A huge pulse of swell is currently rifling into the UK and Europe – with southwest facing spots in Ireland set to hit the 20ft mark.
Storm Diana, as this system's been named, is battering the coastline as we speak. And while the inevitable mainstream headlines will dip towards doom and gloom, for us, it's all about how the surf's looking.
MSW forecaster Tony Butt said: “Yesterday's chart showed a complex area of low pressure dominating most of the North Atlantic, with its main centre west of Ireland and a tight peripheral centre just north of the Azores. An area of storm-force southwest winds on its southern flank is generating a large swell heading for west- and southwest-facing spots.
“The centre will move quickly north-eastwards, further increasing wave heights as the fetch moves in the same direction as the swell it is producing.
The main bulk of the swell will hit southwest Ireland, Wales and Cornwall today, at the same time as the storm itself. At southwest exposures in Ireland expect wave heights to exceed 20 feet, with poor conditions in storm-force southwest winds.
"Tomorrow and Friday, the swell drops a notch but becomes much more lined up, although still accompanied by strong southwest or west winds. At north-facing spots conditions are better but the southwest swell struggles to get in.
“Further south along the Biscay coast and down into Portugal, the biggest wave heights will be found at west-facing spots, particularly Galicia and northern Portugal, peaking during Thursday. However, with south or southwest winds, it could be difficult to find somewhere clean. North facing spots in Spain, for example, will have much better winds but the swell struggles to get in here.
“At Nazaré expect wave heights to exceed 15 feet, with moderate cross-shore winds, but the west swell means that those giant A-frames could be less impressive than usual.
“In summary, there is a potentially great swell on the way but unless you are lucky you will probably have to put up with clean conditions and smaller wave heights or much bigger surf with annoying cross or onshore winds.”