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60 Foot Surf, Coastal Flooding Possible

February 8, 2019, 9:14 AM HST · Updated February 8, 9:39 AM
Wendy Osher · 123 Comments
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Surf of up to 60 feet is forecast on Sunday as an unusually strong storm system moves toward the islands from the north over the weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement saying the storm will send a powerful swell toward the islands that will impact exposed north and west facing shores with very high surf.

Additionally, the combination of strong onshore winds and high surf will increase the potential for significant coastal flooding, according to the NWS.

A high surf warning remains in place for the north and west facing shores of Molokaʻi and the north facing shores of Maui until 6 a.m. on Monday.   The long-period NW swell will spread down the island chain with surf of 20 to 30 feet expected today, 25 to 35 feet on Saturday and 40 to 60 feet on Sunday along north facing shores.

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The NWS says, “A deepening low pressure system approaching the state from the north on Saturday will produce giant disorganized waves, and could cause unprecedented coastal flooding from late Saturday through Sunday along exposed north and west facing shores. Extreme harbor surges
are also expected in north and west facing harbors this weekend.”

The NWS reminds the public that inexperienced individuals should remain off beaches and adjacent beachfront areas as shorebreak and dangerous currents make entering the water extremely hazardous.

There’s also extremely high winds forecast for this weekend (Feb. 9 and 10, 2019) at the summit of Haleakalā on Maui.  The National Park Service issued an advisory today that they may close the Summit District of Haleakalā National Park to high-aspect vehicles (trucks, buses and vans) or to all vehicles with minimal notice. Closures will be implemented to protect visitor and employee safety.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 15 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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