National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Surf Forecast for Oahu  Issued: 01/18/2020 03:30:52 AM HST

Surf Discussion for Oahu  Issued: 01/17/2020 02:23:48 PM HST


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SRFHFO

SURF ZONE FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HONOLULU HI
330 AM HST SAT JAN 18 2020

OAHU-
330 AM HST SAT JAN 18 2020

Surf along north facing shores will be 8 to 12 feet through tonight, then will increase to 10 to 14 feet Sunday afternoon.

Surf along west facing shores will be 4 to 6 feet through tonight, then will increase to 6 to 10 feet Sunday afternoon.

Surf along east facing shores will be 3 to 5 feet through Sunday.

Surf along south facing shores will be 1 to 3 feet through Sunday.

Outlook through Saturday January 25: A new north-northwest swell arriving early Sunday may cause surf to reach the High Surf Advisory criteria along north and west facing shores by Sunday night. This swell will gradually lower from Monday through Tuesday. An even larger northwest swell is possible by mid-week, which may cause surf to approach the High Surf Warning thresholds along north and west facing shores from late Wednesday into Thursday. Expect moderate choppy surf along east facing shores into early next week. Small south-southwest swells will maintain background surf along south facing shores through mid-week.

Surf heights are forecast heights of the face, or front, of waves. The surf forecast is based on the significant wave height, the average height of the one third largest waves, at the locations of the largest breakers. Some waves may be more than twice as high as the significant wave height. Expect to encounter rip currents in or near any surf zone.


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SRDHFO

COLLABORATIVE NEARSHORE SWELL AND WIND FORECAST FOR OAHU
NWS/NCDDC HONOLULU HI
223 PM HST FRI JAN 17 2020

This collaborative forecast will be updated Monday through Friday at 300 PM when Pat Caldwell is available.

FORECAST
DATE
SWL
HGT
DMNT
DIR
DMNT
PD
H
1/3
H
1/10
HGT
TEND

PROB
WIND
SPD
WIND
DIR
SPD
TEND
1PM
01/17
8N846UP17-21NNEUP
4ENE934DOWN
SAT
01/18
10N10810DOWNMED17-21NESAME
7NE724UPLOW
SUN
01/19
3N1035DOWNLOW17-21NESAME
7NNW151216UPLOW
7NE846UPLOW
MON
01/20
7NNW141216DOWNLOW13-19EDOWN
6NE835DOWNLOW
TUE
01/21
5NNW11610DOWNLOW9-13EDOWN
4NE824DOWNLOW
WED
01/22
3N1035DOWNLOW7-10ESAME
8NW181622UPLOW

LEGEND:

SWL HGTOpen ocean swell height measured from trough to crestin feet located 20 nautical miles offshore
DMNT DIRDominant direction typically +/-10 degrees in 16 compasspoints
DMNT PDDominant period in seconds
H1/3Significant wave height in the surf zone
H1/10Average height in the highest one-tenth waves in the surfzone
HGT TENDHeight tendency of swell (valid values: UP/DOWN/SAME)
PROBProbability of occurrence (valid values: HIGH/MED/LOW)
WIND SPDOpen water wind speed measured in knots located20 nautical miles offshore
WIND DIRWind direction in 16 compass points
SPD TENDWind speed tendency (valid values: UP/DOWN/SAME)

Compass & Swell Shadow Lines for Hawaii

Oahu Surf Climatology

Surf heights will vary between different beaches and at the same beach at different break areas.

DISCUSSION: SUMMARY:. North shores returning to winter.

DETAILED:. Mid Friday on northern shores has choppy breakers at levels below the seasonal average. Short-period breakers are expected to hold on Saturday below average.

Near gales over the 330-360 degree band followed a SE-pushing front 1/15-16 NW to N of Hawaii. ASCAT satellite images Wednesday night and Thursday morning showed a wide, long fetch of near gales nosing to within 500 nm. Closer to Hawaii 1/16-17, winds favored strong levels. The front passed through Oahu Friday morning 1/17. The upstream source to the NNW to N is rapidly fading, as the winds to the N to NNE of Hawaii begin to favor NNE to NE.

Short-period breakers from 330-360 degrees are building mid day. The event should peak just before sunrise Saturday. Given the long, wide fetch, surf should hold on Saturday with only a slow downward trend from 330-360 degrees. Heights should drop much more abruptly Sunday as this event fades and a new longer-period event fills in.

A low gained severe-gale status near 50N on the Date Line 1/16. The 980 mb low is tracking east 1/17 as the fetch aims seas 25-30' at targets just NE of Hawaii and mostly 20-25' at Hawaii beyond 1500 nm away. It should be east of the Hawaii swell window late Saturday.

Long-period swell are predicted to rise mid day Sunday from 320-340 degrees. The event should climb above average in the late afternoon. The peak of the event is predicted pre-dawn Monday from 320-350 degrees. It should hold above average Monday then drop below average Tuesday before fading out Wednesday from 320-360 degrees.

A new low pressure is developing SE of Tokyo 1/17. Models show it gaining storm-force 1/18 near 155E as it tracks east along 40N. It is expected to reach the Date Line early Monday 1/20. Models show the storm-force system continuing east to a position north of Hawaii late Tuesday. This long track will result in a wide swell directional band as it affects Hawaii. Forerunners are due mid day Wednesday with heights climbing above average late afternoon from 290-320 degrees. See the long range below for more comments.

Mid Friday on eastern shores has subsiding breakers from 60-90 degrees, which are due to fade Saturday. More northerly exposures of the east side will trend aforementioned.

Surface high pressure near 32N, 170W NNW of Hawaii 1/17 is modelled to move slowly east over the weekend to a position NE of Hawaii late Monday. The upstream fetch to the NE to ENE is expected to be short so the dominant wave period should remain on the low end, resulting in surf topping out near the trade windswell average for Sunday from 30-60 degrees. Heights should trend down from 40-70 degrees on Monday into Tuesday. Heights should be at an east side minimum by Wednesday 1/22.

Mid Friday on southern shores has near nil breakers. Similar surf is expected on Saturday.

No deep water swell beyond 1' is expected this period, with any low background surf most likely out of the Tasman from 208-220 degrees 1/18-20.

Into the long range, models show tropical cyclone Tino in the SW tropical Pacific 1/17 becoming extratropical while maintaining gales east of New Zealand 1/20-21 as it continues on a SE track. This could bring surf from 180-195 degrees out of the winter slumber locally around 1/27-29. It is too early for size specifics.

The north shore should build well above average Wednesday night 1/22 with a peak centered from 320 degrees Thursday, but energy spread from 290-350 degrees.

Models show a new low pressure system gaining winter-caliber strength 1/21 off the Kuril Islands. It is modelled to occluded near the Date Line 1/23 at hurricane-force. It should send surf locally late Friday into Saturday 1/24-25 to extra- large levels, meaning high enough for breakers on outer reefs. It is expected to be centered from 320 degrees while spread within 300-330 degrees.

Windswell out of 60-90 degrees is predicted to be near a minimum 1/24-26.

Long range forecasts are subject to low confidence.

This collaborative forecast will resume on Tuesday, January 21.

This forecast was produced through the collaborative efforts of NWS and NCEI. Please send suggestions to w-hfo.webmaster@noaa.gov or call the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at 808-973-5275.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: See https://www.weather.gov/hfo/marine

NWS Forecaster and NCEI Pat Caldwell

Additional Resources:

Waimea Buoy Mokapu Point Buoy Kaumalapau SW Lanai Buoy Barbers Point, Kalaeloa Buoy Pauwela, Maui Hilo Bay Buoy Kaneohe Bay Buoy Hanalei Kauai Buoy Pearl Harbor Entrance
Buoy 51001 Buoy 51101 Buoy 51000 Buoy 51100 Buoy 51002 Buoy 51003 Buoy 51004

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