High surf warning issued, 'Eddie' won't go

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A big west-northwest swell is expected to bring big surf to the island chain, with a High Surf Warning in effect for north and west shores, but conditions won't be right for the Eddie Aikau surf meet.

The National Weather Service has issued the high surf warning for the north and west-facing shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Kahoolawe and Maui, and the west shores of Lanai and the Big Island of Hawaii.

The Weather Service said the unusually long-period swell will bring waves in the 20 to 30 foot range for north shores, with 15 to 20 foot face waves for west-facing shores. Surf along the Kona coast of the Big Island could rise to 10 to 15 feet late tonight into Friday.

According to forecasters, the waves will be big enough to occasionally sweep across portions of beaches, with very strong breaking waves and strong longshore and rip currents. Breaking waves may occasionally impact harbors, which could make it dangerous to navigate harbor channels.

While the waves are forecast to be big, organizers of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau surf meet already have issued a "no go" for Friday and Saturday. According to contest director George Downing, "The swell is a little too west and the winds dead north for much of the swell."

However, Downing noted that there are other swells in the forecast that organizers will continue to monitor through the holding period, which ends February 28.

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