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Exclusive Obs: 630am update for Wednesday 12/17 powered by the Billabong Pipe Masters

Surfs small but fun with Small craft due to up to fresh paced ENE Trades filling. XL 15-22 maybe 25' WNW Sunday.

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

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North Shore:

Down and dropping on the 13 second North and a new WNW with inconsistent sets of 2-3' at Sunset and Laniakea. Pipe to Chuns filling in to just 2-3'. Good conditions, partly clear.
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West:

Down and dropping at Makaha with surf at 1-2 occ 3' from the N+ W+ 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 1-2.5' or occas shoulder high average at Bowls, Kaisers, Beach Park, Queens; partly cloudy.
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Diamond Head:

Down and Holding SSW + background SSE swell of 1-2.5' sets or shoulder high with good form but getting bumpy side-offshores as fresh 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 1-3' to Gas Chambers. It's 1-3' 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 2-3' esp from the left to right side with decent sandbars; cloudy.

Weather

Wednesday
with="64"

Temp
min:
72°F
max: 82°F

Partly Cloudy

Wind:
18mph ENE

Thursday
with="64"

Temp
min:
72°F
max: 81°F

Partly Cloudy

Wind:
23mph ENE

Friday
with="64"

Temp
min:
72°F
max: 82°F

Clear

Wind:
18mph ENE

Saturday
with="64"

Temp
min:
72°F
max: 82°F

Clear

Wind:
8mph E

Sunday
with="64"

Temp
min:
71°F
max: 81°F

Chance of Rain

Wind:
8mph ENE

North

Wednesday
12/17
NW+N
Haw: 2-3
Face: 3-5
Rising
new WNW, old N: fairly cloudy, clean
Thursday
12/18
NW
Haw: 2-3
Face: 3-5
Rising Later
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' 18-20 sec
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West

Wednesday
12/17
NW+N
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
Rising
glassy, semi cloudy
Thursday
12/18
COMBO
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
Rising Later

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

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South

Wednesday
12/17
S
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
Dropping
thin dry clouds, clean
Thursday
12/18
S
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
Dropping

Friday
12/19
S
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
Dropping

Saturday
12/20
S-SW
Haw: 1-3
Face: 2-5
Rising
New 2' 16 sec
Sunday
12/21
S-SW
Haw: 2-3
Face: 3-5
Holding

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east

Wednesday
12/17
ENE+N
Haw: 2-3
Face: 3-5
Holding
cloudy, choppy
Thursday
12/18
E-NE
Haw: 1-3
Face: 2-5
Holding

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

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Current Swells:

Wednesday   12/17
Primary: Dropping  N  2-3'
Secondary: Holding  E-NE  2-3+'
Third: Dropping  S  1-2+'
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Marine Warnings:

Wednesday   12/17
Small craft advsrys channels
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Sailing Report:

Wednesday   12/17
Good with ENE Trades at 10-25mph
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Diving Report:

Wednesday   12/17
Fair-good for South and West; fair for N and deeper E facing shores.

Oahu

SUNSET
Wednesday   12/17
NW+N
Haw: 2-3
Face: 3-5
ENE Trades light-moderate
fair to good

ROCKY POINT
Wednesday   12/17
NW+N
Haw: 2-3
Face: 3-5
ENE Trades moderate
fair to good

Pipeline
Wednesday   12/17
NW+N
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
ENE Trades light-moderate
fairly clean

HALEIWA
Wednesday   12/17
NW+N
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
ENE Trades moderate
fair

MAKAHA
Wednesday   12/17
MIX
Haw: 0-2
Face: 0-3
ENE Trades light-moderate
good

ALA MOANA
Wednesday   12/17
S
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
ENE Trades moderate
good

Waikiki
Wednesday   12/17
S
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
ENE Trades moderate
good

Diamond Head
Wednesday   12/17
SSE+SSW
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
slightly bumpy

Sandy Beach
Wednesday   12/17
COMBO
Haw: 2-3
Face: 3-5
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy

Makapuu
Wednesday   12/17
ENE+N
Haw: 2-3+
Face: 3-5+
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy

Maui

Hookipa
Wednesday   12/17
N
Haw: 1-3
Face: 2-5
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy

Honolua
Wednesday   12/17
N
Haw: 0-2
Face: 0-3
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
good

Kihei
Wednesday   12/17
COMBO
Haw: 0
Face: 0
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
sailin' and kitin'

Hana
Wednesday   12/17
ENE+N
Haw: 2-3+
Face: 3-5+
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy

Lahaina
Wednesday   12/17
S
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
ENE Trades light-moderate
good

Kauai

Hanalei
Wednesday   12/17
NW+N
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
ENE Trades moderate
fair to good

Majors
Wednesday   12/17
S+N
Haw: 1-2
Face: 1-3
ENE Trades moderate
good

Poipu
Wednesday   12/17
S
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
ENE Trades moderate
good

Kapaa
Wednesday   12/17
ENE+N
Haw: 2-3
Face: 3-5
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy

Big Island

Hamakua Coast
Wednesday   12/17
N
Haw: 2-3+
Face: 3-5+
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy

Kohala
Wednesday   12/17
N
Haw: 0-1/2
Face: 0-1
ENE Trades moderate
diving , paddling and fishin'

Kona
Wednesday   12/17
COMBO
Haw: 1-2+
Face: 1-3+
ENE Trades moderate
good

Hilo
Wednesday   12/17
ENE+N
Haw: 2-3
Face: 3-5
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy

Kau
Wednesday   12/17
COMBO
Haw: 2-3
Face: 3-5
ENE Trades moderate-fresh
bumpy
N + E + S swells

Weather



Issued: Dec 17, 2014 4:00 AM HST

Synopsis
A surface high northeast of the main Hawaiian islands will continue moving slowly eastward, which will allow trade wind speeds to weaken slightly later today and tonight. The trades will strengthen again starting Thursday as a new surface high passes north of the state. Moisture riding in on the trades will bring showers mostly to windward and mauka sections. Trade winds are expected to weaken and shift to a southeasterly direction this weekend ahead of an approaching front.

Discussion
The relatively tight pressure gradient south and southwest of a 1026 mb surface high centered near 29°N 152°W, or about 650 miles northeast of Honolulu, is maintaining moderate trades across the main Hawaiian islands early this morning. Aloft, mid- to upper-level ridging is maintaining stable atmospheric conditions across most of the region. As a result, the low-level trade wind flow is transporting scattered to broken low clouds with brief light showers mainly into windward and mauka sections of the state based on loops of satellite imagery and radar reflectivity data. The trades are also carrying a few light showers over to leeward sections of some of the smaller islands.

The surface high is moving slowly eastward, so expect the gradient to gradually relax later today. This will cause a slight drop in trade wind speeds. At the same time, a surface front, which is about 700 miles northwest of Kauai, will shift eastward to a position far north of the islands. As this front weakens tonight, a new surface high will push eastward to a position about 700 miles north of Honolulu Thursday morning. This will reestablish the pressure gradient across the region, so expect a slight increase in trade wind speeds from Thursday into Friday.

A rather typical coverage of low clouds and showers carried by the low-level trade wind flow is expected to continue through tonight. This should result in a rather typical weather pattern of mainly night and morning showers falling over windward and mauka sections of the aloha state. With the stable atmospheric conditions continuing due to mid- and upper-level ridging over the area, expect overall rainfall totals and rates to remain relatively low. The forecast models indicate a drier air mass will move across the state late Thursday, which will likely continue into the weekend.

By this weekend, the high north of the state is expected to shift eastward, which will weaken the pressure gradient over the area. As the high continues moving eastward, the trade winds will not only weaken, but veer out of the east southeast or southeast. Note that the southeasterly flow may allow some volcanic haze from sources on the Big Island to be carried up over portions of the smaller islands this weekend. The light winds and relatively dry air mass will likely produce an inactive diurnal convective pattern this weekend. This weather pattern will feature some afternoon clouds mainly over leeward and interior sections of the smaller islands, but minimal shower coverage is forecast this weekend.

In the longer range, the forecast models are showing some big changes in the local weather pattern. Currently, the guidance shows a strong cold front will push in from the west northwest from late Sunday into Monday over the western end of the main Hawaiian island chain. Beyond that time period there were some significant disagreements in model output. The most recent run of the ECMWF model no longer stalls the front over the islands. It is now much closer to the GFS solution, which continues to show the cold front will push down the entire island chain early next week. We will continue to monitor the model output over the next couple of days to see if this convergence toward a consensus has taken place yet or not. In the meantime, there remains some uncertainly in the long-range forecast as we head into the holidays next week.

Aviation
High pressure to the northeast of the islands will maintain moderate trades. Clouds and showers will continue to ride in on the trades, mainly affecting windward and mauka areas, and will at times bring MVFR conditions to those areas. Otherwise VFR conditions are expected to prevail.

Marine
A small craft advisory /sca/ remains in effect for the typically windy waters adjacent to the islands of Maui and Hawaii counties today. Trade wind speeds are forecast to briefly drop below the SCA criteria this evening. A SCA will likely be needed again for the normally windy marine zones from Thursday into Friday.

The circulations associated with a series of lows moving across the north Pacific ocean will produce northwest swells aimed at the main Hawaiian islands into early next week. A surface low developing near the international dateline around latitude 40°N is expected to send a long-period northwest swell toward the islands on Thursday. This swell is forecast to produce surf near the high surf advisory criteria along most north and west facing shores of the smaller islands from late Thursday into early Friday. A more powerful low east of Japan will send an even larger long-period swell toward the islands. Surf produced by this swell will probably reach the high surf warning thresholds along most north and west facing shores of the islands on Sunday. Note that the southern extent of the fetch area may push large breakers into the leeward coast of the Big Island. As a result, there may be more impacts on the west side of the Big Island compared with recent swells. This swell will also likely increase seas to near the SCA criteria across most of the coastal waters starting Sunday.

Watches/Warnings/Advisories
Small craft advisory until 6 pm HST this evening for 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

Surfer's Wall Photos

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