- XXL surf builds Sunday and peaks, gradually easing Monday
- Surf heights (wave face) in 40-55' range late Sunday
- Good to excellent wind/conditions expected both days
The likely swell for the Nazare Challenge comes from a storm that's rapidly strengthening on Thursday afternoon near Newfoundland. It's on a north-northeast track and expected to bottom out near 945mb on Friday as it heads toward Iceland. With a 1030mb high to the southwest of the storm, there's roughly 85mb of pressure difference to drive a large area of 40-50 knot wind with top winds forecast to exceed 70 knots. This storm will also move over an already excited sea state from the two previous storms - it'll start cooking up the next swell with a pre-heated oven. With the added help, peak seas could near or exceed 50-feet within the storm. While powerful, the track of the storm isn't ideal for Nazare. The size and intensity of the fetch will do a good job of making up for any shortcomings with the swell angle and ensures we'll see a long-lived swell with XXL size on both Sunday and Monday.
The first half of the day on Sunday sees a mix of an older, fading NW swell that peaks on Saturday (an outstanding warm-up day for competitors) and the very long period forerunners of the new NW swell. Look for face heights in the 25-35' range, with the biggest sets up to 40'. As the new swell comes on through the afternoon hours expect a steady building trend, peaking from around 3pm through sundown (530pm). Sets should hit 40-50' range with the largest reaching up to 55' before nightfall. Monday morning should be down slightly from the late Sunday peak of the swell but it'll still be very solid, coming down gradually through the day. Overall, it'll be another pumping day of surf.
Conditions are likely to be good to excellent both Sunday and Monday as weak high pressure noses over Portugal. Light offshore flow sets up each morning and the clean conditions should continue for the afternoons as well. There is a chance for early morning fog on Sunday, but that should clear by mid-morning and well before the new swell really starts to come on in the afternoon.
Stay tuned, we'll update the forecast as the storm develops and the swell spreads to Nazare over the next couple of days.
Next Update: Friday night, Dec 10th