Easing XXL swell, new XXL swell for Thursday
Hawaii North Shore forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Tuesday 23rd February)
Best Days: Experienced surfers only Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
This week and next (Feb 23 – Mar 4)
After a slow weekend, later in the day Sunday some new NW groundswell started to show, but today we've seen an enormous new N/NW groundswell impacting the islands, upgraded significantly from last Thursday. This is due to the front pushing down towards us the last couple of days being much stronger than forecast last week, with a fetch of storm-force 50-60kt N/NW winds being projected just north of Hawaii (right).
Our models accordingly adjusted for the stronger low, upping the forecast to the 30-35ft range across the North Shore this afternoon, and the real time buoy readings seem to be in line with this. The Waimea buoy is showing peak wave heights of 28ft, that's 8.5m of groundswell at 14.5 seconds.
Conditions are a mess though with the large consistent nature of the swell and a fresh N'ly wind.
The swell has started to dip on the 51101 buoy about 10 hours travel time to the north-west and with this we can expect today's huge swell to ease back through tomorrow, likely from the 18-20ft+ range. Conditions will be much cleaner as well with light offshores and weak sea breezes.
Wednesday should remain clean through the morning as the swell continues to ease back from the 10ft range.
Now, heading into Thursday we've got another huge XXL swell on the cards, but this one will exhibit much stronger peak periods.
Currently a broad and elongated fetch of severe-gale to storm-force W/NW winds have formed south-east of the Kamchatka Peninsula.
The low generating this fetch is forecast to project slowly south-east towards Hawaii while maintaining its intensity and moving at a similar speed to the swell that it's generating before stalling north of the islands ahead of one final push south. Open ocean swell heights will grow faster than normal under this scenario.
A long-period XXL swell should result, with the fore-runners arriving through Wednesday afternoon ahead with the bulk of the size arriving overnight and peaking Thursday morning across the North Shore.
We're looking at large 25-30ft waves across the North Shore, with bigger sets at deep water offshore reefs, easing back a touch into the afternoon and more so into Friday from 20ft+ range.
The only issue are local winds and they look less than ideal with moderate to fresh NE breezes Thursday, swinging more E/NE through the day while strengthening. This may be the fly in the ointment regarding the green light being given for the Eddie or not.
Friday looks great with morning offshores and afternoon sea breezes, and E/NE-NE trades into Saturday as the swell continues to ease.
Into Sunday a new moderate to large sized NW groundswell is likely from a strong frontal system pushing down on a similar path the the storm generating Thursday's swell, but behind this we may see a better XL swell producer for early next week. We'll have a closer look at this Thursday though.