Warning Level Swell to Peak at 35+ Feet Wednesday Afternoon
By Meteorologist Malika Dudley / Email: [email protected]
The National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Warning for the north facing shores of Maui and the north and west facing shores of Molokai through 6 a.m. Thursday. This warning replaces the advisory that was previously in effect in those areas.
Warning level surf is expected through Wednesday night and even into Thursday morning.
The National Weather Service wants to remind the public that waves this big can occasionally sweep across portions of beaches. Breaking waves may also impact harbors making navigating the harbor channel difficult and dangerous. Very strong breaking waves, significant shore break and dangerous longshore and rip currents are expected.
Conditions like these are life-threatening and all beachgoers are advised to listen to ocean safety personnel. If you are inexperienced in the water, refrain from entering the ocean.
A Small Craft Advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service for the ʻAlenuihāhā & Kaiwi channels along with Maui County windward waters through 6 a.m. Thursday for northeast winds at 10 to 20 knots and rough seas of 8 to 16 feet.
**Click directly on the images below to make them larger. Charts include: Maui County projected winds, forecasted swell direction, height & period, tides, a surface map and expected wave heights.**
North: Northwest swell expected to bring surf heights solidly 3 to 4x overhead with most spots closing out. Wave heights of up to 35 foot faces (or more) at outer reef breaks that refract well (like at Pe’ahi / Jaws) are expected at the peak of the swell. At Kalaupapa wave heights up to 25 feet are expected. The swell is expected to peak on Maui and Molokai in the afternoon.
West: Spots open to the swell are expected to get waves in the overhead range, maybe more, but inconsistent. Otherwise, breaks that don’t catch the swell are forecasted to get smaller surf at ankle high or flat.
South: Many areas will remain flat today.
Our current northwest swell is fading and an overlapping northwest swell is forecasted to help increase surf heights starting Wednesday morning and into the afternoon. We are looking at triple to even four times overhead or more at the best exposures. This swell is expected to peak Wednesday afternoon and hold at good size through at least Thursday morning. Swell begins to fade late Thursday into Friday.
A series of swells are expected over the weekend and into next week as well. Next on tap an advisory level swell out of the northwest for Saturday / Sunday. Another northwest swell is expected late next week with another large northwest swell due for next weekend. All dependent on how the storms actually end up developing. Will keep an eye on it.
Super small trace amounts of swell expected out of the SPAC. Not much to get excited about. Late in the weekend or early next week we could see a fun little boost.
Keep in mind, surf heights are measured on the face of the wave from trough to crest. Heights vary from beach to beach, and at the same beach, from break to break.