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Home News Hawaii Area Forecast Hawaii Area Forecast
Hawaii Area Forecast
Area Forecast Discussion for Hawaii
Area Forecast Discussion for Hawaii

Area Forecast Discussion for Hawaii
  • Synopsis
    Cool, dry weather will continue through Wednesday with light winds due to a weak surface ridge in the vicinity of the islands. Gentle trade winds will return during the second half of this week as a surface high passes north of the aloha state. A front approaching the state from the northwest will result in winds turning more southeasterly over the smaller islands this weekend.

  • Discussion
    A surface front located about 240 miles north of Lihue has pushed the surface ridge down over the main Hawaiian islands. The close proximity of this east to west oriented ridge to the state has caused the background winds to be weak across the island chain. These light synoptic winds are allowing local nighttime land breezes to form over the interior sections of most islands this evening. In addition to the light winds, the atmosphere remains rather dry and stable. There are few, if any, low clouds and showers over the smaller islands. Low clouds over the lower elevations of the Big Island, which had developed earlier today, are beginning to disperse due to the downsloping winds that are forming after dusk this evening. Note that the clear skies over most of the islands will result in cool temperatures again through early Wednesday morning. The forecast models continue to indicate the surface ridge will remain in the vicinity of the islands through Wednesday. This will maintain light winds and stable atmospheric conditions through Wednesday afternoon. Local afternoon sea breeze circulations may allow some low clouds to develop over interior sections of some islands, mainly the lower elevations of the Big Island, but few showers are anticipated. A surface high moving by north of the islands from Wednesday night through Thursday will cause a slight tightening of the pressure gradient over the state. This is expected to allow gentle trades to develop across most areas. This high will move to the east and then northeast during the end of the week, so its influence on local weather will gradually diminish. The rounded western end of a surface ridge extending west-southwest of this high is forecast to remain to the north of the area. The close proximity of this feature to the western islands will allow the low level flow to shift out of the east-southeast to southeast over most of the smaller islands by this weekend. A front approaching the islands from the northwest Sunday will erode the western end of this ridge. The arrival of this front will likely bring an increase in shower in the vicinity of Kauai by Sunday night. A new surface high building behind this front will move eastward, and will eventually cause the front to move down the island chain. The front will bring an increase in clouds and showers to the islands, along with strong and gusty north to northeast winds after it passes. The latest model output does not appear to show heavy rainfall associated with the frontal passage.

  • Aviation
    Vfr conditions are expected to prevail through Wednesday morning. No airmets are anticipated.

  • Marine
    The long period energy from the latest very large wintertime north-northwest swell has arrived at buoys 51001 and 51101 located northwest of Kauai. There are also long period forerunners showing up at the Hanalei and Waimea bay buoys. Note that the arrival of this initial energy was delayed slightly compared with the guidance from the Wave Watch III, which has been the case for most of the recent wintertime swell events. However, we still expect the swell to build significantly overnight. Surf produced by this swell will likely increase to the high surf warning criteria along most north and west facing shores of the smaller Hawaiian islands by daybreak Wednesday. In addition, the energy from this swell will also likely reach both the west and north facing shores of the Big Island by mid-day Wednesday. As a result, a high surf warning has been issued starting at noon HST Wednesday for west facing shores of the Big Island, while a high surf advisory will be in effect starting at noon HST for north facing shores of the Big Island. Note that this north-northwest swell will continue for an extended period of time, which means that surf will remain elevated over multiple tide cycles. See the collaborative nearshore swell and wind forecast for Oahu for more detailed information about this swell. Localized coastal flooding is possible in the warning area due to significant wave set up and run up along the beaches exposed to this swell, especially during each high tide from Wednesday into Thursday. This swell will gradually subside from Thursday night through early Friday, and should drop below the high surf advisory criteria by late Friday. Another west-northwest swell is expected to arrive Sunday, and produce surf reaching the high surf advisory criteria along most north and west facing shores of the smaller islands Sunday and Monday. The westerly component of this swell may also produce advisory level surf along the west facing shores of the Big Island from late Sunday into Monday. A small craft advisory remains in effect through Thursday for most Hawaiian waters due to the elevated seas associated with the new north-northwest swell.

  • HFO Watches/Warnings/Advisories
    High surf warning until 6 pm HST Thursday for north and west facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai, and for north facing shores of Maui. High surf warning from noon Wednesday to 6 pm HST Thursday for west facing shores of the Big Island. High surf advisory from noon Wednesday to 6 pm HST Thursday for north facing shores of the Big Island. Small craft advisory until 6 pm HST Thursday for Kauai northwest waters, Kauai windward waters, Kauai leeward waters, Kauai channel, Oahu windward waters, Oahu leeward waters, Kaiwi Channel, Maui county windward waters, Alenuihaha channel, Big Island windward waters.

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