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Waves up to 40 feet expected under high surf warning for north, west shores

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / FEBRUARY 2016
                                Large waves rolled into Waimea Bay during a large northwest swell in Pupukea on Oahu’s North Shore.

    STAR-ADVERTISER / FEBRUARY 2016

    Large waves rolled into Waimea Bay during a large northwest swell in Pupukea on Oahu’s North Shore.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service has extended its high surf warning to cover the west shores of Hawaii island.

A large swell is due to arrive tonight and is expected to quickly push surf heights above the warning level for the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, and Molokai; the north shores of Maui; and now the west shores of Hawaii island.

NWS previously issued a high surf advisory for the west shores of Hawaii island, but has not upgraded it to a high surf warning in anticipation of surf of 8 to 12 feet.

EARLIER TODAY

A high surf warning has been issued for the north and west shores of isles from Niihau to Maui, effective through 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The National Weather Service says a large, northwest swell that prompted the initial warning has peaked and will briefly drop below warning levels today, but will quickly rise again tonight when a new and larger swell arrives.

Surf along north shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai and Maui will range from 20 to 25 feet today but rise again tonight through Tuesday to a peak of 30 to 40 feet.

Surf along the west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai will range from 15 to 20 feet today, then increase from tonight through Tuesday, peaking in the 20- to-30-foot range.

Officials warn of ocean water occasionally sweeping across portions of beaches, very strong, breaking waves, and strong rip currents that make entering the waver very hazardous.

“Anyone entering the water could face significant injury or death,” the advisory warns.

A high surf advisory is in place for the west shores of Hawaii island, with waves of 6 to 8 feet, through 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Surf for other shores remains low, at 1 to 3 feet for south and east shores today and Tuesday.

Forecasters, meanwhile, say southwest winds will increase today as a weak front approaches from the northwest.

This front is expected to move down the island chain tonight and Tuesday, briefly boosting winds and shower activity. A short period of cool trade winds is expected behind the front.

Partly cloudy skies are expected for Kauai, and partly sunny skies for the rest of the isles, with highs from 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit today. Lows tonight dip to 63 to 68.

A small craft advisory is also in place for all windward waters, most channels and leeward Kauai waters through 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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