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Exclusive Obs: 7am update for Thursday 12/18 powered by the Billabong Pipe Masters

Surfs small, really small with filling ENE Trades 10-20mph. XL 15-22 WNW midday Sunday into Monday.

Another Lay day for Round 3. The 3rd Jewel of the Vans Triple Crown. Last 2 days to go Friday-Saturday-last 2 days of holding period. Call the VTC Hotline 808-596-SURF.

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North Shore:

Down but rising later this afternoon on a new 16 second NW; at dawn however it's 1-2+ at Sunset and Laniakea. Pipe to Chuns filling in to just 2'. Fair conditions, partly clear offsho.
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West:

Down but rising later this afternoon at Makaha; at 7am with 0-2' from the N+ S & nice & smooth; partly cloudy.
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Town:

Down and dropping on a unseasonal South which hit 4' Monday; today it's fairly clean offshores 1-2' average at Bowls, Kaisers, Beach Park, Queens; partly cloudy.
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Diamond Head:

Down and Holding SSW + background SSE swell of 1-2' sets mostly or waist high with bumpy side-offshores as moderate ENE's fill; partly cloudy.
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Sandy's:

Down and Holding on a mix of East trade wind, North wrap plus south; bumpy side-offshore 1-2+' to Gas Chambers. It's 1-2+' at Full Pt,, 1/2 point too; fairly cloudy.
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East Makapu'u:

Down and Holding on a East trade wind swell and some north wrap at a choppy 1-2+' esp from the left to right side with decent sandbars; cloudy.

Weather

Thursday
with="64"

Temp
min:
71°F
max: 80°F

Partly Cloudy

Wind:
18mph ENE

Friday
with="64"

Temp
min:
71°F
max: 81°F

Clear

Wind:
18mph E

Saturday
with="64"

Temp
min:
69°F
max: 83°F

Clear

Wind:
8mph E

Sunday
with="64"

Temp
min:
68°F
max: 81°F

Clear

Wind:
8mph NE

Monday
with="64"

Temp
min:
66°F
max: 77°F

Chance of Rain

Wind:
18mph NNE

North

Thursday
12/18
NW
Haw: 2-3
Face: 3-5
Rising Later
Clean, fairly clear, 5' 16 sec 2pm; 8' surf after dark
Friday
12/19
NW
Haw: 6-10
Face: 10-18
Dropping Slowly

Saturday
12/20
NW
Haw: 4-6+
Face: 6-10+
Rising Evening
3' 20 sec forerunners 8pm
Sunday
12/21
W-NW
Haw: 15-22
Face: 20-38
Rising
10-15' 18 sec
Monday
12/22
NW
Haw: 15-20+
Face: 20-35
Holding
13' 15 sec
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West

Thursday
12/18
COMBO
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
Rising Later
clean, clear
Friday
12/19
NW
Haw: 4-6+
Face: 6-10+
Holding

Saturday
12/20
NW
Haw: 3-5
Face: 5-9
Rising Later

Sunday
12/21
W-NW
Haw: 12-18
Face: 18-30
Rising

Monday
12/22
W-NW
Haw: 10-15
Face: 15-25’
Dropping

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South

Thursday
12/18
S
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
Dropping
clean, fairly clear
Friday
12/19
S
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
Dropping

Saturday
12/20
S-SW
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
Rising
New 2' 16 sec
Sunday
12/21
S-SW
Haw: 2-3
Face: 3-5
Holding
2' 15 sec later; WNW wrap later
Monday
12/22
S-SW
Haw: 1-3
Face: 2-5
Dropping
2' 14 sec; WNW wrap
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east

Thursday
12/18
E-NE
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
Holding
bumpy, fairly cloudy
Friday
12/19
E-NE
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
Holding

Saturday
12/20
E-NE
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
Holding

Sunday
12/21
E-NE
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
Holding

Monday
12/22
E-NE
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
Rising

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Current Swells:

Thursday   12/18
Primary: Rising Later  NW  1-3' dawn, 5-8' after dark
Secondary: Dropping  E-NE  1-2+'
Third: Dropping  S  1-2'
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Marine Warnings:

Thursday   12/18
None
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Sailing Report:

Thursday   12/18
Good with ENE Trades at 10-20mph
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Diving Report:

Thursday   12/18
good for South and West; fair to good for N and fair for E facing shores.

Oahu

SUNSET
Thursday   12/18
COMBO
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
ENE Trades moderate
fair

ROCKY POINT
Thursday   12/18
NW+N
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
ENE Trades moderate
fair

Pipeline
Thursday   12/18
COMBO
Haw: 1 occ 2
Face: 1-2 occ 3
ENE Trades moderate
poor

HALEIWA
Thursday   12/18
NW+N
Haw: 0-2
Face: 0-3
ENE Trades moderate
poor to fair

MAKAHA
Thursday   12/18
MIX
Haw: 0-2
Face: 0-3
ENE Trades light-moderate
good

ALA MOANA
Thursday   12/18
S
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
ENE Trades moderate
good

Waikiki
Thursday   12/18
S
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
ENE Trades moderate
good

Diamond Head
Thursday   12/18
SSE+SSW
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
slightly bumpy

Sandy Beach
Thursday   12/18
COMBO
Haw: 1-2 occ +
Face: 1-3 occ +
ENE Trades moderate
fair

Makapuu
Thursday   12/18
ENE+N
Haw: 1-3
Face: 2-5
ENE Trades moderate
bumpy

Maui

Hookipa
Thursday   12/18
N
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy

Honolua
Thursday   12/18
N
Haw: 0-1.5
Face: 0-2
ENE Trades moderate
diving , paddling and fishin'

Kihei
Thursday   12/18
COMBO
Haw: 0
Face: 0
NE Trades moderate-fresh
sailin' and kitin'

Hana
Thursday   12/18
ENE+N
Haw: 2-3
Face: 3-5
NE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy

Lahaina
Thursday   12/18
S
Haw: 0-2
Face: 0-3
NE Trades light-moderate
smooth

Kauai

Hanalei
Thursday   12/18
NW+N
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
ENE Trades moderate
fair to good

Majors
Thursday   12/18
S+N
Haw: 0-2
Face: 0-3
ENE Trades moderate
fair to good

Poipu
Thursday   12/18
S
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
ENE Trades moderate
good

Kapaa
Thursday   12/18
ENE+N
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy

Big Island

Hamakua Coast
Thursday   12/18
N
Haw: 1-2 occ +
Face: 1-3 occ +
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy

Kohala
Thursday   12/18
N
Haw: 0
Face: 0
ENE Trades moderate
diving , paddling and fishin'

Kona
Thursday   12/18
COMBO
Haw: 0-2
Face: 0-3
ENE Trades moderate
good

Hilo
Thursday   12/18
ENE+N
Haw: 1-2 occ +
Face: 1-3 occ +
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy

Kau
Thursday   12/18
COMBO
Haw: 1-3
Face: 2-5
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy
N + E + S swells

Weather


Dec 18, 2014 3:40 AM HST

Synopsis
High pressure centered north of the islands will maintain locally breezy trade winds through Friday. The trades will focus showers over windward and mountain areas. The winds will become light over the weekend as the high leaves the area and a front approaches the islands from the northwest. The front will move down the island chain between Sunday night and Tuesday night bringing with it some showery and windy weather.

Discussion
Differences remains between the two global models, the ECMWF /ec/ and GFS, regarding the upper level short wave trough and its support of the surface front early next week.

The most notable difference is in the timing of the upper level trough where the ec has the trough just west of Kauai Monday evening while the GFS has the trough over Kauai and Oahu.

The ec remains the stronger of the two with a cold 500 mb temp of minus 17 c. The GFS has a minus 14 c. Not much of a difference here where both temps are cold enough to support at least a slight chance of a thunderstorm and almost certain, spotty heavy showers.

The models differ thereafter. The ec keeps the upper trough over the islands Tuesday, thus maintaining a chance of enhanced showers and a slight chance of a thunderstorm. On the other hand, the GFS has the upper trough far NE of the islands, suggesting more light to moderate showers with the front. The two model do agree on the location of the front, over Maui Tuesday afternoon. Should we pursue the ec solution, improvement in the weather will come Tuesday night as the upper trough finally lifts out.

This is still a good few days away so we will wait and see if the models maintains a showery outlook for Monday and Monday night.

The models do also agree on a quiet weekend. The weather pattern may turn slightly convective with local daytime sea breezes as the trades eases to light to locally moderate. A strong and stable air mass will put a lid on these convective clouds. There will be enough of an easterly wind flow to carry a few shower bearing clouds to the windward areas of all the islands.

The pops and sky cover have been trimmed down for the windward and mountain areas of Molokai Maui and the Big Island this morning. It looks like it won't be that showery in these places this morning.

Aviation
High pressure to the north of the islands maintaining trade wind flow, with clouds and showers moving over mostly windward and mauka areas. Some MVFR conditions are expected with the clouds and showers in those areas. Otherwise VFR conditions are expected to prevail.

High pressure building to the north will strengthen trade winds today which may require an airmet for mechanical turbulence to the lee of the mountains.

Marine
A couple of zones have been added to the existing small craft advisory /sca/. These two zones are the windward waters of Kauai and Oahu and is due mainly to the building NW swell. The SCA for the affected zones is good till 6 pm HST Friday.

We do look forward to the SCA being lower late Friday afternoon. This will be short live however. The SCA will likely be hoisted Saturday night for the anticipated large NW swell.

We will be keeping a close watch to this new NW swell. Surf heights are expected to rise to near or at advisory levels for the north and west shores of some islands tonight. So, an advisory may be needed later this morning. This swell just hit buoy 51001 a couple of hours ago. It will peak tonight and gradually lower Friday.

The upcoming large NW swell will likely need a high surf warning involving both north and west facing shores of most islands. The source of this swell is from a rather broad storm low currently located off the east coast of Japan. Another storm low is predicted by the models to form north of the islands the middle of next week which may keep surf elevated in at least the advisory range through Christmas.

Watches/Warnings/Advisories
Small craft advisory until 600 pm HST Friday for windward waters of Kauai and Oahu, Maalaea Bay, the waters south of the Big Island, and the Pailolo and Alenuihaha channels.







Advisory and Warning Criteria
Location Advisory Warning
North-Facing Shores 15 Feet (8') 25 Feet
West-Facing Shores - Big Island 8 Feet (4'+) 12 Feet
West-Facing Shores - Remaining Islands 12 Feet (7') 20 Feet
South-Facing Shores 8 Feet (4'+) 15 Feet
East-Facing Shores 8 Feet (4'+) 15 Feet

Big Picture

12/9/14 Tuesday
NPAC
The Jet Stream wind currents 30,000’ up is positioned perfectly for ongoing big winter gale support, thus our swell. Jet level Winds off Japan go all the way past our longitude toward the west coast and sees up to 200kt pockets. By Friday a High moves east off Japan and splits the jet but another bout of 180kts builds all the way once again to our N Sunday with the Jet hovering 30-50 lat range. This is certainly the active phase of the MJO . Another round of deep Jet troughing starts Wednesday the 17th.

Currently, a long bout of big to very big NW swells is happening. Today was the start with 8-12’ surf at Sunset and 6-8 occ 10’ at the Pipe Masters Trials. The culprit Low bombed or dropped its pressure quickly to 960mb up near Kamchatka; she kept tracking east from last Friday-Sunday with some 55kt to hurricane force winds and 35-40’ seas. Thus, the long 23 sec forerunners Monday. Most of the size went to our NE but we still had plenty big hitting top refracting reefs including outer reefs. These storms also cut off our trades as they push down the ridge over Hawaii displaced by a weak cold front approaching from the northwest. The front will move across the island chain Wednesday, followed by a strong high pressure ridge north of the state. The ridge will weaken briefly Friday in response to another passing cold front from yet another large Low. The winds and weather are all connected to the big winter swell events.

Next: by Monday the 8th the whole NPAC was one giant gyre centered in the gulf with its south flank sweeping from off Japan all the way to the west coast. Two Fast east paced short waves move within the large gyre’s SW to S flank enhance the storms for back to back BIG surf. The first nears to less than 1000 miles away Monday with a broad fetch in the 310-330 band. This leads to bigger, longer lasting events as the seas from one storm act upon the next. Watch for 13’ 15 sec WW3 buoys late Tuesday the 9th. Peaking 14’ 15 sec which means surf nearing 18’ Hawaiian Scale or 30+’ faces on the outer reefs and spots like Jaws will be even bigger. In fact, Peahi could reach over 20’ due to its special bathymetry. At least we are claiming 12-18’ wash out reefs inside through Wed and even Thursday dawn. The periods won’t be long however, only 14 seconds and this will limit the episode from going even bigger. Also due to the fast east track of these back to back fetches the directional band of swell will be wide from 310-350 at the later stages.

Next: things quite to normal winter heights Friday of maybe 10’ as a new NW comes in early Saturday. Model still say this Low will bomb with hurricane force 65kt winds just 1800 miles to our NW Wednesday morning with seas up to 48’. This powerful storm broadens and crossing the dateline Thursday getting to under 1200 miles away by Friday. Super long period 20 second forerunners hit Friday nite and with ww3 predicting ocean swell of near 10’ at 16 seconds we should see top reefs hitting 8-12’ maybe even 15’ outside on Saturday. Since this storm moved East across Hawaii’s great circle rays from the dateline to the gulfs we’ll see the NW angle veer NNW Sunday still in the 8-12 occ 15’ range. Gusty NE winds will make side-shore chop thanks another east bound High in between the winter lows.

Next: the next bout of NW swell will be smaller than the recent few. A high pressure hangs to our NW and the Lows are further N off the Kurils and weaker. The Jet hints of another effort to come deep off Japan from Wed the 17th onward, too early to claim specifics. On Monday the 15th we see a complex area of Low pressure in the WNW Pac and by Tuesday the Lows coalesce tracking ESE crossing the dateline into Wednesday. We expect to 5-8’ surf with 14 seconds from this source filling Wed the 17-Friday 19th.
Last: Models really ramp up an XXL storm off Japan Wednesday the 17th with near hurricane force winds and 48’ seas. But it’s 8 days away from forming and could fizzle. Let’s put this one as a heads up for a chancy 15’ 18 sec swell creating surf of 12-18’ midday Saturday the 20th. Tiz the season.

SPAC
The Jet: We have too exceptional equatorial bound flows tho’ Jet winds are high. The first occurred last weekend and the next one occurs this weekend. Both times a Low is formed and steered our way for some out of season S to SSW surf!

Recent-current: We actually had a tiny 1-2.5’ pulse of SSW to South from a tiny fetch far off NZ moving east last Tuesday. Mostly 2’ or waist high but there were some chest highs.
Next: : a unseasonal Low comes up NE off the Ross Ice Shelf Monday the 8th gaining in strength Tuesday to the ENE of NZ with some 30’ seas. Looks like we’ll have a fun 2-3’ maybe even some +’ peak sets later Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday the 15-17th.

Last: One more Low tracks in the Jet from under NZ Friday the 12th through Monday the 15th. The fetch lasted a days and so will our SSW swell filling Friday the 19th but only 1’ 14 sec. The better portion comes from the storm building further East of NZ and more fetch creating higher seas. Saturday the surf should build another notch to near 2’ 16 seconds by evening with surf peaking 2-3’ Sunday the 21st and slightly smaller Monday onward.

Last
Windward side: Weak 2’ wind swell has been the average recently and the N and NW wrap has been over riding wind swell. It looks like a short boost Wednesday-Thursday thnks to a cold front moving down the chain.
It’s back down again with NW wrap taking over. Then Sunday the 14th NE trades are expected to really ramp to 15-30mph due to a new High predicted to hold through Tuesday. Watch for some 2-4’ ENE swell in this window.

Tropics: Former Typhooon ‘Hagupit’ is now a Tropical storm and the worst effects are over. Go HERE for CNN update.







FETCH: Often called the fetch length, is a term for the length of water or distance over which a given wind direction has blown. Fetch length along with the wind speed (or strength) determines the size of waves produced. The longer the fetch length and the faster the wind speed, the larger and stronger the wave will be and vice versa.
CAPTURED or FOLLOWING FETCH: Not only does the fetch length determine the power and energy of the wave. Additionally, if the winds/fetch are blowing in the same direction as during the wave's or storm's lifetime, the wave will in turn be even stronger. The fetch is related to the orbit of the wave and track of the storm.The longer the wind drags along the sea the more energy the wave will have. This can be seen not just in vertical height measurement but in wave period (the measurement of waves through time).
WAVES PERIOD:Time, in seconds, between the passage of consecutive wave crests past a fixed point. In general the longer the period the bigger the wave. Windswell or 'close interval' swells are under 10 seconds. Big 'ground swells' are 17-20+ seconds (note: a 20+ second swell needs storm force 50+kt winds blowing over a 1500 mile fetch to be fully developed' into 20-25' beasts; these 20 second waves can be felt 1000 feet down!). This is why they jack so much more, pulling large amounts of H2O off the outer reefs.

More generic marine definitions click this link http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/pages/marinedef.php

....All surf height observations and forecasts are for the full face surf height, from the trough to the crest of the wave.

Advisory and Warning Criteria
Location Advisory Warning
North-Facing Shores 15 Feet (8') 25 Feet
West-Facing Shores - Big Island 8 Feet (4'+) 12 Feet
West-Facing Shores - Remaining Islands 12 Feet (7') 20 Feet
South-Facing Shores 8 Feet (4'+) 15 Feet
East-Facing Shores 8 Feet (4'+) 15 Feet

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