Solid swells and great winds this week with an XL pulse on the weekend

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Hawaii North Shore forecast by Steve Shearer (issued on Wed Jan 19)

This week and next (Jan19 – Jan28)

Hawaii: Great surf and winds this week, XL pulse on the weekend with a more subdued outlook next week (finally!)

A slight easing in size into the 6ft+ range is now rebuilding as a fresh pulse of W/NW swell rebuilds size into the 6-8ft range, with dreamy light E’ly winds through tomorrow as the swell peaks in the 8-10ft range, offering ideal conditions for maxed inner reefs.

This swell slowly winds back through Thurs and Fri with so much energy in the highly active North Pacific sea state seeing a very slow drop in size. Light SE winds Thurs tend to light E’ly winds Fri, promising a sensational few days of surf. 

Next cab off the rank is an XL swell generated by a massive fetch of severe gales with storm force winds travelling towards Hawaii through Tues/Wed. Current ASCAT (satellite windspeed) passes show a large area of storm force W’ly winds well aimed towards Hawaii as the storm tracks towards the Dateline. 

Long period forerunners arrive Fri PM with size building into the 6-8ft range by dark, possibly some 10ft sets across exposed reefs like Sunset Beach.

The bulk of the swell fills in overnight with energy in the 14-16 second band and size in the 15-20ft range. With light E/NE winds establishing as a high pressure cell becomes slow moving NE of Hawaii it’s another swell perfect for solid, not huge, Waimea bay and select Outer Reefs. 

Into next week and we see a pattern change after a month of relentless surf. The large storm gyre breaks down, high pressure NE of Hawaii sees stronger downstream trades and we’ll see a slowing down of the W’ly angled swells of the past month. 

Smaller pulses of NW swell are likely Mon into Tues with size in the 6ft range. By Wed, for the first time in weeks size is expected below 6ft, with mod E to NE tradewinds. These swells are generated by long lasting W’ly winds around a complex low tracking behind the weekends swell source. 

Longer term and models are offering divergent paths but the storm track is expected to track more towards the Middle Pacific suggesting a more NW angled attack into the medium term . Both GFS and EC suggest a storm intensifying off the Kuril Islands later next week before it tracks towards the Aleutian Islands, suggesting a moderate/large swell early in the week beginning 31/1. The position of the high pressure belt strongly suggests this will be accompanied by moderate tradewinds.

Stay tuned for the next update on Fri.