The NWS has downgraded the warning to a High Surf Advisory effective throught 6pm this evening as the current north-northwest swell rapidly fades. North and northwest facing shores should see surf in the 8-12 foot range, possibly higher at the best locations. Most breaks will come in a few feet smaller though. Upper West shores may see surf in the 3-5+ foot range although some spots may pick up a few larger sets. East facing shores should see surf in the 3-5+ foot range with increasing windswell into the weekend. The south swell isn’t looking too good at only 1-4 foot but may pick up a bit Thursday. Although the NNW swell is expected to weaken significantly, fun-sized surf should stick around for several days. The strong tradewinds will build a large windswell but local winds will also tear apart any chance for good conditions.

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8-12 foot
3-5+ foot
1-4 foot
3-5+ foot

Extended Surf Forecast

Hawaii Swell Height Model
Forecast for March 16th-18th
The northern jetstream is pushing the storm track well away from Hawai`i, from Japan up against the Aleutian Islands and then back into the Gulf of Alaska aimed toward northern California. This will limit our chances for surf through the next several days. The models continue to predict another strong low developing east of Japan that is expected to rapidly strengthen through Thursday before slamming into the central Aleutians Friday while setting up a broad fetch aimed somewhat toward Hawai`i, although much better toward the US Mainland. If all goes according to the models, we could see another large northwest swell arriving Sunday, potentially followed by smaller surf in the following days. It is still too early for confidence, but everything is looking good so far. The strong tradewinds both local and upstream will keep our east and northeast facing shores from going flat through the forecast period, likely hovering around head-high levels for quite some time. Of course the strong winds will also wreak havok on the surf conditions, but we get what we get.

Hawaii Swell Period Model
A small to moderate south swell is expected to arrive today along our summer shores, produced by a broad low far to the south of Hawai`i last week. We probably won’t see too much size today but Thursday may build to near head-high levels if we are lucky. Whatever does appear should stick around at small levels into the weekend, but we shouldn’t set our hopes high for anything. Another strong low in the South Pacific is building but it is way out of our swell window and isn’t worth mentioning. The models show a system tracking under Tasmania today that may be able to send some energy up the Tasman corridor but Maui doesn’t get much surf from this direction unless its huge. A low building over the weekend just off of Antarctica due south of New Zealand may be able to send some minor background swell about nine days later, but the odds are low. There isn’t much else to mention in the South Pac through the period.

Wind and Tide Information

The Maui Wind Report for today is: The strong and gusty tradewinds will peak later today but will stay strong through the rest of the week and weekend and likely the first half of next week. Wind speeds should be in the 20-30 mph range today out of the east. Gusts could be over 50 mph in some areas. A Wind Advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service effective through 6am Thursday morning.

The Maui Tide Report for today is: High tide at Kahului was 2.3 foot at 12:39am shortly after midnight last night, dropping to a low of 0.4 foot at 7:13am this morning, rising to a high of 1.4 foot at 12:22pm just after noon, then fading through the afternoon to a low of -0.2 foot at 6:20pm, rising through the evening to a high of 2.4 foot at 1:09am overnight.

Maui Weather

The Maui weather forecast is: Mostly sunny and quite windy conditions with scattered windward and mauka showers and possibly a stray leeward shower blown over the mountains. High temperatures should be in the 77-82° range under easterly winds of 20-30 mph gusting upwards of 50 mph in some areas. The very strong winds will be the main feature today, produced by strong high pressure passing by north of the state. Upper-level ridging should keep the atmosphere relatively stable through the forecast period, but leftover moisture from a dissipated front should increase the chance for rainfall over the weekend. The long-range forecast still calls for another round of strong tradewinds around the middle of next week, possibly stronger than the current round.

Photo of the Day

Surf Photo of the Day - March 16th 2011