How it Happened: XL Swell Double-Header to Set Europe Alight This Weekend and Beyond!

Magicseaweed

by on

Updated 25d ago

Sunday and Monday pumped all across Europe. And there's more on the way too. But for now, recap on how the swell played out, right here.

  • Two back-to-back swells set or Europe.
  • First one could be marred by strong winds.
  • But the second is a potentially a long period monster.
  • Could hit overnight on Sunday and into Monday, then set up days of swell after.
  • UPDATE: Friday November 12: Here we go. It's on this weekend. Today (Friday) and tomorrow could see sessions scuppered by that strong wind but there will be a surfable wave at sheltered spots, particularly in the UK. But Sunday and Monday is when the real juice of this storm fills in -- and this has the makings of something special for the Old Continent.

    You see, Sunday, the swell builds throughout the day and into the evening, peaking over night and hanging around all day Monday -- and then into next week for the exposed western coastline along Portugal.

    All day Sunday and then all day Monday too. This is a beast for the UK. But keep an eye on the swell chart, HERE.

    All day Sunday and then all day Monday too. This is a beast for the UK. But keep an eye on the swell chart, HERE.

    For a full rundown though, Tony Butt takes it away. "The first of the two low pressure systems that were forecast to develop in the North Atlantic is currently just about to cross Scotland, with the strong westerly winds on its southern flank affecting the west coast of Ireland. It will quickly dissipate in the North Sea over the next 24 hours. The swell from this system is producing some large, windy surf in Ireland and will reach areas further south during Saturday.

    "The second storm is deepening and expanding northwest of the Azores, while moving slowly northeast. It will to reach its peak intensity soon and then arc around to the north, expected just west of Iceland by Sunday. A large area of storm-force winds or stronger is already generating open-ocean wave heights of 40 feet or so, and a long-period west swell heading towards Europe, which will begin to arrive on Sunday.

    "In Ireland, today Friday sees a large, long-period swell with wave heights exceeding 20 feet at exposed spots, accompanied by gale-force westerly winds. On Sunday and Monday, the second pulse of swell arrives with much better local conditions, with light southerly winds and wave heights hitting ten feet or more.

    "In southwest UK, expect some windblown swell today and tomorrow, but then much better conditions on Sunday, with wave heights picking up to six feet or more, tapering down on Monday, with light winds.

    "In the Biscay coast of France and Spain, the first pulse of swell hits tomorrow Saturday, with wave heights up to ten feet at exposed reefs and light to moderate westerly winds. The second pulse arrives late Sunday and Monday, accompanied by northeast or north winds.

    That big green blob is about to hug western Europe and into Morocco too.

    That big green blob is about to hug western Europe and into Morocco too.

    "In Portugal, the two swells arrive back-to-back, starting tomorrow and lasting well into next week. Wave heights average around six to eight feet and wind conditions are good throughout. The west swell isn’t the best for Nazaré but plenty of other spots will be good.

    "Way south into Morocco and the Canary Islands, the first swell gives some good medium-sized swell, but the second pulse hits big-time from Monday onwards. Expect wave heights around six to eight feet with light winds in the mornings and moderate north-easterlies in the afternoons."

    EARLIER: Wednesday November 10: A swell double header is making a bee-line for Europe this week – if you surfed today, you've probably already experienced a little jolt in the water (yesterday if you're in Ireland) – but come the weekend, things are about to get incredibly spicy.

    This first blast of swell will come in Friday and build throughout the day. But the second pulse is where the juice is, filling in overnight on Sunday – hopefully before last light and setting up days upon days of decent surf, especially on Monday.

    But the thing is, it's really accompanied by this long period swell too. On Sunday, Cornwall will cap out at 14.5ft@18 seconds. And where's that all coming from? Let's kick it over to MSW forecaster Tony Butt.

    See that? That's what we call a double header about to collide with Europe. You can view these swell charts by going HERE
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    See that? That's what we call a double header about to collide with Europe. You can view these swell charts by going HERE
    .

    “The North Atlantic currently contains a pair of developing low pressure systems [this is the double header!] one behind the other, moving in a north-easterly direction. The first is situated half way between Newfoundland and the Azores, and the second is hard on its heels about 800 miles southwest of Nova Scotia. A band of high pressure extends from southeast of the Azores, up across Biscay to the Low Countries.

    “Over the next 24 hours, the first system will expand and move towards Iceland, with the southwest winds on its southern flank generating a pulse of swell. This will reach Ireland late Thursday at the same time as the eastern periphery of the storm. It will hit other westerly exposures such as Galicia during the day on Friday, with cleaner local conditions.

    “The second system is expected to briefly become a double-centred [double double header?!} system just southwest of Newfoundland, before converging and intensifying explosively on Friday.

    “An area of hurricane-force winds on its southern flank is expected to generate open-ocean wave heights of well over 40 feet, and send a long-period west swell towards Europe. The system then weakens as it arcs northeast and north, ending up west of Iceland by Sunday.

    “The swell from the second system arrives in Ireland on Sunday, quickly followed by Galicia, before it filters into southwest UK, Biscay and Portugal, over the following few hours.

    Join us, if you will, in gawking at this chart for west Cornwall on Sunday.

    Join us, if you will, in gawking at this chart for west Cornwall on Sunday.

    “In northwest Ireland the full brunt of the swell doesn’t really get in, but conditions should be really clean, with periods of around 18 secs and light easterly winds. The swell picks up to eight feet or so on Sunday and gradually tapers off through Monday.

    “In southwest Ireland, wave heights exceed ten feet, with swell magnets getting even bigger on Sunday, holding through Monday, with light variable winds.

    “In Cornwall and the surrounding area, peak periods are up to 20 secs as the swell hits on Sunday, filling in on Monday with wave heights up to six feet or so, and moderate northeast winds.

    “Southwest France also gets some really solid swell, with periods around 19 secs, wave heights around eight feet and light northeast winds.

    We about to see France looking all dreamy, like? Maybe. May be too overpowered. Let's keep an eye on it.

    “In Spain, the west swell and northeast winds don’t create such epic conditions, but if you know where to look you might get something good, particularly at west-facing spots in the far northwest.

    “Down into Portugal, the swell hits square-on, with wave heights over eight feet at exposed spots late Sunday and Monday, periods of around 18 secs and moderate northeast winds. The swell is too west for classic Nazaré, but many other spots will be working.

    “Finally, into Morocco and the Canary Islands, the swell hits big-time on Monday and continues through Tuesday, up to eight feet or more at west and northwest exposures, with moderate northeast trades.”

    Stay tuned as we'll be updating this piece as the forecasters looking into their crystal balls over the next few days.

    Right then, here's some links to forecasts for you! Let's see... Fistral | Croyde | Hossegor | Peniche | Ireland | Anchor Point