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High surf warning in place for all Hawaiian isles through New Year’s morning

Nina Wu

Breezy tradewinds, mild temperatures and huge surf are gracing the islands on the last day of 2019.

High surf is expected on the north and west facing shores of all Hawaiian isles through the first day of 2020.

A high surf warning remains in place for north and west shores of isles from Niihau to Molokai, and north shores of Maui, in effect through 6 a.m. New Year’s Day.

The National Weather Service has also issued a high surf warning for the west shores of Kona, and a high surf advisory for west-facing shores of Kohala on Hawaii island, through 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Surf of 30 to 40 feet is expected along north and west shores of Niihau and Kauai today before lowering to 22 to 30 feet tonight.

Surf of 25 to 35 feet is expected along north shores of Oahu, Molokai and Maui today before lowering to 20 to 28 feet tonight.

Surf of 18 to 26 feet is expected along west shores of Oahu and Molokai today before lowering to 14 to 20 feet tonight.

On Kona, surf of 10 to 16 feet is expected through tonight. On Kohala, where there is a high surf advisory, surf of 8 to 10 feet is expected through tonight.

“Expect ocean water to surging over the coastline, creating the potential for damage to coastal properties and infrastructure,” said the advisory. “Powerful currents will be present at most beaches. Large breaking waves and strong currents may impact harbor entrances causing challenging boat handling. Anyone entering the water could face death.”

Officials also warn the public to “stay well away from the water’s edge along the affected shorelines,” as well as to “use extreme caution when launching or landing boats along the affected coasts.”

The public should ensure that boats are hauled well away from the shore.

A small craft advisory for most waters remains in effect until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Forecasters say moderate to breezy tradewinds are expected to remain for one more day.

Today’s highs should be from 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, with breezy trades of 20 to 25 miles per hour. Lows tonight are from 66 to 71 degrees, with east to southeast winds of 10 to 20 mph.

On Wednesday, the winds weaken to light and variable due to a cold front approaching from the northwest.

A high wind warning has also been issued for the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, with winds from the northeast to east of 35 to 60 miles per hour, and gusts up to 70 miles per hour, expected through 6 p.m. today.

“Winds this strong can make walking or driving dangerous and forcefully slam doors,” said the advisory.

Travel to the summits should be postponed until the winds subside.

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