National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Surf Forecast for Oahu  Issued: 02/23/2020 03:49:45 AM HST

Surf Discussion for Oahu  Issued: 02/21/2020 02:12:59 PM HST


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SURF ZONE FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HONOLULU HI
349 AM HST SUN FEB 23 2020

OAHU-
349 AM HST SUN FEB 23 2020

Surf along north facing shores will be 5 to 7 feet today, lowering to 3 to 5 feet Monday.

Surf along west facing shores will be 3 to 5 feet today, lowering to 2 to 4 feet Monday.

Surf along east facing shores will be 4 to 6 feet this morning, lowering to 3 to 5 feet this afternoon through Monday.

Surf along south facing shores will be 1 to 2 feet through Monday.

Outlook through Sunday March 01: The current northwest swell will gradually lower today through Monday. Surf from this swell will remain well below advisory thresholds. A large northwest swell is expected to arrive Monday night. Surf from that swell will peak well above advisory levels Tuesday, and may reach warning levels along north and west facing shores. The swell will gradually subside through Thursday when a new northwest swell will arrive. This swell will peak Thursday night and Friday, then gradually decrease next weekend. Moderate surf along east facing shores will subside through early in the work week as the trade winds weaken. East shore surf will trend up late in the work week, and may reach advisory levels next weekend. Surf will remain small along south facing shores.

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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COLLABORATIVE NEARSHORE SWELL AND WIND FORECAST FOR OAHU
NWS/NCDDC HONOLULU HI
212 PM HST FRI FEB 21 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
02/21
3NNW1246DOWN19-23ESAME
9E968SAME
SAT
02/22
5NW15810UPMED11-16EDOWN
7E957DOWNLOW
SUN
02/23
4NNW1368DOWNMED4-6VRBSAME
5E946DOWNLOW
MON
02/24
3NNW1146DOWNLOW9-13NEUP
4E935DOWNLOW
TUE
02/25
13NNW172836UPLOW13-19ENEUP
6ENE835SAMELOW
WED
02/26
8NNW141418DOWNLOW17-21ENEUP
7ENE846UPLOW

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 trending up while east side receives steady windswell.

DETAILED:. Mid Friday on northern shores has breakers from 320-360 degrees at levels below the seasonal average. An increase is predicted for Saturday.

A zonal jet stream has held this week. Such patterns steer surface low pressure systems rapidly east, which reduces surf potential. The second in a pair of events is due on Saturday.

The first event generated 2/16-17 east of the Date Line is steadily dropping 2/21. It should fade out by Saturday.

The source for the second event, due locally Saturday, formed east of the Kuril Islands 2/17-18. It started off with severe gales over the 300-315 degree band. The winds weakened to gales as it crossed the Date Line 2/19 and moved east of the Hawaii swell window 2/20.

The onset at NOAA NW Hawaii buoys 51001 and 51101 is slow relative to the Wave Watch III prediction, which also called too early and too high the first event aforementioned. This suggests surf locally to build Saturday morning instead of Friday night as the models suggest. The event should be filled in by Saturday PM from 300-330 degrees. It should peak overnight Saturday night just below average, with a slow decline into Monday from 315-345 degrees.

Models show the central north Pacific jet stream returning to a winter mode this weekend with a broad gyre and amplifying trough expected to form near the Date Line Saturday. At the surface, a severe gale low to near 980 mb is modelled to track SE into Sunday night, bringing gales with near 25 feet seas over a captured fetch to within 1000 nm of Hawaii. Proximity should lead to well above average surf in Hawaii.

The onset should be rapid Tuesday near dawn with surf climbing by mid morning from 320-340 degrees to extra-large levels, meaning high enough for outer reefs. It is expected to peak near sundown Tuesday 2/25. It should hold above average Wednesday 2/26 from the same direction with a steady decline.

Mid Friday on eastern shores has rough breakers from 60-90 degrees at levels above the trade windswell average. Heights are predicted to remain above average on Saturday.

See the latest NWS State Forecast Discussion regarding the trend in local skies and winds.

Surface high pressure near 35N, 150W 2/21 is modelled to slowly shift eastward, but keep fresh to strong trades in the 60-90 degree trade wind belt aimed at Hawaii east of 155W. This should keep active breakers locally with a slow downward trend Sunday into Tuesday, when a new trade wind event begins.

The a new surface high pressure system is modelled to shift eastward from the NNW to NNE of Hawaii starting 2/25. This should lead to an upward trend in windswell mid week from 60-90 degrees.

Mid Friday on southern shores has near nil breakers. Low conditions are expected to continue on Saturday.

Various sources in the austral mid latitudes between longitudes of New Zealand to French Polynesia are expected to keep off and on low, long-period swell near 1 foot in the deep ocean this period. 2/22-24 should favor from 190 degrees, and 2/25-26 from 180 degrees. This should make for inconsistent, tiny to small breakers at high refraction zones, while most areas remain near the winter minimum.

Into the long range, another low, long-period event is suggested locally from 170 degrees roughly 3/1.

In the north Pacific, models show a storm-force low pressure occluding east of the Kuril Islands 2/23-24 then slowly weakening west of the Date Line 2/25. Wave models suggest an event near the seasonal average from 300-320 degrees starting late 2/27 and peaking 2/28.

Trade windswell is modelled to build above average 2/27-29.

Long range forecasts hold low confidence.

This collaborative forecast will resume on Monday, March 2.

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 Forecasters 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

Latest North Pacific Surface Analysis

Upcoming tides for select Hawaii locations

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