Big Picture


Tuesday 11/26/19 …Models continue with more downgrad on Sunday’s North and delay on the SSW early Dec.



JETSTREAM:  The Jet has enough energy to keep surface Low production going at a less than ideal degree as far as normal WNW ground swell through the next 7-day model run. The winds are up to 170mph off Japan with a break/split near the dateline then a ENE tilt toward the upper NW of Canada. There’s a solid High to our NE ramping the trades back up for awhile for the longest, strongest run we’ve seen most the year and for sure the Fall season. This coming work week the Jet splits off a Low to our NE for a few days which helps with some ground swell on our side of the dateline. By work weeks end the Jet looks discombobulated with plenty areas of High pressure…but one region to our North combined with the High to the NW create a 1500mile long and 1200-mile-wide fetch esp. by Thursday pointing ESE of us -read below.

Jetstream: Large scale ‘river of wind’ about 30-35,000ft in our upper atmosphere flowing west to east circling earth in both Hemispheres. It has major impacts on climate, weather, and airmass (Lows and Highs) which help form and steer storms that bring our waves.


Last weekend the new WNW filled in all AM with Pipe reaching the near maximum on some and epic. Sunset didn’t focus as well. Nor did Ali’i Beach park for the Grand Finale’ (3-5’ and lulls) …our expectations were not met. But as far as the surfing …they were met.

Sunday’s swell: The WNW was spawned about Wednesday the 20th..An East bound Low off the South Kurils garnered some 30’ seas. Thursday it built to 33’ seas as it raced toward the dateline. By Friday storm weakens as it reached the dateline with 25’ seas. We went with a claim some fun 6-8+’ NW surf at 16 sec (focal reefs) early Sunday the 24th for the last 7 heats of the Hawaiian Pro (est. 3-5+’ sets). This was under called for Pipe as we did see some 10- maybe even one or two 12’. Waves faded some Monday (3′ to 4′ overhead) Monday but have better East offshores…and will soon veer ESE due to an approaching front. Surf will fall off to 3’ish Tuesday as the storm weaken rapidly at the dateline…with again perfect SE winds even liter than Monday. The Vans World Cup scored on day one of the holding period.

Next: A gale low with just 20 seas moves toward the dateline Saturday the 23rd with a captured fetch and reaches 180 longitude (1200 mi NW) with some 20 seas Sunday. WW3 wants some near 6-surf at 12 sec building Wednesday esp midday to afternoon but it will drop fast from Thursday. Next: Overlapping episode. On the heels of the last Low is a stronger more compact Low heading South closer to us …and just east of the dateline. Tho’ it’s pointing most the swell to our WNW we should see it add to the prior shorter period event and this one could/should reach 7’ maybe 8′ Midday Wednesday even with a portion being sideband swell…perfect winds for World Cup.

Last one two punch: 11/26 Another Big Down Grade once Big North…Models have been up and down and down over the past several days. On Saturday the 30th  …straight North swell will now be 16 sec fill in late night. The peak Sunday was at 8-12’ ystrdy and it’s now 6-8’+ …Models often run hot as initial runs tend towards over calling. Esp since such storms to our distant North can shift east out of our window. That’s what keeps occurring. The Low gets started by Thursday the 28th up near the eastern Aleutians with some 45-55kts NNE of us 1800 miles. (As we said, the confounding issue was how this system started off pointing from the straight N to S and then ends up pointing the fetch to our more distant East and the fetch fattens and strengthens). Thanks to the help of ‘swell dispersion’(approx. 30 degrees out) we’re still going to get solid N to NNE surf…just how big was always going to be the real question. we’ll keep refining details. The good news is the fetch noses to within 1200 miles Sunday Dec 1st and that means less swell decay time but it’s really shifted further east. The Vans World Cup and Lululemon Pro will still get plenty contestable action Sunday-Monday.


The Jet’s getting weaker overall and less prone to ground swell production. Over all it’s zonal with one exception…a slight meridional NE flow toward Tahiti this Sunday and again Wednesday.

Recent-Current: It’s been really small…2’ tops and that’s occasional and not for every reef in town. A mix of SSE did hit shoulder high last weekend to Wednesday. Plus, we had a minor SW fill in midweek but these are on the down and out.

Next: A trace of thigh high SW may make it Thursday the 28th from a storm in the Taz a week prior.

Last:  A small SSW at 1′ swell at 15 sec may make it up by Monday Dec 2nd …this will get surf refracting to 2’ or waist maybe even 2.5’ or chest high into the 4th. The source Low had some 30’ seas moves ENE Monday the 25th with a short partially captured fetch 900 miles off New Z.

Windward: Solid 1030mb High Pressure has kept Cranking Gale ENE Trades Friday-Sat are blowing rooster tails for the N and West shores. We’ve had regular to fresh to strong trades for about a week Makapu’u -along with most our favorite Trade Wind swell reefs- had Friday at 2-4’plus chopped out surf. This ramped Saturday to 4-6’ at both Sandys and Makapu’u. Significant changes will come esp by Monday due to a front approaching from the NW. It’s expected to stall west of us and lead to SE winds Mon-Tuesday.  Surf will drop but be much cleaner.

The EAST Pac Tropics:  None for the upcoming week.

The West Pac Tropics: A huge typhoon could be building and stalling on the charts toward the end of this upcoming work week. If this goes, the PI and entire region will be pumping with swell. So far, it’s too far out for claiming.

Long-range views are seldom 20/20. Prep for some adjustments.







Surf Climatology HERE

NWS criteria for High Surf Advisories (first number) & Warnings (second number).

All surf height observations & forecasts are for full ‘face’ surf height, or ‘trough to the crest’ of the wave.

North-Facing Shores 15 Feet and 25 Feet

West-Facing Shores – Remaining Islands 12 Feet and 20 Feet

West-Facing Shores – Big Island 8 Feet and 12 Feet

South-Facing Shores – 8 Feet and 15 Feet

East-Facing Shores – 8 Feet and 15 Feet

Get the latest Central Pac Hawaii HERE

For the SNN Buoys ‘per shore’ displayed   HERE

Note: Spectral density graph in the SNN Buoy Page HERE can show ‘slivers’ of forerunners that initial text readings of new swells which often do not ‘show’ till later on written/text buoy updates. Also, note the vertical graph is not ‘wave height’ rather its a measure of wave energy in hertz (frequency or cycles/sec) for the whole ‘band’ (the distribution of power/period in the total wave energy field/spectrum).

Links: Get the latest on the Eastern North Pac GO HERE 

For more on the West Pac Typhoons GO HERE

Common Terms:  Split Jetstream

Blocking ridge

Short-wave tough

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