The National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Warning for Maui’s north facing shores effective through 6am Sunday morning due to the arrival of an extra-large northwest swell today. This swell is expected to peak later in the day today with wave heights reaching over 20-30 foot at the best breaks and about half that size at the majority of the other breaks. There should still be plenty energy left over Sunday into the upcoming week and there is even more action expected next week. Another low is developing near the dateline this weekend, but it isn’t looking nearly as promising as previous model runs. Currently, it looks like its fetch will be aimed far northeast of the islands and we will only receive an edge pass when it arrives Tuesday. This will greatly decrease its potential, so we should only expect to see surf reaching moderate levels at best. Check back for updates, but it isn’t looking all the good right now. Looking further out, the models forecast a pair of lows forming well west of the dateline early next week. Although expected to follow a similar track to the one mentioned above, these should be able to send a bit more energy toward our shores, arriving in two phases beginning Friday and the second Saturday. It’s too early for estimating size, but moderate to large surf is likely. It’s still too early, but the long-range models hint toward a very strong nearby low that could produce very large surf overlapping into the weekend. Check back for updates throughout the week. The South Pacific is starting to show some life, but nothing good yet. The seasonal transition isn’t too far away.
North and northwest facing shores should rise into the 10-20+ foot range today with sets potentially exceeding 30 foot faces at the big-name breaks. Upper West shores should also see large surf in the 8-12+ foot range thanks to the extra north in this swell. East and northeast facing shores have minimal windswell at 1-3+ foot, but wrapping swell out of the north may offer large surf in select areas. South facing shores have no swell to mention and will remain flat at 0-2 foot. Be careful, and know your limits before paddling out.
Wind and Tide Information
Low tide at Kahului was 0.4 foot at 1:34 PM early this afternoon, rising to a high of 1.7 foot at 11:01 PM shortly before midnight, then dropping to a of foot at just after midnight, before once again of foot at just after midnight
The sunrise was at 06:38 am this morning and will set at 06:34 pm this evening. The Moon is currently 8 days old, and is in a Quarter phase. The next Waxing Gibbous will occur at 5:10 PM on Sunday, March 16th.
The tradewinds will strengthen to moderate levels of 10-20 mph today out of the northeast with a slow transition to a more easterly direction through Sunday. Some areas could feel stronger gusts. A slight decrease is anticipated Monday but then moderate to breezy northeasterly tradewinds are expected through next week.
Sunset: 6:33 PM
Weather Outlook for Saturday
A cold front near the Big Island will continue to bring clouds and precipitation to the state toady. Rainfall chances will remain highest along windward terrain. Trade winds will spread across the the state behind the front and will persist through most of next week. Another frontal system may reach the area next weekend. Large and hazardous surf is expected along north facing beaches through the weekend.
Even though much of the cloud band associated with the cold front is covering mainly the smaller islands early this morning, vertical wind profile data from radar on the Big Island suggested the front has already reached that island. The front did bring measurable precipitation to the smaller islands, though not enough pose any problem. Looks like Big Island will see the least of the rainfall amounts from this system. There are still moisture persisting across the island chain, and will provide some showers, especially for the windward and mountain areas today. The mid and high level clouds associated with the system are expected to slowly clear the state from the east later today, as the associated upper level trough moves east of the islands. Northerly winds behind the front will spread across the islands as well, and will turn more easterly as a surface high pressure currently northwest of the state moves east later today.
Trade wind weather is expected to return to the islands next week, with clouds and showers affecting mainly windward and mountain areas, while afternoon convection may affect the lee areas of the Big Island as well. Forecast charts still indicate an upper level trough will deepen east of the state beginning Tuesday, though its main axis will locate a little further east than earlier model runs. Therefore its effect on the islands weather will be limited, with possible enhanced rainfall for the state Monday and Tuesday. The strong upper level jet expected along the western flank of the deepening system may bring windy conditions to the Big Island summits as well.
Trade winds are expected to weaken a tad Monday, as the surface high pressure moves far northeast of the state. Another surface high pressure from the northwest will pass the islands later next week, and will provide stronger trade winds to the islands beginning Tuesday.
Model runs still suggest another frontal system will approach the state next weekend, bringing possible wet weather to the islands again. The difference with this pending system from the others is that it looks more like a shear line when it reaches the state, with the present of a strong surface high pressure system behind the front. Both the european model as well as GFS are in quite good agreement on this weather scenario. Therefore trade winds are expected to hold even as this system approaches the islands, and become rather strong over the state by the later part of next weekend.
Central Valley (Kahului, Spreckelsville):
Partly cloudy with scattered showers. Lows 62 to 67. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph and gusty. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Leeward West (Lahaina, Ka`anapali):
Partly cloudy. Isolated showers in the evening, then scattered showers after midnight. Lows 62 to 70. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Windward West (Wailuku, Waiehu):
HIGH SURF WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM HST SUNDAY. Partly sunny with scattered showers. Highs 66 to 78. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Windard Haleakala (Hana, Haiku, Makawao):
HIGH SURF WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM HST SUNDAY. Partly sunny. Scattered showers in the morning, then showers likely in the afternoon. Highs around 76 at the shore to around 61 at 5000 feet. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.
Leeward Haleakala (Kihei, Wailea, Makena):
Partly cloudy with isolated showers. Lows around 66 at the shore to around 49 at 5000 feet. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.
Mostly cloudy with scattered showers in the evening,then partly cloudy with isolated showers after midnight. Lows around 45 at 7000 feet to around 41 at the summit. Light winds. Chance of rain 50 percent.
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