Entire Northern Hemisphere is About to go XXL

Tony Butt

by on

Updated 35d ago

The Northern hemisphere is pumping. Two systems, one in the North Atlantic and the other in the North Pacific, mean that just about everywhere you'd expect is going to get waves – from Maverick's to Mundaka, this is a full pumpathon.

In the North Atlantic, a bomb is about to form. Currently centred about 500 miles east of Newfoundland the system is expected just south of Iceland by early Saturday, with a peripheral low developing near Ireland. A westerly fetch containing hurricane-force winds on its southern flank is generating a massive, long-period swell. Open-ocean wave heights are expected to exceed 15 metres later today.

Time to dust off that gun. A black blob is on the way for Europe. Keep up to date with the forecast, HERE.

Time to dust off that gun. A black blob is on the way for Europe. Keep up to date with the forecast, HERE.

The main bulk of the swell will hit Iceland early Saturday, accompanied by storm-force onshore winds and hell-like conditions. At the same time, a large, long-period swell will hit Ireland, with west-facing spots well over 20 feet on Saturday morning, before dropping fairly quickly. With a bit of luck, conditions could be good, with light variable winds for a while as the eye of that peripheral low settles over Ireland, albeit briefly. There is still a lot of uncertainty in the exact position of that system, so keep checking updates.

Further south, in Spain, wave heights are smaller on north-facing coasts as the west swell filters through, but wind conditions are good. At Mundaka, for example, expect some solid six-to-eight foot surf with offshore winds and peak periods up to 20 secs.

In Portugal and Galicia, wave heights could hit 15 feet at westerly exposures, but could be hampered by westerly winds when the main bulk of the swell hits. Nazaré could easily hit 20 feet but the swell is still quite west, so don’t expect those A-frames to be all-time.

The North Pacific too. Think Maverick's, then think further south for some untouched gems.

The North Pacific too. Think Maverick's, then think further south for some untouched gems.

Meanwhile, in the North Pacific, a giant low is forming just southeast of Kamchatka, with storm-force winds on its southern flank. This will track east over the next few days, generating a massive pulse of long-period swell to the west coast of North America.

On Monday, expect wave heights reach well over 30 feet at swell-magnets such as Maverick's, and hit 15 or 20 further south, at spots such as Todos Santos. But current forecasts are not showing good wind conditions, with frontal systems encroaching on the coastline, even right down in the south. Forecast confidence is still quite low this far ahead, so stay updated.

On Tuesday, conditions clean up a lot, with lighter winds everywhere. The swell drops from humungous to massive, so still expect 20 feet at Maverick's and perhaps 15 at Todos Santos.

Later next week there is yet another system expected to form in the North Atlantic, and a parallel one in the North Pacific. Let’s hope it continues.