our guest for issue 252 and all round fountain of surfing knowledge:
“A dramatic disturbance is playing out in the stratosphere over the Arctic, where 50km-high winds have reversed and begun to flow as easterlies instead of westerlies.” he began. “As a result, the stratosphere is warming up and over a few days it could rise by as much as 50C — which is a relative temperature, not an absolute temperature — in a phenomenon known as a sudden stratospheric warming.”
“This is a major event; it’s now almost certain to happen,” Adam Scaife, of the Met Office, said. “When we run the forecast models over and over they come up with the same result, so it’s highly unlikely that anything can knock it off course.” Sure sounds offshore forever, right?”
While ‘offshore forever’ sounds dreamy, the winds are unfortunately only one potential consequence from the ‘stratospheric warming’ – which essentially amounts to a temporary reversal of the jet-stream, with sustained freezing temperatures also forecast.
In a video explaining the phenomena, Adam Scaife from the Met Office also suggests that swell generating low pressure weather systems in the Atlantic could be weakened, meaning beyond this flurry of ground swell we’re currently enjoying, we could see out the winter with a sustained period of perfectly groomed flatness. Hopefully that’s just him having a Micheal Fish.
As ever with the weather though, only time will tell.
Cover photo: Greg Martin