Strong trade winds will push surf to near advisory levels along east and northeast facing shores this weekend and early next week. Regardless of whether advisory criteria is met, surf will be rough along east facing shores for the next couple of days. The current northwest swell will continue to gradually diminish today, but a new small northwest swell is expected on Sunday, followed by a similarly-sized small northwest swell on Tuesday. A long-period south-southwest swell will begin to arrive late this weekend and peak around Tuesday, then slowly diminish through the week. Surf along south facing shores is expected to approach advisory levels during the peak of the swell but surf heights along Maui’s south shores may not reach quite that high. Although nothing significant is expected through the forecast period, there should be plenty surf to play on through the week.
Today’s Surf Summary
North and northwest facing shores should still offer surf in the 2-5+ foot range mixed with larger but rough windswell, rising into Sunday. Upper West shores may see smaller surf around 1-4 foot. East and northeast facing shores should have rising surf in the 3-5+ foot range building near advisory levels Sunday. South facing shores should see surf in the 1-3+ foot range Saturday, but larger surf is expected to fill in Sunday, possibly reaching head-high levels or more by Monday.
Wind and Tide Information
High tide at Kahului was 1.9 foot at 1:51 AM late last night, dropping to a low of -0.5 foot at 8:08 AM this morning, then rising to a high of 2.4 foot at 2:48 PM early this afternoon, before once again dropping to a low of 0.3 foot at 8:55 PM early this evening
The sunrise was at 06:02 am this morning and will set at 06:47 pm this evening. The Moon is currently 29 days old, and is in a New Moon phase. The next Waxing Crescent will occur at 7:43 AM on Friday, March 27th.
Moderately fresh east to east-northeasterly tradewinds will continue around 15-25 mph with gusts reaching near 40 mph in some areas. A slight increasing trens should be expected through the weekend and the first half of the upcoming week, fading to more moderate levels later in the week.
Sunset: 6:45 PM
Weather Outlook for Saturday
Strong high pressure north of the islands will supply breezy trade winds into the middle of next week. The trade winds will focus clouds and showers over windward slopes and coasts, but as the atmosphere becomes increasingly stable this weekend, shower coverage should decrease, with just a few brief windward showers into early next week. Typical trade wind weather is expected for most of next week, although a disturbance to the northwest may bring a wetter pattern, and southeast winds, toward the second half of the week.
Currently, breezy trade winds are being supplied by a 1033 mb surface high centered about 1700 miles northeast of the islands. Latest satellite images show scattered to broken randomly distributed showery low clouds approaching the islands from the east, with radar also detecting orographically-induced showers along and just to the lee of most windward slopes. Water vapor imagery shows that the mid and upper level portions of the island atmosphere have become drier over the past 12 hours, as a trough aloft exits to the northeast and a ridge builds in from the northwest. Overnight soundings also reflect a trend toward increasing stability, with warming mid-level temperatures at PHTO, but still a somewhat elevated inversion base. For today, the expectation is that windward coasts will receive a few showers this morning, while windward slopes, and areas immediately leeward, will receive more in the way of morning showers, as the terrain squeezes out the available moisture. A diminishing trend in shower coverage is expected in the afternoon.
The forecast calls for the high to the northeast to remain nearly stationary today, then to shift southwest and slowly weaken on Sunday and Monday. At the same time, a large low now passing far north of the area will move north into Alaska, and a new high will build northwest of the islands. This high will strengthen north of the islands Sunday and Monday, and then remain strong as it shifts into the northeast Pacific Tuesday and Wednesday. Thus look for trades to remain on the high side through early next week, trending up tonight through Sunday. A mid-level ridge will build over the islands over the next 12-36 hours, which will lead to lowering inversion heights. While this will help to minimize shower coverage and intensity, it is also expected to lead to locally strong wind gusts as the low level winds interact with the terrain and the strong atmospheric cap. So we can expect strong trade winds and decreasing showers, but a relatively high pop/low qpf regime is expected to persist over windward slopes.
Latest models are consistent in depicting that the flow aloft over the central Pacific will become highly amplified by mid-week, but still differ significantly as to how this pattern evolves. The amplified flow will lead to the development of a cut-off low northwest of the islands early next week. As this low moves south, the ridge aloft over the islands will shift east, with model differences hinging on how far east the low moves. If it stays farther to the west as ECMWF indicates, the islands remain in a strong and stable trade wind flow, with the winds veering only slightly to the east-southeast. If the low moves farther to the east as GFS indicates, local winds could shift to the southeast or south, and instability associated with the low could bring heavy showers from late in the week into next weekend. The official forecast has been nudged to more closely resemble the ECMWF solution, which is also supported by climatology. Thus the forecast calls for winds to veer to the ESE by mid-week, remaining rather strong through the end of the week, with a typical trade wind distribution of clouds and showers.
Central Valley (Kahului, Spreckelsville):
Mostly clear. Breezy. Lows 62 to 68. Northeast winds 10 to 25 mph.
Leeward West (Lahaina, Ka`anapali):
Windy. Mostly clear with isolated showers. Lows 63 to 71. East winds 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.
Windward West (Wailuku, Waiehu):
Breezy. Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Lows 56 to 69. East winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Windard Haleakala (Hana, Haiku, Makawao):
Mostly cloudy. Breezy. Scattered showers in the evening, then showers likely after midnight. Lows around 68 at the shore to around 52 at 5000 feet. East winds 10 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.
Leeward Haleakala (Kihei, Wailea, Makena):
Mostly clear. Lows around 66 at the shore to 53 to 59 upcountry. East winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 35 mph.
Breezy. Partly cloudy with isolated showers. Lows around 44 at the visitor center to around 38 at the summit. East winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.
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