The National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Warning for our north facing shores due to a very large north-northwest swell filling in through the day. The buoys have been showing some impressive long-period surf through the early morning hours varying from the northwest to north-northwest. Most of our exposed north and some northwest facing shores should see surf in the 12-18++ foot range while the outer reefs potentially pull in surf in the 25 foot range and above. Expect a lot of breaks to be closing out, but plenty of inside reef breaks should have some sweet late-season action. Upper West shores should be able to pull in 6-10+ foot surf depending on exposure. Although the windswell will stay on the small end today, some breaks exposed to the north-northwest and its wrapping swell could see surf in the 2-10? foot range. South facing shores may see surf in the 2-4 foot range later today at our better exposed breaks as a small to moderate south swell trys to fill in, potentially peaking at head-high levels Thursday. The large winter surf will continue through the next few days and it looks like we could see another similar swell arriving late in the weekend.

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15-20++ foot
6-10+ foot
2-4 foot
2-10? foot

Extended Surf Forecast

Hawaii Swell Height Model
Forecast for March 13th-15th
The North Pacific has had a string of low pressure cells marching across in a general west to east pattern over the past couple of days that continues with a strong and rapidly building low approaching the dateline today. The first of these swells will arrive at some point today at overhead levels that build to well overhead levels into Monday. Another reinforcement is expected Monday that should push the wave heights near or just above advisory levels while swinging to a more north-northwesterly direction. The third and largest swell in the series should arrive Tuesday, also from the north-northwest and this one is likely to raise the warning flags. There is some bad news though. First, the low is tracking rather quickly toward the east which will limit the fetch length. Second, the tradewinds are forecast to be howling beginning Wednesday so the conditions will not be very good. However, Tuesday should offer some great surf for the tow-in crews and plenty of inside breaks. High pressure will then fill in to dominate a large area northwest of Hawai`i that will push the storm track up against the Aleutian Islands through most of the forecast period. The long-range models are hinting toward yet another very powerful low developing later next week that has the potential of producing another very large swell, but it is too early for any confidence. Enjoy what we get, and keep your fingers crossed for more to come.

Hawaii Swell Period Model
A broad low in the South Pacific was able to aim a decent amount of energy toward the North Pacific last week that should offer Hawai`i a small to moderate south swell arriving around Wednesday. I don’t think we should expect anything building over chest-high levels, but some of the better summer breaks may see some better sets. This action should stick around for a few days and could see a small reinforcement around Saturday. This secondary swell was produced by a smaller and weaker low far east-southeast of New Zealand and probably won’t amount to much. The South Pacific will continue to be quite energetic through the forecast period, but the overal storm track won’t aim much toward Hawai`i other than background swell. Long-range forecasts suggest a fairly strong system tracking under Tasmania around the middle of next week with the potential of sending some energy up the Tasman Sea aimed toward Samoa, but Maui usually never sees any swell from this direction. More details to come as it develops.

Wind and Tide Information

The Maui Wind Report for today is: The strengthening tradewinds will build to moderately breezy levels today of 10-20 mph primarily out of the east and will continue to build above strong levels through the weekend. It is very likely that a wind advisory will be posted that could potentially be upgraded to a warning later Wednesday.

The Maui Tide Report for today is: High tide at Kahului was 2.2 foot at 12:08am shortly after midnight last evening, dropping to a low of 0.6 foot at 7:02am this morning, rising again to a high of 1.1 foot at 11:27am just before noon, then dropping through the afternoon to a low of -0.1 foot at 5:27pm early this evening, rising once again to a high of 2.3 foot at 12:39am after midnight.

Maui Weather

The Maui weather forecast is: Mostly sunny and quite breezy conditions with an isolated morning shower giving way to scattered windward and mauka showers later in the afternoon. High temperatures should be around 78-83° under moderately breezy tradewinds around 10-20 mph. Overall dry weather will continue through the day today as a ridge of high pressure squeezes drier than usual air over the state. This ridge should stay in place as another high pressure pushes in from the west. This scenario will build the tradewinds to strong levels lasting through at least the weekend, but the models show another high moving in north of the state later in the weekend which would keep the strong winds blowing well into next week. Shower activity should be rather minimal but may increase a bit later in the week and any showers that do fall would have a good chance of blowing over to leeward areas. All in all it looks like a dry and very windy week for the kiteboarders and windsurfers.

Photo of the Day

Surf Photo of the Day - March 15th 2011