XL European Hurricane Blast

Jason Lock

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Updated 42d ago

Here we go. The first solid pulse of swell is on the way to Europe, courtesy of Hurricane Oscar, which is currently spinning around Bermuda but, if he continues on that current trajectory will head towards Ireland in the next few days, rifling XL waves into Euro shores.

Sure, Oscar is likely to downgrade to a Tropical Storm as it makes its way across the North Atlantic (see charts HERE) but it'll deliver a sizeable pulse to a whole variety of places – and may even set off Portugal's behemoth Nazare on the weekend - and you can watch our live cam HERE.

“With a bit of luck there will be a huge swell this weekend, as Hurricane Oscar becomes re-animated into a massive low,” says MSW forecaster Tony Butt.

Oscar wind chart and projected path.

Oscar wind chart and projected path.

© 2018 - NOAA

“The North Atlantic chart at the moment looks fairly innocuous, but things are about to change. Hurricane Oscar has been hanging around just east of Bermuda for the last few days, but now it has started moving steadily northeast. The latest forecasts show the system expanding and gaining strength as it slingshots around the northern periphery of the Azores anticyclone.

“By late Friday Oscar has turned into a powerful mid-latitude depression about 1,000 miles west of Ireland, with a very strong westerly fetch on its southern flank.

“The full force of the storm is expected to hit Ireland, while high pressure persists over France and Iberia through most of the weekend. There is a chance of a small low developing off Galicia on Sunday, but this is very uncertain at the moment.

“Oscar has already started generating a pulse of small, very long period west swell, which is expected to hit Galicia and Portugal by Saturday. But this will be swamped by the massive swell from the expanded system west of Ireland.

The report for Nazare, it's still fairly changeable but eyes on for now. Keep up to date with the chart HERE.

The report for Nazare, it's still fairly changeable but eyes on for now. Keep up to date with the chart HERE.

“In Ireland expect wave heights to increase to well over 20 feet at westerly exposures late Saturday and early Sunday, with northwest-facing spots smaller, but still very solid. Winds will be generally gale-force west-southwest.

“Further south in southwest England and Wales, wave heights will reach ten feet or so by early Sunday, probably accompanied by fresh south-westerlies but a possibility of much lighter winds during Sunday.

“Along the Biscay coast, surfing conditions for Sunday are presently looking very good, with wave heights hitting 15 feet at exposed reefs at light variable winds, perhaps picking up from the south if that low develops west of Galicia.

“In Portugal the swell will be smaller, although swell-magnets such as Nazaré will still hit 15 feet," (but likely much larger) "but with less of a chance of good wind conditions, especially if that Galicia low materialises.

“In summary, chances are that a massive swell will hit westerly exposures this weekend, although things are still a bit uncertain, particularly with the local winds. Keep an eye on the MSW probability parameter over the next day or so.”