Big Picture




Wednesday January 22nd  – Sunday the 26th

Local Weather Outlook –

Lite ESE flow Wednesday – Friday due to the approach of a shearline.  Expect afternoon sea-breezes and early morning offshore flow.  Lite Easterly trades return over the weekend.   Local weather will remain fairly dry through the period, except for possibly a brief period of showers if/when the shearline reaches the islands Friday night.

Surf Outlook –

North and West Shores:  Large WNW Today-Fri. followed by similar NW swell for the weekend.  

On Friday the 17th, a short-wave/cyclone developed off Japan.  This system developed a broad fetch of 45-55mph winds on the 18th , with storm force winds (55mph+) over most of the 19th.  Due to the sustained high winds and captured fetch, which lasted more than 2 and ½ days, the north shore will see local surf heights of 12-20’ on Thursday.  This morning, 20 second forerunners are showing on the Waimea Buoy out of 3100.  Surf will continue to build throughout the day, favoring breaks that like a WNW angle.  The current swell will drop alot through Friday the 24th, to be replaced by a NW swell of similar size over the weekend tho’ a bit smaller.

South Shore:   Iffy South Pac. tropical swell Sun. – Tues.,  quiet after that.

This morning, south shores have 12 sec energy from the SSW, the remainder of this past weekend’s small pulse.  This is it for a while from South Pac. sources as everything looked pretty zonal down under the last 7 days.   On the 19th, tropical cyclone (hurricane) Tino moved south of Tonga and became extratropical.  The fetch associated with this system was aimed at Hawaii with winds of ~40mph for 48 hours.  Sixteen second forerunners from this storm should appear locally early on the 26th and last through the 28th with surf heights in the 1-2′ poss. 3’ range at the swells peak.  Beyond the 29th, there will likely be another south shore wintertime lull.

East Shores:  On the decrease with the trades gone…

The subtropical ridge (lite winds) has been sitting nearly directly upwind of Hawaii since this past weekend.  Therefore, expect a steady decline in the trade swell through the end of the work week with surf of 2’ or less, except for locations that grab the northerly swell.  This pattern will continue until Sunday when the trades make a comeback.


The EAST Pac Tropics:  None for the upcoming week.

The West Pac Tropics: None for the upcoming week.

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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