UPDATE: Thursday October 21: Well we may see a few peaks towed into at Nazare today, but the prime beef of this swell could be for the North Sea! And would you have thought?
"The current North Atlantic chart shows that complex area of low pressure with centres just west of Ireland and in the Celtic Sea respectively," says MSW forecaster Tony Butt. "A pulse of swell generated when the system was further out in the Atlantic is arriving in Ireland, Cornwall and western Galicia as we speak, and will filter through into Biscay and down into Portugal. The swell itself will be lumpy in many places, due strong winds associated with the storm persisting close to the coastline.
"In Ireland and southwest UK, wave heights exceed six feet at exposed spots, but hampered by onshore winds from the north or northwest.
"In northwest Iberia, conditions are less severe, with moderate northwest winds veering northeast on Friday, and a mixed-up swell with wave heights hitting eight feet or more at exposed spots.
"In Biscay, the swell arrives more filtered, but local conditions are not ideal, with fresh WNW winds coinciding with the peak of the swell around the middle of the day tomorrow.
"Down into Portugal, offshore wave heights peak at around eight feet or so late tomorrow and early Friday, with the north-westerly direction generating face heights of well over 15 feet at Nazaré. The swell is of average quality with peak periods not exceeding 12 secs, plus there is a persistent, fresh northerly wind.
"At the same time as all this is happening, there is another centre of low pressure just off Norway, which has a passage of strong northerly winds on its western flank. This is will send a pulse of swell down into the North Sea for tomorrow and Friday. The peak of the swell is expected late tomorrow, with wave heights perhaps exceeding ten feet at the most exposed spots, accompanied by strong north or northwest winds. The swell diminishes through Friday and Saturday, and winds gradually back around to the west."
Keep an eye on your local forecasts.
EARLIER: Hurricanes Larry and Sam have gone, kaput, they're in the rearview now. But there's some hope on the horizon for this fresh EU swell this week – nothing epic, and marred with strong wind, yet could be kinda fun if you can find a sheltered corner.
But it's a bit of tricky one, looking at some of the nuance here. “The North Atlantic currently contains a complex area of low pressure, with an area of strong winds on its the southern flank, just north of the Azores,” says MSW forecaster Tony Butt. “This is already generating some average-quality swell, which will reach some westerly exposures tomorrow, Tuesday.
Live cam: Croyde
“At the same time, a new centre off Cape Farewell is expected to form, which will move quickly around the mother system and end up west of Ireland by Wednesday. Strong winds on the southern flank of this centre will generate a further pulse of swell, mostly affecting mid and southern areas, arriving Wednesday and persisting through Thursday.
“The main system will move steadily east, expected over Britain and Ireland by early Thursday, with yet another centre developing west of Scotland by the same time. The strong northerly winds on its western flank will generate a further pulse of swell, combining with the previous one and producing mixed conditions as wave heights increase on Thursday.
“In northern and mid areas, such as Ireland and the southwest UK, expect small or medium, average-quality swell for most of the week, picking up on Thursday, but with strong north, northwest, or west winds and lumpy conditions.
“Further south in Biscay, things aren’t much better, with the swell peaking on Thursday, accompanied by winds from a westerly quarter. In northwest Iberia, the swell arrives very mixed, but you might find a sheltered spot if you know where to look. And down into Portugal, wave heights at Nazaré will probably exceed 15 feet Thursday and Friday, with the north-westerly direction producing some good A-frames. Expect moderate perhaps fresh northerly winds throughout.”
Keep an eye on your local conditions and we'll update everything right here as this all plays out.