Updated Thursday, April 18th 2019
EVENT WINDOW: April 15-20th 2019
Largish and lumpy at first, then getting smaller but cleaner, with a long-period swell forecast to arrive sometime Saturday.
The current chart shows a weakening low pressure just west of Galicia with a westerly airstream on its southern flank affecting most of the Portuguese coast. This system deepened northeast of the Azores on Tuesday and Wednesday and has been generating some largish, average-quality swell. Over the next couple of days it is expected to remain weak and shift over the Iberian Peninsula which, together with a ridge of high pressure pushing up from the southwest, will result in a more northerly airstream over local areas. Way out on the westerly side of the Atlantic there is a much more powerful system, generating a long-period west swell which, according to the latest forecasts, could arrive sometime Saturday.
Today Thursday, the swell is still quite large at first, with wave heights exceeding six feet in the morning but dropping to around four feet or so by late afternoon. Wind conditions are better than the last few days with light or moderate onshores from the southwest, veering northwest later; but the swell itself is still very lumpy.
On Friday wave heights drop to around three or four feet, perhaps smaller by mid to late afternoon. The swell quality improves slightly and winds also improve, with cross-shores from the north-northwest, moderate at first becoming light in the afternoon.
On Saturday expect small, weak surf at first, but then that long-period swell is expected to arrive sometime around the middle of the day and fill in during the afternoon. Wind conditions are the best they've been all week, with moderate gusting fresh offshores from the northeast.
Forecast reliabilities are good for these last few days of the contest, but be aware that the exact arrival time of that long-period swell could easily be out by a few hours either way.