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Waves expected to reach up to 45 feet as surfers wait on Pipeline


    High surf at Ke Iki Beach on the north shore of Oahu.

With high surf expected to build 35 to 45 feet tonight along the north shores of most isles, a surf competition is also gearing up at Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore.

Da Hui Backdoor Shootout kicked off Dec. 30 and has been in a waiting period since the start of the year.

The competition honoring surf legend Duke Kahanamoku draws Hawaii’s top watermen, including defending champion Koa Rothman, Makua Rothman, Jamie O’Brian, Kealii Mamala, John John Florence and Mason Ho to surf their best at Backdoor, Pipeline and Off The Wall.

The National Weather Service extended a high surf warning this morning for the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai, and for the north-facing shores of Maui, until 6 p.m. Sunday.

Forecasters say surf should briefly subside below warning levels today before rising again late tonight through Saturday to 35 to 45 feet along the north and west shores of Niihau and Kauai, and the north shores of Oahu, Molokai, and Maui; and hit 23 to 32 feet along the west shores of Oahu and Molokai.

The warning-level surf should peak Saturday afternoon and evening, slowly tapering off through Sunday afternoon, weather officials said.

For the north-facing shores of Hawaii island, surf is expected to drop to near minimal advisory levels today and this evening, but then is expected to rise well above advisory levels, possibly to near or above warning levels, late tonight and Saturday, continuing through at least Sunday afternoon.

A high surf advisory remains in effect for the north-facing shores of Hawaii island through 6 p.m. Sunday. Forecasters expect surf up to 10 to 15 feet along affected shores.

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