This is looking like a fine start to 2020. The first major XXL swell of the year is on the way for Europe, currently streaming across the Atlantic on a NW track, so we should see some chunky conditions for the Old Country.
There's been a few playful days since January 1, but this is the first large black blob that's materialised – and looks as if we'll have back-to-back pulses from tomorrow onwards. Best to keep an eye on you local spot as this system develops.
Watch our live Nazare cam HERE
“Today’s North Atlantic chart shows a tight low just south of Newfoundland, a complex area of general low pressure stretching across the far north, and a band of high pressure stretching from Macaronesia northeast across Iberia and into the Low Countries,” says MSW forecaster Tony Butt.
“Over the next day or so that first low will move quickly northeast, with an area of storm-force winds on its southern flank generating swell as it goes. The dynamic fetch will enhance wave heights as the windfield moves at a similar speed to the swell it is generating. Late Tuesday this system merges with low pressure in the north, and a large area of storm-force westerly winds generate a further pulse of west and northwest swell.
“A large, long-period west swell will arrive in Galicia and southwest Ireland early Wednesday, with initial peak periods exceeding 18 secs, before spreading into Portugal, Biscay and southwest UK. The second pulse hits northwest Ireland around the same time, before filtering down into Biscay and Portugal.
Keep an eye on the forecast for Mundaka, HERE
“In northwest Ireland, the swell ramps up on Wednesday, exceeding 20 feet at westerly exposures, with fresh WSW winds. Conditions clean up on Thursday as winds go south or southeast, and wave heights gradually drop.
“In Cornwall, Wednesday could see some epic swell with wave heights well over six feet and the possibility of light winds. The swell continues on Thursday but winds become fluky.
“Down in Portugal, the swell picks up during Wednesday and peaks early Thursday, with a mixture of west and north-westerly components. Wave heights are well over 15 feet with light to moderate northerly winds.
“Looking further ahead, the charts are showing another system developing off Newfoundland on Wednesday/Thursday, moving northeast and generating further pulses of large, long-period swell for the weekend and beyond. The upper airstream is currently locked into a fluid pattern with a strong, meanderless jet stream and plenty of energy. This won’t last forever, so make the most of it.”