Big Surf and Big Rain

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The South Shore of Maui and the rest of the Hawaiian Islands are experiencing an unusually large late season swell. There is a high surf warning with wave heights expected to peak at somewhere between 10 and 15 feet overnight. The waves should stay close to that height through Monday before slowly diminishing on Monday evening. High Surf warnings have been relatively rare over the last few years for the Southern Shores of Hawaii. This one is particularly unusual in that it is well past the peak of the surf season for the southern shores. It would be far more typical for us to be having High Surf Advisories or Warnings on Northern and Western Shores at this time of year. In addition to the big surf, we are experiencing our first Kona low of the season. Kona lows are winter storms that come out of the North Pacific. As the low pressure systems approach Hawaii, they draw tropical moisture up from areas south of Hawaii. These systems can produce heavy rain for all of the island. These storms are important in that they provide the primary source of moisture for the typically arid leeward sides of the island. We had only one true Kona storm last winter. The result was dry to drought conditions for much of the island. While we had a soggy Sunday, the moisture is going to help restore parched water sheds. The rain didn’t due much to deter surfers. I saw good crowds of people enjoying the late season surf from Ma’alaea to Lahaina.

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