UPDATE: Record-Breaking XXL Swell Set for the North Sea

Jason Lock

by on

Updated 8d ago

  • Not a drill; record-breaking swell on the way for the North Sea.
  • North East UK to see colossal surf.
  • Norway, Holland, Belgium forecasts look promising.
  • More updates as this swell develops.
  • Update: Wednesday April 7 2021: This record-breaking swell in the North Sea has started to blast its way in a southerly direction, offering up waves to a variety of locales along the way.

    The good days are still to come though, as they storm rolls from the northern UK down towards Denmark and Germany. "A record-breaking area of high pressure of 1080 mb or more over Greenland, together with a strong low pressure system northwest of Norway, were the driving factors behind the current North Sea swell," says MSW forecaster about the origins of this unusual system.

    Our North Sea swell chart as of this morning. As you can see, this long finger of swell is stretching southwards and should set off a number of countries along the way.

    Our North Sea swell chart as of this morning. As you can see, this long finger of swell is stretching southwards and should set off a number of countries along the way.

    "A large, persistent area of northerly winds between the two systems began to generate a huge swell on Monday, April 5. The bulk of the swell hit the Faeroe Islands and Shetland on Monday with wave heights over 30 feet and horrendous conditions, while, at the same time, areas further south were receiving a weaker, wind-driven swell. Yesterday though, a more solid pulse of swell propagated down the North Sea, driven by a squeeze in pressure gradients from a small disturbance that ran down the coast of Norway. Wave heights at exposed spots in the northeast of England exceeded 10 feet, with strong northwest winds.

    "And then today, as pressure begins to build over England, local conditions are improving with winds expected to swing back around to the west and ease off by the end of the day. Wave heights are still at least eight feet at exposed spots. Tomorrow, Thursday, sees good local conditions in moderate west or southwest winds and wave heights steadily decreasing throughout the day.

    EARLIER: Forget the date – this isn't not April Fools joke. A record-breaking swell is currently brewing and could deliver XL swell to the north east of the UK and Scandinavian countries from Tuesday next week.

    A colossal 15ft@15 seconds swell is currently on the charts, rifling in from a northerly direction. With that amount of swell on the cards, it looks like some of spots in the North Sea will be all-time.

    Our at a glance report for the north east of the UK. As you can see, things are about to get solid.

    Our at a glance report for the north east of the UK. As you can see, things are about to get solid.

    “The North Atlantic forecast charts for this weekend show high pressure over Greenland and low pressure around Svalbard, with a very strong passage of northerly winds in between,” says MSW forecaster Tony Butt.

    “The low is quite a strong feature, but, in this case, it is the high over the Greenland Ice Sheet that is the dominating factor, with some models suggesting record-breaking levels of atmospheric pressure, perhaps hitting 1080 mb or more.

    “Late in the weekend and into early next week, the west-east pressure gradient persists, with that northerly airstream generating a huge pulse of swell. The swell will principally affect Faeroe, the Scottish Isles and northern Scotland, but with hell-like local conditions in storm-force northerlies and wave heights over 30 feet in many places.

    Could we see Holland switch on too?

    Could we see Holland switch on too?

    © 2021 - Michal Pelka.

    “The swell propagates down the North Sea, reaching the east coast of England by Tuesday with wave heights expected around ten feet or so and strong northwest winds. The North-Sea coasts of Denmark, Germany, Holland and Belgium with also receive swell, but mostly accompanied by onshore winds.”

    We'll be bringing you updates and images as this thing fires through. Stay tuned.