Big Surf and Clear Skies

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The holiday weekend looks like it will have beautiful weather on Maui. We should see mostly sunny skies with a few clouds on the windward sides of the island. Highs will be an about perfect 82 degrees. We have been in a high surf advisory on the North Shore over the last couple of days and the high surf will continue through Christmas. Wave heights will be peaking between 15 and twenty feet on the faces. This is the time of year when we should expect those large to giant swells that draw big wave riders from around the world.

Pat Caldwell of the National Weather Service had a long term forecast for big surf in today’s National Weather Service Hawaii surf forecast. Here is an excerpt from his forecast.

The latest north Pacific models suggest a high to low-end extra-large surf episode next Thursday into Friday under moderate trades. Models of the jet stream out 15 days show a pattern with numerous surf episodes locally at a similar height level with about a 3 day spacing on average between the arrival of new events. Climatologically, at least one day of giant surf is expected over a given 15-day period this time of year. Into the longer range, or seasonal forecast, observations suggest a moderate El Nino presently occurring and slowly weakening into the spring. Past Januaries with moderate El Ninos had above average number of days with giant surf, which means significant outer reef breakers and waves breaking outside Waimea bay at least across to the middle of the bay, in 1969 and 2003, about double the average which is 3 days. However, there have been januaries with moderate El Ninos (1987 and 1995) when the number of days of giant surf was close to the average. By February, the average number of days of giant surf is one, and the above years had zero except for 1987 which had two. All of the above means we are likely to be fairly close to the average or about 4 days of giant surf in January through February. The El Nino years (1995 and 2003) did have above average number of days of anti-trades, or konas, that is, winds from SW to NW in January. Since this El Nino is expected to linger, the above average number of days with Kona winds should continue into early March this year.

Huge Jaws

Based on Pat’s comments, it sounds like we have a decent chance of seeing Jaws do it’s thing along the cliffs of Haiku sometime in January.

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