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Huge swell could bring surf up to 40 feet to north, west shores of smaller islands today

  • STAR-ADVERTISER FILE
                                Beachgoers stayed well away from the shorebreak as high surf hit Oahu’s North Shore at Sunset Beach.

    STAR-ADVERTISER FILE

    Beachgoers stayed well away from the shorebreak as high surf hit Oahu’s North Shore at Sunset Beach.

UPDATE: 3:25 p.m.

A high surf warning is now in effect for north- and west-facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, and Molokai, and north-facing shores of Maui. West shores of the Big Island are also impacted.

Forecasters predict dangerously large breaking waves of 25 to nearly 40 feet on Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai. Waves of 22 to 26 feet are expected along the north shores of Maui, and Hawaii island is anticipated to see waves between 8 to 12 feet.

The warning expires at 6 p.m. Saturday.

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A high surf warning has been issued for the north and west shores of isles from Niihau to Hawaii island, starting at 6 p.m. today.

The warning covers the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, and Molokai, the north shores of Maui and west shores of Hawaii island through 6 p.m. Saturday.

The National Weather Service says “dangerously, large, breaking waves” of 25 to nearly 40 feet are expected along the north and west shores of Kauai County, Oahu and Molokai due to a large, west-northwest swell arriving today.

Surf of 22 to 26 feet is expected along the north shores of Maui, and surf of 8 to 12 feet is expected along the west shores of Hawaii island.

“Expect ocean water occasionally sweeping across portions of beaches, very strong breaking waves, and strong longshore and rip currents,” NWS said in its warning. “Breaking waves may occasionally impact harbors, making navigating the harbor channel dangerous.”

The breaking surf and dangerous currents will make entering the water very hazardous, said the warning, and anyone doing so could face significant injury or death.

In addition, overwash will impact vulnerable, low-lying coastal roadways, NWS said, particularly during peak high tide times around midnight.

Gale force winds are pushing the swell towards the state, according to weather forecasters, with forerunners already reaching northwest buoys this morning.

The swell is expected to arrive in Kauai during early afternoon hours, then make its way to Oahu and Maui during mid- to late-afternoon hours.

Surf for south and east shores are expected to rise from 2 to 4 feet today to 3 to 5 feet Friday.

A small craft advisory has also been issued for all waters northwest of Kauai to windward of Hawaii island, effective from 6 p.m. today to 6 p.m. Saturday.

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