Nazaré Update

The outlook remains positive for swell on Wednesday. The swell arrives in two simultaneous pulses, clearly separable in the morning on the latest forecast here.

For some locations we suspect this can be an issue affecting the final size, but for Praia do Norte there’s less of an issue – with the spot relying on the cross up of the refracted long period component it could even be a benefit. Regardless we’re looking at a significant swell event moving into the sort of range the Red Bull Mito contest is seeking.

The issues have been, and to some extent remain, the wind. You can see from the top chart that as this swell arrives a small, weaker spin off from the original storm hovers near the Portuguese coast. We have increasing confidence this morning that this’ll bring winds from the SE – a direction general favourable but still becoming an issue at the stort of strength we’re looking at in the afternoon. In addition to this the issue with smaller local storms is always that even a modest change in position can have a relatively dramatic effect on the direction and speed of the wind. Given the swell looks set to peak into the afternoon on Wednesday the presence of an increasingly strong wind and the possibility that there could be some room for change made it very hard to consider a competition involving an international call up over the weekend – particularly as there was relatively large variation at this stage in the different forecast models. The chart below shows the variation in this storms position on just one model over the last 48hrs for Midday on Wednesday:

You can see in all these instances the tendency is winds from the South but small changes in position move from a light southerly to a strong south easterly. Only modest further change would have been required to see fresh SW winds affecting conditions.

So we wait with interest to see how the wave works on Wednesday for the teams on the ground and keep eyes on the North Atlantic for the next significant swell.