Maui Surf

New NW Begins to Build Late, Pe’ahi Swell on Horizon

December 18, 2014, 6:00 AM HST
* Updated December 18, 9:58 AM
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Ho’okipa yesterday / Image: Jack Dugan

By Meteorologist Malika Dudley / Email: [email protected]

Alerts

A High Surf Advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service for a building northwest swell. The advisory is in effect from 4:00 p.m. today through 6:00 p.m. Friday for the north facing shores of Maui and Moloka’i. Wave heights of 12 to 16 foot faces are expected.

Expect strong breaking waves, shore break and strong longshore and rip currents making swimming difficult and dangerous.

A Small Craft Advisory is posted through 6 p.m. Friday for the Pailolo and ʻAlenuihāhā channels as well as Maʻalaea Bay. Rough seas up to 15 feet and east winds of 25 to 30 knots are forecasted. Inexperienced mariners should avoid navigating in these conditions.

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**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.**

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Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 5.28.00 PMMaui County Surf Forecast,  Thursday, December 18

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North: Surf heights are expected up to head high today possibly bigger for the best breaks exposed to the swells. Late in the day we could see some energy from a new northwest beginning to build.

West: Spots open to the swells that are wrapping are expected to get waves up to maybe waist high but probably less. Otherwise, breaks that don’t catch the swell, and / or are shadowed from it, are forecasted to get smaller surf at ankle high or flat.

South: Fading out of season south swell brings ankle to knee high waves for southern shores open to the swell. Best breaks could see a waist high set from time to time.

Our current small heavily shadowed northwest swell will continue to fade Thursday.

A new advisory level west-northwest is expected to fill in Thursday evening and peak on Friday morning double to triple overhead on the sets at the best breaks. Outer reef breaks that can handle larger waves may possibly see occasionally bigger waves on the sets, but inconsistent (10-15 foot faces with possible plusses). By Friday evening the swell will be dropping. Saturday will see waves half as big.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 5.28.15 PMAnother, bigger, west-northwest swell is expected to build and peak on Sunday but coincide with the passage of a front. Mid-week another shot of energy out of the northwest is forecasted to build in as well.

An out of season south swell that brought a fun little boost the last couple of days will linger but continues to slowly fade through the work week. Another small boost is due in Saturday bringing waist to chest high waves. Otherwise, nothing significant is expected out of the SPAC.

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.  

**Click here for your detailed Maui County weather report.**

Image: NOAA / NWS

Image: NOAA / NWS

Image: NOAA / NWS

Image: NOAA / NWS

Image: NOAA / NWS

Image: NOAA / NWS

Image: NOAA / NWS

Image: NOAA / NWS

Image: NOAA / NWS

Image: NOAA / NWS

Image: NOAA / NWS

Image: NOAA / NWS

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