Warning Level Swell Maintains Wave Heights Today
By Meteorologist Malika Dudley / Email: [email protected]
A High Surf Warning is in effect for the north facing shores of Moloka’i and Maui (20 to 30 foot faces) and the west side of Moloka’i (15 to 20 feet) through 6:00 p.m. Wednesday. Expect ocean water occasionally sweeping across portions of beaches, very strong breaking waves and strong longshore and rip currents. Breaking waves may occasionally impact harbors making navigating the harbor channel difficult. Large breaking surf, significant shore break and dangerous currents will make entering the water very hazardous. Boaters should be aware of an increased number of surfers in the water.
A Small Craft Advisory is posted for all Maui County waters (except Māʻalaea Bay) through 6:00 p.m. Wednesday for southwest winds of 20 to 25 knots and rough seas up to 16 feet. Inexperienced mariners should avoid navigating in these conditions.
A Gale Warning is posted for all off shore waters.
**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: Double to triple overhead waves are expected. The best breaks open to the swell (and that can handle it) are expected to possibly be four times overhead on the sets. Conditions are not ideal.
West: Spots open to the west-northwest swell could see wave heights of about head high to overhead. The best breaks could see sets in the double overhead range. Otherwise, breaks that don’t catch the swells, and / or are shadowed from them, are forecasted to get smaller surf at ankle to knee high.
South: Choppy and sloppy west-southwest wind swell mixed with small south swell energy expected to produce waves from ankle to waist high.
Our current swell is expected to remain near or above warning levels through Wednesday. Thursday the swell becomes more broad with more northerly influence (290°-340°). Conditions aren’t looking great with unfavorable winds expected and the blend of swell energy is likely to lead to disorganized and messy surf.
If the storm develops as models are indicating, the next west-northwest swell is expected next week (18/19th).
A recent storm near New Zealand is expected to bring some fun knee to waist high waves for southern exposures Thursday and Friday.
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.