As the North Atlantic looks likely to deliver another week of unseasonably weak conditions there are strong hints of a significant swell blowing up in the North Sea. While the fetch isn’t huge a hungry population of surfers spanning eight nations will be keeping eyes on the chart hoping for a window of favourable winds to offer decent conditions.
We’ve been tracking a low pressure system towards the end of the week that looks increasingly likely to impact Ireland and North West Scotland with significant winds and then move on into the North Sea, dropping south and creating a large system centred over Norway with a fetch and wind strength aligned to generate significant south bound swell in the North Sea. With such a narrow window for swell generation any subtle change over the next few days could have significant impact on the final size and this is reflected in the divergence between outlooks at the moment – although global and European models are all in agreement on the general scenario.
As it stands the outlook is most positive for the UK East Coast with very strong but offshore winds at the peak of the swell with the latest numbers in the 14ft@13 seconds range with 30mph+ offshore winds. With winds generally from the North West things become less favourable further south with Belgium, Holland, Germany and Denmark all looking at potentially even larger swell (preliminary numbers pushing 20ft+ in Germany for example) but with extremely strong onshore winds at the peak of the swell. Given all these factors it would be reasonable to expect the numbers to cool slightly as we move closer to the end of the week.
Remember, anyone surfing this swell will be eligible for entry into The Winter Session.
Drone footage of body surfers at the Wedge, Newport Beach, California
Tracking the development of the Bertha storm system as it approaches the US East Coast
Guillermo Cobo flying high at home in the Canaries