Less favourable storm track sees smaller and less frequent swells as jetstream shifts gears.

Steve Shearer picture
Steve Shearer (freeride76)

Hawaii North Shore forecast by Steve Shearer (issued on Mon Jan 24)

This week and next (Jan24 – Feb4)

Hawaii:  Less favourable storm track sees smaller and less frequent swells as jetstream shifts gears.

XL surf on the weekend saw size in the 15-20 ft range across most spots, too big for the inner reefs with big wave spots breaking. Breezy trades made Outer Reefs tough to traverse with the W angle suiting some spots.

Size is now on the way down with 12-15ft surf on the ease, coming back into range for more than big wave spots. 

The last of the fronts sling-shotting along the edge of a cyclonic gyre which has now broken down tracked towards Hawaii over the weekend before being shunted Northwards. Winds were in the 45-55 knot range over a small area but well aimed at Hawaii. Swells from this system provide a series of overlapping pulses in the 6ft range Mon-Thurs with weak high pressure just to the NE of Hawaii supplying below average strength tradewinds during this time. This will supply plenty of small/medium Pipe for warm-ups surf for the PipeMasters.

The pattern change we spoke about on Fri then kicks right in, with blocking high pressure in the North Pacific shunting storms northwards towards the Aleutian Islands. This will diminish the size of swells due to travel distance ad fetch duration.

A storm tracking off Japan Mon, tracks towards Hawaii for a day before being  shunted northwards Wed. Strongest winds as it reaches peaks strength Wed are poorly aimed at Hawaii but radial spread from the source is expected to see modest surf in the 5-6ft range arrive Sat, with size dropping back during Sun into the 4-5ft range then smaller.

Winds look OK for Backdoor sat with light E/SE trades, trending more Kona SE to S on Sun as a trough approaches.

Into next week and the blocking pattern and split jet stream continue . A modest storm tracks across the North Pacific this weekend, at a much higher latitude than previous storms this month, suggesting a modest NW pulse building in the 6-8ft range Tues with a N’ly wind pattern expected over the Islands when it arrives.

Longer term and we’re watching a storm tracking off the Kuril Island Mon 31/1. Models are still a bit divergent on this with EC having a more bullish outlook merging this storm with another one off Japan and forming a large system in the NW Pacific Tues/Wed, suggesting a stronger swell for the end of the week.

GFS has a much more modest system develop in the same time frame.

Looks like some down time and lay days for the Pipe Masters ahead.

Check back Wed for a fresh update.