A large swell spreading from northwest to southeast down the Hawaiian islands Tuesday through tonight threatens to bring surf up to 35 feet, prompting weather officials to issue a high surf warning for the north- and west-facing shores of most isles.
The warning covers the north- and west-facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai, and north-facing shores of Maui, and is in effect from noon Tuesday for Kauai County and from 6 p.m. for other areas — to 6 p.m. on Thursday.
“This will be a long-duration, high-surf event, due to an extended period of strong wave generating winds being directed at the islands, and surf will likely remain at or above advisory levels through Friday night in many areas,” weather officials said in a statement.
Surf along the north and west shores of Kauai County and the north shores of Oahu, Maui and Molokai is expected to peak at 25 to 35 feet tonight and Wednesday, lowering to 20 to 25 feet Thursday morning.
Officials warn that ocean water is expected to surge, sweeping across beaches, coastal benches and lava flows, creating the potential for impacts to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways. Powerful longshore and rip currents will be present at most beaches, which will make entering the water very dangerous.
Officials warn that anyone entering the ocean in these areas could face significant injury or death.
Large breaking waves and strong currents may also impact harbor entrances and channels, creating challenging conditions for the handling of boats.
A warning has also been issued for mariners, who are advised that the swell may produce surges and large, breaking waves at northwest facing harbor entrances, such as at Haleiwa, Oahu and Kahului, Maui.
A high surf advisory, meanwhile, has been issued for the north- and west-facing shores of the Big Island, in effect from midnight tonight through noon Thursday.
Surf along the shores of Kona and the Big Island’s north and east shores is expected to build to 10 to 15 feet along exposed north-facing shores, and 6 to 10 feet along exposed west-facing shores.
The World Surf League’s Vans World Cup is off for the day, with the next call scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
However, this week’s swell is not big enough to run the Eddie Big Wave Invitational, according to an event official.