Black Swell: huge surf hit the Azores Islands | Photo: António Araújo

The "Black Swell" is hitting the UK, Ireland, and Portugal. Huge waves have been spotted as the storm passes through the Azores Islands and heads to Continental Europe.

The black fetch is wide, fast, and furious. The swell charts don't lie. The eye of the storm is larger than the territory of France, and the wave period reaches 25 seconds.

While the Eastern American surfers face record-breaking low temperatures, the Old Continent gets ready for the worst hours of the last decade, at least in the coastal regions.

Winter Storm Hercules is responsible for swells in excess of 60 feet.

The Azores Islands have already felt the power of the Atlantic, with massive walls of water hitting the Portuguese archipelago during the weekend.

"The biggest storm I have seen on maps," says Maya Gabeira, the stunt woman who has ridden the largest wave ever by a female surfer at Praia do Norte, Nazaré.

This historic swell comes with heavy rain and winds blowing in the 40-knot mark.

On Sunday, January 5, 2014, a few big wave surfers tasted the power of the "Black Swell" in the iconic surf town of Peniche.

The British Islands are suffering the worst floods in decades. Strong winds, persistent rain, and tidal surges are synonyms of ultra-low pressures.

Only experienced big-wave surfers may hit the waves. Protect yourself from the huge swell, and stay away from the incoming waves.

Check the wave height forecast for the Atlantic, Portugal, and the British Islands.

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